United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL
J. BRYAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel Discovery. Dkt. 85. The Court is familiar with the
record and all materials filed in support of and in
opposition to the motion, and it is fully advised. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court should deny
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (Dkt. 85).
BACKGROUND & PROCEDURAL HISTORY
3, 2019, Defendant Thomas Ripa (“Mr. Ripa”), an
employee of HMS Ferries Inc. and/or HMS Global Maritime Inc.,
responded to Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories and
Requests for Production. Dkt. 100. Interrogatory No. 6 asked
Mr. Ripa, “At any time, have you spoken with Steve
Caputo, or the law offices of Harrigan Leyh Farmer Thomsen
LLP regarding your witness statement? If so, please describe
the/those conversation(s).” Dkt. 100, at 2. Mr.
objected and responded as follows:
Subject to and without waiving any objection, Steven Caputo
requested I write a statement regarding the events I
witnessed on May 18, 2018 involving the plaintiff and I
discussed the events described in my statement with Michelle
Buhler and Charles Jordan. Subject to and without waiving
any objection, a 6/27/18 email from Steve Caputo to Thomas
Ripa is an associated document.”
Dkt. 100, at 2.
17, 2019, Plaintiff served a request for production on Mr.
Ripa for “[a]n email dated 6/27/18 from Steven Caputo
to Thomas Ripa, otherwise described in Mr. Ripa's
interrogatory response as an ‘associated
document.'” Dkt. 100, at 2. Mr. Ripa objected to
producing the email insofar as it also contained a January
26, 2019 email between Mr. Ripa and associate counsel for HMS
Global Maritime, Justin Walker (“Mr. Walker”).
Dkt. 100, at 2. Mr. Ripa produced the email in redacted form
with a privilege log. Dkts. 85, at 7; and 100, at 2, 12- 13.
Mr. Ripa claimed that the email between he and Mr. Walker was
redacted “not only because it was not the subject of
plaintiff's discovery request, but also because it was
protected from disclosure pursuant to the attorney-client
privilege and the work product doctrine, as per the privilege
log produced with the document.” Dkt. 100, at 2-3.
parties met and conferred and apparently agreed to partially
unredact the email only as to the date of the email and the
identities of Mr. Walker and Mr. Ripa. Dkt. 100, at 3. The
parties disagree as to whether they ever agreed to produce
the email fully unredacted. Dkt. 100, at 3.
partially unredacted email on file shows a June 27, 2018
email correspondence from Steve Caputo to Mr. Ripa with the
following message: “I won't have the date until
tomorrow. The statement can wait until then. Please let Dom
know. Thanks,  Steven Caputo.” Dkt. 100, at 12. The
email shows that it was sent from Mr. Ripa to Mr. Walker on
January 25, 2019, and several lines of text are redacted,
including, apparently, Steven Caputo's cell phone number.
Dkt. 100, at 23. The attached privilege log refers to the
email, which is described as “[e]mail re: 5/18/18
witness statement” and “privilege[d]” as
“[w]ork product, attorney-client.” Dkt. 100, at
15 (emphasis removed).
filed the instant Motion to Compel Discovery. Dkt. 85.
Defendants HMS Global Maritime Inc., HMS Ferries Inc., Steve
Caputo, Dominick De Lango, Mylinda Miller, Thomas Ripa Tara
Reynolds, and Derick F. Leenstra (collectively “HMS
Defendants”) filed an oppositional response. Dkt. 99.
Plaintiff filed a reply in support of the motion. Dkt. 105.
The motion was renoted for consideration on November 1, 2019.