United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ERIC KLOPMAN-BAERSELMAN, as Personal Representative for the Estate of RUDIE KLOPMAN-BAERSELMAN, deceased, Plaintiff,
AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL DCO
LLC'S CORPORATE REPRESENTATIVE DEPOSITION
J. BRYAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel DCo LLC's (“DCo”) Corporate
Representative Deposition. Dkt. 405. 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 the motion.
reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion should be
an asbestos case. Plaintiff claims that Rudie
Klopman-Baerselman (“Decedent”) was exposed to
asbestos from Victor brand gaskets, for which DCo is
responsible. Dkt. 405. Plaintiff alleges that amosite
asbestos was found in Decedent's lung tissue. Dkt. 405,
September 27, 2019, Plaintiff took the FRCP 30(b)(6)
deposition of DCo's corporate representative, Marcella
Duncan (“Ms. Duncan”). Dkts. 405, at 3; and 406,
at 70. Plaintiff's notice of deposition requested, in
part, production of “[a]ll writings in Victor's
possession, custody, or control that indicate amosite
asbestos was an ingredient in Victor's gaskets.”
Dkt. 406, at 158.
argues that Ms. Duncan “was woefully unprepared to
testify at her deposition.” Dkt. 405, at 3. Ms. Duncan
was asked about sales or purchase records related to an
alleged 23 ton purchase of amosite fiber in 1955 by Victor,
possibly related to amosite fiber studies. Dkt. 406, at 94.
Ms. Duncan answered that she had not searched for such a
document and testified that Victor never sold amosite
gaskets. Dkt. 406, at 94. When asked to which documents she
had relied in forming her opinion, she stated,
“It's the lack of documents. And that would be in
any of the gaskets that were specified to use as
amosite-containing materials, no engineering change, changes,
for any gaskets to use amosite-containing materials, no sales
records of amosite gaskets being sold. So it's the
absence of records, not the finding of records.” Dkt.
406, at 95.
filed the instant motion to compel discovery of DCo's
documents regarding amosite. Dkt. 405. Plaintiff argues that
DCo's responses were evasive and incomplete, and it
should be compelled to produce all responsive documents. Dkt.
405, at 4-5.
filed an oppositional response. Dkt. 443. DCo argues that Ms.
Duncan was prepared for the deposition and that it had
properly made its documents, kept in the ordinary course of
business, available to Plaintiff pursuant to FRCP 34. Dkt.
443. DCo further describes Ms. Duncan's preparation
efforts and claims that it made its documents available to
Plaintiff because of how broad Plaintiff's document
requests were. Dkt. 443, at 5-9.
replied in support of its motion, arguing, in part, that DCo
failed to timely object to Plaintiff's discovery request.
STANDARDS ON DISCOVERY
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, parties may generally
obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is
relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional
to the needs of the case. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26. Information need
not be admissible at trial to be discoverable. Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). During discovery, a party may depose a public or
private corporation, or a governmental agency, which must
then designate one or more officers to testify on its behalf,
as well as the matters on which each designated person will