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Klopman-Baerselman v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp.

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

October 16, 2019

ERIC KLOPMAN-BAERSELMAN, as Personal Representative for the Estate of RUDIE KLOPMAN-BAERSELMAN, deceased, Plaintiff,
v.
AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT PNEUMO ABEX, LLC'S MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF'S THIRD AMENDED NOTICE OF 30(B)(6) VIDEOTAPED DEPOSITION OF ABEX

          ROBERT J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant Pneumo Abex, LLC's (“Abex”) Motion for Protective Order Re: Plaintiff's Third Amended Notice of 30(b)(6) Videotaped Deposition of Abex (“Motion for Protective Order”). Dkt. 396. The Court has considered the motion, all materials filed in support of and in opposition to the motion, and the remainder of the record herein, and it is fully advised.

         For the reasons set forth below, Abex's Motion for Protective Order (Dkt. 396) should be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         At issue are two Rule 30(b)(6) deposition topics. Plaintiff's initial Rule 30(b)(6) deposition notice to Abex originally identified 71 topics. Dkt. 398-1, at 2-21. After the parties met and conferred, Plaintiff edited the deposition notice to 34 topics, as reflected in Plaintiff's Third Amended Notice served on September 26, 2019. Dkts. 396, at 1-2; and 398-1, at 23-34. Abex agreed to tender a Rule 30(b)(6) witness with respect to 32 of the 34 topics, but the parties were unable to come to an agreement regarding Topics 4 and 5, which are as follows:

4. Abex's corporate values and codes of conduct regarding the importance of the health and safety of individuals in the United States who come in contact with Abex's asbestos-containing friction materials between 1960 and 1987.
5. Abex's position, subjective beliefs, and opinions about the proper and reasonable conduct of a manufacturer and seller of asbestos-containing automotive products in the United States between 1960 and 1987.

Dkts. 396, at 2; and 398-1, at 24.

         Abex filed the instant Motion for Protective Order as to Topics 4 and 5 of Plaintiff's Third Amended Notice. Dkt. 396. Abex argues that “these two topics are overbroad, unduly burdensome and lack particularity; are disproportionate to the needs of this case; improperly seek legal or expert testimony applying facts to policies; and are inconsistent with the Court's previous orders in this case [(Dkts. 303; and 353)].” Dkt. 396, at 2.

         Plaintiff responded in opposition to Abex's motion for a protective order. Dkt. 416. Plaintiff argues that the topics do not improperly seek expert opinion and “are not overbroad, lacking particularity, or unduly burdensome because they are limited by time (1960-1987), location (United States), product (asbestos friction material), and defendant (Abex).” Dkt. 416, at 2-3.

         Abex replied in support of its motion seeking a protective order. Dkt. 423.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Meet and Confer Requirement

         Rule 26(c)(1) provides, in part, that a motion for protective order “must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with other affected parties in an effort to ...


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