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Brendan Schmidt v. Delta International Machinery Corp.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT Northern District of California


February 9, 2011

BRENDAN SCHMIDT,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
DELTA INTERNATIONAL MACHINERY CORP., ETAL.,
DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Maria-Elena James Chief United States Magistrate Judge

On January 27, 2011, the parties in this action filed a joint letter re-asserting a discovery

ORDER RE JANUARY 27, 2011 JOINT LETTER (Dkt. # 108)

C Plaintiffs seek an order compelling Delta to produce documents from 2010 relating to Black & 14 Decker's "development, analysis, and consideration of incorporating a form of flesh detection 15 devices (and related technology such as interlock devices) which has been developed by the Power Tool Industry ("PTI") Joint Venture ("J.V.") and which would mitigate or prevent injuries from 17 18 previously produced similar documents that were generated up through the end of 2009. (Id. at 4.) 19 20 documents relating to Black & Decker's evaluation of the Joint Venture technology from 2010. 21 (Dkt. #90.) On November 17, 2010, the Court denied Plaintiffs' request without prejudice. 22 However, the Court indicated that, "[i]f Plaintiffs show that Delta affirmatively contests the 23 feasibility of the technology in the lawsuit . . . the Court may order Delta to produce relevant 24 documents upon a further showing of relevance." (Dkt. #103 at 2.) In the instant joint letter, Delta 25 states that it intends to dispute that it was feasible to incorporate flesh detection technology into the 26 subject saw when it manufactured it in 2004. (Dkt. #108 at 3.) Thus, the key question is whether 27 Plaintiffs have established that documents from 2010 relating to Black & Decker's evaluation of the 28 Joint Venture flesh detection technology are relevant to any of its claims in this case.

dispute concerning Delta's refusal to produce certain documents. (Dkt. #108.) Specifically, 13

For the Northern District of California For the Northern District of California U U Subsequently, in October 2010, Plaintiffs sought to compel Delta to produce all additional

ISTRICT ISTRICT D D 16 TATES TATES S S

table saw users' contact with the spinning blade of table saws." (Id. at 3.) Black & Decker

1 In support of their request, Plaintiffs argue that the documents are relevant because the saw 2 at issue in this case is a benchtop saw and "Plaintiffs' counsel knows from discovery that Black & 3 Decker is developing this technology for use on . . . benchtop saws." (Id. at 2.) Plaintiffs further 4 assert that they "are prepared to show at trial that the technology developed by the Joint Venture was 5 feasible in 2004 and could have been incorporated in a saw reasonably similar to the Subject Saw." 6 (Id.) In particular, Plaintiffs contend that "[t]he 2010 documents . . . are critical to show that flesh 7 detection technology was feasible for the Subject Saw because Black & Decker is now at the critical 8 stage of development." (Id. at 3.) 9 Delta, however, maintains that while it will contest the feasibility of incorporating flesh 10 sensing technology on the subject saw, the documents Plaintiffs seek are irrelevant to the feasibility 11 issue. First, Delta argues that the documents concern a project that Black & Decker began in 2008 12 for future model table saws that are not related in any way to the TS200 model saw at issue here.

COURT COURT 13 ( . at 3-4.) Second, Delta argues that the information in the documents do not relate to the Saw C C ISTRICT ISTRICT D D 16 Venture technology and Plaintiffs have not shown that the later documents concerning Black & Id

For the Northern District of California For the Northern District of California 14 Stop technology that Delta claims is the focus of Plaintiffs' experts' opinions. (Id. at 4.) Finally, 15 Delta asserts that Black & Decker already produced substantial documentation regarding the Joint TATES TATES 17 Decker's testing of the flesh sensing technology have any relevance to assessing whether the Saw S S NITED NITED

18 Stop or other flesh sensing technology was feasible on a TS200 saw made in 2004 by Delta. 19 The Court has carefully considered the parties' arguments and cited authorities, and agrees

20 with Delta. The documents Plaintiffs seek were not drafted by Delta, do not concern the subject 21 saw, and involve technology developed years after Delta manufactured the saw at issue in this case. 22 The Court therefore finds that Plaintiffs have not sufficiently demonstrated that the 2010 documents 23 are relevant to the issue of feasibility. Accordingly, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs' request to compel 24 production of the documents. 25 IT IS SO ORDERED.

U U 28

20110209

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