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Karrani v. Jetblue Airways Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

June 28, 2019

ABDIKARIM KARRANI, Plaintiff,
v.
JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORPORATION, a Delaware Corporation, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S SECOND MOTION TO COMPEL AND GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a) Second Motion to Compel information related to complaints and prior incidents regarding Ms. Cindy Pancerman. Dkt. #35. Plaintiff Abdikarim Karrani moves to compel Defendant JetBlue Airways Corporation (“JetBlue”) to produce unredacted copies of passenger complaints against Ms. Pancerman. Plaintiff filed this motion on May 9, 2019-ten days after the close of discovery-and requests relief from the deadline to file discovery motions on March 29, 2019. On May 29, 2019, JetBlue filed a surreply pursuant to Local Rule 7(g) requesting that the Court strike Section E of Plaintiff's Reply in support of the Second Motion to Compel. Dkt. #58. A full summary of the case is not necessary given this Court's earlier orders on parties' discovery disputes. See Dkts. #49, 50.

         For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel is GRANTED, and Defendant JetBlue's Motion to Strike is GRANTED.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's first set of discovery requests were served on February 6, 2019. Dkt. #20 at 2.

         Interrogatory No. 7 asked JetBlue to “identify every complaint against Cindy Pancerman in the last ten years” and to provide facts related to each complaint. Dkt. #20-1 at 32. Request for Production No. 13 asks for all documents related to Interrogatory No. 7. Plaintiff's discovery requests define “complaint” as:

[M]eans for a passenger to communicate to [JetBlue] or to a third party a concern about a JetBlue employee or about an incident involving a JetBlue employee, which may include actions or inactions by JetBlue which imply unfair, discriminatory, retaliatory, or harassing treatment by you against a passenger. This includes both oral and written communications received by you, directly or indirectly (i.e., a communication from a government agency notifying you of a complaint).

Dkt. #20-1 at 23-24. JetBlue objected to the scope of the requests but agreed to search for and produce any documented customer complaints involving Cindy Pancerman in the three years prior to Flight 263, noting that customer complaints are deleted after three years pursuant to JetBlue's document retention policy. Dkt. #20-1 at 49. JetBlue produced its supplemental response on April 12, 2019, which included a racial discrimination complaint from February 2016 and a complaint about mistreatment, without allegations of discriminatory motive. Dkt. #35 at 7. JetBlue ultimately produced a more complete version of the February 2016 racial discrimination complaint that identified the complainant, Fatima Wachuku, and Plaintiff deposed the complainant before the close of discovery. Id.

         On April 29, 2019, JetBlue provided its second supplemental responses. Dkt. #35 at 7. This second supplemental response included Ms. Pancerman's personnel file, which contained additional incident reports and customer communications related to complaints against Ms. Pancerman. Dkt. #37, Jorgensen Decl., ¶ 8. JetBlue redacted the names of non-party individuals contained in these documents. Id. ¶ 13. Plaintiff objected to these redactions and, on May 9, 2019, filed a second Motion to Compel JetBlue to produce:

[U]nredacted copies of all versions of other passengers' complaints against Ms. Pancerman that exist and all related documentation, without any redactions made to the names and contact information of the complainants or otherwise.

Dkt. #35 at 13.

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff's Requested ...


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