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Klopman-Baerselman v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp.

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

October 18, 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 ON DEFENDANTS TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION AND TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, U.S.A., INC.'S RENEWED MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER PROTECTING THEIR WITNESSES PRODUCED PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 30(B)(6)

          ROBERT J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendants Toyota Motor Corporation (“TMC”) and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.'s (“TMS”) (collectively “Toyota Defendants”) Renewed Motion for Protective Order Protecting Their Witnesses Produced Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6) (“Renewed Motion”). Dkt. 399. 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, Toyota Defendants' Renewed Motion (Dkt. 399) should be granted, in part, and denied, in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 22, 2019, Toyota Defendants filed a Motion for Protective Order (Dkt. 325), which the Court granted, in part, and denied, in part. Dkt. 353. The Court ruled that “Plaintiff should review, reconsider, amend, and re-serve all parts of the notices of deposition by September 24, 2019. If there is further concern about the notices, the parties should meet and confer before asking for the Court's intervention.” Dkt. 353, at 7.

         On October 3, 2019, Toyota Defendants filed the instant Renewed Motion. Dkt. 399. Plaintiff filed a response in opposition to the Renewed Motion. Dkt. 418. Toyota Defendants filed a reply in support of their Renewed Motion. Dkt. 420.

         Following the Court's prior ruling (Dkt. 353), Plaintiff and Toyota Defendants met and conferred twice, resulting in various revisions and a reduction in Matters of Examination (“Topics”) and in Requests in the Schedule of Documents (“Requests”), as reflected in the Second Amended Notices of Deposition (Dkt. 419, at 269-300). Dkt. 399, at 2. Nevertheless, Toyota Defendants and Plaintiff were unable to agree on many of the Topics and Requests in the Second Amended Notices of Deposition. Dkts. 399; 418; and 420.

         Toyota Defendants argue that the Second Amended Notices' Matters and Requests suffer from three primary defects:

1. Overbreadth and disproportionality as to time frame (Topics 3-4, 13, 14, 17, 19, 20, 22, 27, 28, 38, 39, 42, and 49; Requests 3, 12, TMS Request 19/TMC Request 18, [1]TMS Request 20/TMC Request 19);
2. Overbreadth and disproportionality as to products at issue (Matters 2, 4, 6-8, 10, 11- 24, 26, 28, 31-32, 35, 41-47, TMS Matter 53/TMC Matter 52; TMS Requests 2, 5, 6, 8-12); and
3. Invasion of attorney-client privilege and/or work product protections (Matters 5, 43- 47, TMS Matter 52/TMC Matter 51, TMS Matter 53/TMC Matter 52; Requests 14, TMS Request 15/TMC Request 14, and TMS Requests 22-24/TMC Requests 21-23).

Dkt. 399.

         Toyota Defendants further request that the Court, in the alternative to ruling on the above requested limitations, permit the Rule 30(b)(6) deposition to continue subject to a reservation of rights whereby objections can be dealt with later should a party file a subsequent motion. Dkt. 420, at 6.

         Toyota Defendants provide a set of “red-lined ‘Revised Notices' that take into account each of their objections[.]” Dkt. 420, at 5. Dkts. 420-1; and 420-2. Toyota Defendants further provide that, “[i]f the Notices were revised in the fashion set forth, the depositions could ...


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