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Robert Watts, On Behalf of Himself Individually and All v. Allstate Indemnity Company

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


March 16, 2011

ROBERT WATTS, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF INDIVIDUALLY AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALLSTATE INDEMNITY COMPANY, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, ALLSTATE PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Defendants Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Insurance Company and Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company's ("Allstate" or "defendants") Motion to Compel Supplemental Rule 26(a) Initial Disclosures (the "Motion") from plaintiff Robert Watts was set to be heard on March 3, 2011. (Motion, Dkt. No. 184.)

The undersigned vacated the March 3, 2011 hearing date, and issued an Order to Show Cause ("OSC") asking defendants to address the fact that the Motion appeared to present a dispute squarely pertaining to non-expert, class discovery, even though the January 29, 2011 deadline for completion of such class discovery has passed. (OSC, Dkt. No. 186.)

In response to the OSC, defendants filed a written statement on March 8, 2011, explaining that the Motion "seeks documents that bear on both class issues and the merits of Plaintiff's claims and request for relief, including 'all documents identified in Plaintiff's Rule 26 disclosures' and 'all documents supporting Plaintiff's claims.'" (Dkt. No. 187 at 2 (emphasis added).) This clarification is helpful, given that the Motion itself purports to seek "an order requiring Plaintiff to produce, or identify by category and location, any documents he intends to use in connection with the class certification phase of this proceeding." (Joint Statement at 1-2, 5-6 (emphasis added).) Defendants' clarification in response to the OSC confirms that they intend their Motion to broadly encompass discovery regarding the merits of plaintiff's claims. Accordingly, the Motion is not barred by the class discovery cutoff. (Dkt. No. 187 at 2 (emphasis added).) The undersigned finds that defendants have shown cause why their Motion does not require such modification to the Scheduling Order.

For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. The show cause order is HEREBY discharged as to defendants; and

2. Defendants' Motion to Compel Supplemental Rule 26(a) Initial Disclosures from plaintiff (Motion, Dkt. No. 184) is hereby set to be heard on the undersigned's law and motion calendar at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2011.

20110316

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