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Roness v. T-Mobile USA, Inc.

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

July 11, 2019

ARTHUR RONESS, Plaintiff,
v.
T-MOBILE USA, INC., a Delaware Corporation, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL AND DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR ENTRY OF PROTECTIVE ORDER

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Arthur Roness's Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a) Motion to Compel information related to Defendant T-Mobile USA, Inc. (“T-Mobile”)'s third-party contract vendors that provided T-Mobile with “rack and stack” support at the Snoqualmie Data Center. Dkt. #34. T-Mobile opposes Plaintiff's Motion and requests entry of a protective order. Dkt. #46. A full summary of the case is not necessary given this Court's earlier orders on parties' dispositive motions. See Dkts. #54, #55.

         For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion to Compel is DENIED and T-Mobile's Motion for Entry of a Protective Order is DENIED as moot.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's Requests for Productions Nos. 10 and 11 request the following information related to T-Mobile's third-party contractors at the Snoqualmie Data Center:

REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION NO. 10: Please produce all communication documents, including emails, notes, correspondence, etc. that any of your employees, including but not limited to Robert Okrie, Robert Gray, Jason Evans had with your contract vendors, including but not limited to Blue Stream Professional Services, Tek Systems, General Data Telecom (GDT), JLL, Facility Tech related to “purchasing hours” or utilizing the contract vendors services for purposes of Rack and Stack support at the Snoqualmie Data Center between 2015 and 2019 .
REQUESTS FOR PRODUCTION NO. 11: For all contract vendors that provided you with Rack and Stack support at your Snoqualmie Data Center between 2015 and 2019, please produce all documents, including but not limited to invoices, purchase orders, contract agreements, order requests, payment sheets/logs, time usage logs, etc., which would show how you much you utilized the vendors' services, how much the vendor charged you for its services, how much you paid the vendors for their services, the time periods you utilized the vendors' services, how many hours you purchased from the vendors, the services to be performed by the vendors' workers, etc.

         Dkt. #35-2 at 2-4. T-Mobile objected to both requests on the basis of relevance and proportionality. Id.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Standard of Review

         “Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable. Id. “District courts have broad discretion in determining relevancy for discovery purposes.” Surfvivor Media, Inc. v. Survivor Prods., 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th Cir. 2002)). If requested discovery is not answered, the requesting party may move for an order compelling such discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1). The party that resists discovery has the burden to show why the discovery request should be denied. Blankenship v. Hearst Corp., 519 F.2d 418, 429 (9th Cir. 1975).

         B. Production of Third-Party Contractor Information

         Plaintiff argues that the requested materials are relevant to proving two elements of his claim that T-Mobile failed to reasonably accommodate his disability: (1) Plaintiff would have been able to perform the essential functions of the job in question with reasonable accommodation; and (2) T-Mobile failed to reasonably accommodate Plaintiff's impairment. Dkt. #34 at 3 (citing RCW 49.60.040(7); WPI 330.33).

         To the extent that Plaintiff's Motion seeks to compel information showing that on-call rotation is not an “essential function” of his Senior Technician job at Snoqualmie, this issue is moot in light of the Court's order dated July 9, 2019. See Dkt #55 (Finding that, as a matter of law, on-call availability was an “essential function” of Plaintiff's Senior Technician position at Snoqualmie). Accordingly, the Court will ...


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