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Klopman-Baerselman v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation

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

October 30, 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 DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO DEEM REQUEST FOR ADMISSION NO. 15 PROPOUNDED AGAINST DEFENDANT TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, U.S.A., INC. ADMITTED

          ROBERT J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Deem Request for Admission No. 15 Propounded Against Defendant Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (“TMS”) Admitted. Dkt. 403. 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. Oral argument is unnecessary to decide this motion.

         For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion should be denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is the latest discovery dispute between Plaintiff and TMS. Plaintiff propounded to TMS Request for Admission (“RFA”) No. 15, requesting that TMS authenticate as genuine 35 documents. Dkt. 404-1, at 4-5. All of the documents, except one, appear to be repair manuals and owner's manuals for various Toyota vehicles; the other document is titled “1986 EPA Guidance for Preventing Asbestos Disease Among Auto Mechanics.” Dkt. 404-1, at 5.

         TMS objected at length to RFA No. 15 as, in part:

[O]verly broad, unduly burdensome, oppressive, and as asking for information that is not relevant to the subject matter of this action and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. In addition, this request is not limited in time or scope to any product at issue …. In addition, TMS objects to this request to the extent it asks TMS to authenticate third-party documents that TMS did not produce and that are unrelated to TMS. TMS objects to the request as phrased because it asks TMS to authenticate documents that range from 50 to 25 years old, which TMS did not produce, are not readily available, and would require a page by page comparison.

Dkt. 404-3, at 12-13.

         Plaintiff filed the instant motion, which provides five examples of why “the manuals are some of the most relevant evidence in the entire case” and argues that the Court should order RFA No. 15 admitted because “Toyota's objection that authenticating its manuals ‘would require a page by page comparison' is without merit.” Dkt. 403, at 4. Plaintiff certifies that the parties met and conferred on two different occasions but were unable to resolve this dispute. Dkt. 403, at 2.

         TMS responded in opposition to the Motion. Dkt. 441. TMS argues, in part, that Plaintiff mischaracterizes the documents at issue and the burden of authenticating over 11, 114 pages of material. Dkt. 441. TMS specifically argues that one of the documents in RFA 15 is an EPA gold book document not authored by TMS, only a few of the manuals and guides at issue were actually found in Decedent's garage, and many of the other manuals and guides originate from other litigation involving Toyota Defendants. Dkt. 441, at 3-4. TMS further argues that the parties did not meaningfully meet and confer to resolve this issue without court assistance. Dkt. 441, at 7.

         Plaintiff replied in support of the Motion and withdrew the EPA gold book from its RFA No. 15. Dkt. 462, at 2.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. STANDARD ON ...


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