United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL
S. LASNIK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on plaintiff Carrea
Christopher's “Motion to Compel Discovery
Responses.” Dkt. #84.
case arises out of an accident that took place while
plaintiff was driving a 2006 Ford Ranger (“the
Vehicle”) in San Diego, California. Plaintiff alleges
that a truck backed into his stationary vehicle at
47th and Imperial. Dkt. #65 at ¶ 55. The
airbag of the Ford “then exploded with such force
[that] plaintiff went unconscious.” Id.
Plaintiff claims that “excessive internal pressure
cause[d] the inflator [of the air bag] to rupture.”
Id. at ¶ 6. He discovered days later that the
National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration
(“NHTSA”) had issued a recall for the air bag and
inflator. Id. at ¶ 28. He brings two causes of
action against Ford for Fraudulent Concealment or
Nondisclosure, id. at ¶¶ 61-70, and
violations of Washington's Consumer Protection Act
(“CPA”), id. at ¶¶ 71-76.
October 25, 2018, plaintiff served a set of discovery
requests on Ford. Dkt. #88 (Macintyre Decl.) at ¶ 3.
Plaintiff granted a two-week extension for Ford's
responses on November 26, 2018. Id. at ¶ 4.
Ford served its responses on December 10, 2018. Id.
at 5; see Ex. C, Dkt. #88 at 14-33. Following
further communications between the parties, Ford produced the
documents identified or referred to in its discovery
responses on February 6, 2019. Macintyre Decl. at
¶¶ 7-13; see Ex. G, Dkt. #88 at 46.
counsel and plaintiff spoke over the phone on February 13,
2019. Plaintiff asked why Ford had not produced information
regarding its advertising spending in response to one of his
interrogatories. Defense counsel explained Ford's
objection, and plaintiff moved on to another topic of
discussion. Macintyre Decl. at ¶ 15. According to
defense counsel, they did not discuss the remainder of
plaintiff's concerns with Ford's discovery responses.
Id. Plaintiff then filed his motion to compel on May
1, 2019. It pertains to Interrogatories Nos. 2, 3, 5-9, 12
and 13, and Requests for Production (“RFP”) 1-5.
Court has “broad discretion to manage discovery.”
Avila v. Willits Envtl. Remediation Tr., 633 F.3d
828, 833 (9th Cir. 2011). In general, “[p]arties 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). If a
party fails to answer a discovery request, the “party
seeking discovery may move for an order compelling an
answer.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B). “The party who
resists discovery has the burden to show that discovery
should not be allowed, and has the burden of clarifying,
explaining, and supporting its objections.” Brown
v. Warner, No. C09-1546RSM, 2015 WL 630926, at *1 (W.D.
Wash. Feb. 12, 2015) (quoting Cable & Computer Tech.,
Inc. v. Lockheed Sanders, Inc., 175 F.R.D. 646, 650
(C.D. Cal. 1997)).
“Meet and Confer” Requirement and Length
“[a]ny motion for an order compelling disclosure or
discovery must include a certification, in the motion or in a
declaration or affidavit, that the movant has in good faith
conferred or attempted to confer with the person or party
failing to make disclosure or discovery in an effort to
resolve the dispute without court action.” LCR
37(a)(1). Plaintiff's motion does not contain this
certification. See generally Dkt. #84.
Plaintiff's motion is also overlength. See LCR
7(e). Regardless, the Court will consider the merits of
Interrogatories Nos. 2, 3, 5, 9 and 13
Interrogatory No. 2 requests Ford to “state [its]
argument against the Federal Government Recall (NHTSA)
National Highway Safety Transportation Agency … of the
2006 Ford Ranger Defaults.” Ex. C, Dkt. #88 at 21. Ford
indicated that it did not have an argument “for or
against” the recall, but referred plaintiff to its
response to NHTSA General Order PE14-016. Id. The
documents referred to were produced on February 6, 2019. Ex.
H, Dkt. #88 at 48; see Ex. G, Dkt. #88 at 46. Ford
also objected to the interrogatory inter alia
because it requested information on recalls unrelated to the
driver's front airbag. Ex. C, Dkt. #88 at 21.
No. 3 asks Ford if it is responsible for the “making,
creation, manufacturing and the assembly of [the] Ford
2004-2007 Ranger.” Ex. C, Dkt. #88 at 22. Ford
responded with details of its role in the design,
manufacturing and assembly of the Vehicle, including the one
that plaintiff was driving when the accident occurred, and
offered to produce additional documentation. Id.