United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
D.T., by and through his parents and guardians, K.T. and W.T., individually, on behalf of similarly situated individuals, and on behalf of the NECA/IBEW Family Medical Care Plan, Plaintiff,
NECA/IBEW FAMILY MEDICAL CARE PLAN, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE NECA/IBEW FAMILY MEDICAL CARE PLAN, SALVATORE J. CHILIA, ROBERT P. KLEIN, DARRELL L. MCCUBBINS, GEARY HIGGINS, LAWRENCE J. MOTER, JR., KEVIN TIGHE, JERRY SIMS, AND ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF NECA/IBEW FAMILY MEDICAL CARE PLAN, Defendants.
ORDER ON PARTIES' DISCOVERY MOTIONS
Honorable Richard A. Jones, United States District Judge.
matter comes before the Court on Non-Party Blue Cross Blue
Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc.'s Motion to Quash
Plaintiff's Subpoena for a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition (Dkt.
# 62), Defendants' Motion for a Protective Order
Regarding Plaintiff's Subpoena Duces Tecum to Blue Cross
Blue Shield of Georgia (Dkt. # 74), and Defendants'
Motion for a Protective Order Regarding Plaintiff's
Subpoena for a Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition (Dkt. # 73).
reasons that follow, BCBSGa's Motion to Quash is
GRANTED in part and DENIED
in part. Dkt. # 62. Defendants' Motions for a Protective
Order are GRANTED in part and
DENIED in part. Dkt. ## 73, 74.
Court previously set forth the factual background of this
case and will not repeat it here. On July 31, 2019,
Plaintiffs served a subpoena for 30(b)(6) testimony and a
subpoena duces tecum to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
(“BCBSGa”) requesting information regarding
BCBSGa's administration of the NECA/IBEW Family Medical
Care Plan (“FMCP”) claims system and the
Developmental Delay Exclusion. See Dkt. # 67, Exs.
A-B, Dkt. # 74, Ex. 5. On August 14, 2019, BCBSGa responded
with objections to the subpoena duces tecum and refused to
produce any documents. Dkt. # 67-1, Ex. J. BCBSGa also
refused to produce a witness.
parties represent that they have met and conferred on
multiple occasions and were unable to reach an agreement.
Dkt. # 67 at ¶ 7; Dkt. # 62 at 5. On August 22, BCBSGa
moved to quash the 30(b)(6) subpoena. Dkt. # 62. Defendants
subsequently moved for protective orders related to both
BCBSGa subpoenas. Dkt. ## 73 and 74.
Court has broad discretion to control discovery. Hallett
v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th Cir. 2002); see
also Avila v. Willits Envtl. Remediation Trust, 633 F.3d
828, 833 (9th Cir. 2011); In re Sealed Case, 856
F.2d 268, 271 (D.C. Cir. 1988). That discretion is guided by
several principles. Most importantly, the scope of discovery
is broad. A party must respond to any discovery request that
is not privileged and that is “relevant to any
party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of
the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake
in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties'
relative access to relevant information, the parties'
resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the
issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed
discovery outweighs its likely benefit.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
BCBSGa's Motion to Quash
Rule 45, any party may serve a subpoena commanding a nonparty
“to attend and testify” or to “produce
designated documents.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(a)(1)(A)(iii).
Any such subpoena is subject to the relevance requirements
set forth in Rule 26(b). See Moon v. SCP Pool Corp.,
232 F.R.D. 633, 636-37 (C.D. Cal. 2005). If requested, a
court may quash or modify the subpoena for a variety of
reasons, including that the subpoena “subjects a person
to undue burden.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(c)(3)(A). A party
objecting to a subpoena served on a non-party must move to
quash. See Moon, at 636. The party who moves to
quash a subpoena has the burden of persuasion. Id.
argues that Topic 1 is overly burdensome and seeks
information that is irrelevant or otherwise available in the
Administrative Services Agreements between FMCP and
Anthem/BCBSGa. The Court disagrees. Topic 1 requests, among
other things, information regarding how the diagnosis codes
for the Developmental Delay Exclusion were selected including
changes over time and communications between Anthem and FMCP
regarding the Developmental Delay Exclusion. The Court does
not find these requests irrelevant, duplicative, or overly
burdensome. In discovery disputes where relevance is in
doubt, the Court should be permissive in allowing discovery.
Gonzales v. Google, Inc., 234 F.R.D. 674, 681 (N.D.
Cal. 2006). Relevant information need not be admissible at
the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to
lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Fed.R.Civ.P.
to Plaintiff's case is FMCP's Developmental Delay
Exclusion. Here, Plaintiff has provided evidence that
Anthem/BCBSGa played a substantive role in administering the
Developmental Delay Exclusion under Anthem's claims
system. See Dkt. # 67-1, Exs. Q, D, R. The fact that
Plaintiff has already been provided with copies of the
agreements between BCBSGa and FMCP is not dispositive.
Plaintiff still has the right to ask BCBSGa about the
agreements, communications BCBSGa may have had with FMCP
regarding the agreements and the Developmental Delay
Exclusion, and BCBSGa's involvement in the administration
of the Developmental Delay Exclusion. Accordingly,
BCBSGa's Motion to Quash Topic 1 is DENIED.