Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Martin F. Rooney, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. Sierra Pacific Windows

June 1, 2011

MARTIN F. ROONEY, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SIERRA PACIFIC WINDOWS,
A DIVISION OF SIERRA PACIFIC INDUSTRIES, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lucy H. Koh United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SANCTIONS; CONTINUING BRIEFING AND HEARING OF MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION

Plaintiff Martin F. Rooney has moved for evidentiary sanctions against Defendant Sierra Pacific Windows based on Defendant's alleged failure to obey a discovery order. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds that this motion is appropriate for determination without oral 20 argument and vacates the motion hearing scheduled for June 2, 2011. Having carefully considered 21 the submissions of the parties and the relevant law, the Court denies Plaintiff's motion for 22 sanctions. However, in order to minimize any prejudice to Plaintiff caused by Defendant's delay in 23 document production, the Court will continue the hearing and briefing schedule for Plaintiff's 24 motion for class certification, as set forth below.

I.Background

Plaintiff Martin F. Rooney filed a class action complaint on March 3, 2010. The Complaint alleged that Defendant Sierra Pacific Windows "unilaterally, retroactively and without notification changed the duration of the warranty" on its windows "such that purchasers whose windows failed 2 after ten years from the date of purchase" were required to pay additional amounts for window 3 replacements or repairs. Compl. ¶ 1. Apparently based on Defendant's initial disclosures and 4 responses to discovery, Plaintiff determined that Defendant had not actually changed its warranty, 5 but rather the time-limited warranty had been in place at the time that Plaintiff purchased his 6 windows. See Joint Case Management Statement ("JCMS") at 2-3, 5, Oct. 29, 2010, ECF No. 27.

Thus, on December 2, 2010, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), which alleged 8 that Defendant failed to adequately convey its written warranty to its customers prior to sale of its 9 window products. FAC ¶ 2, ECF No. 31. The FAC added a new claim for violations of the March 16, 2011, at which the parties raised a number of discovery disputes. Prior to the CMC, Defendant's failure to timely respond to discovery propounded by Plaintiff. See Decl. of Andrew Plaintiff's counsel submitted a timeline which indicated that Plaintiff had served a first set of 18 requests for documents and a first set of special interrogatories on August 20, 2010. Id. Ex. A.

Based on this submission, it appeared that Defendant had not timely responded to the August 20 20 discovery requests, and it was unclear whether Defendant had responded at all.*fn1 Accordingly, at 21 the CMC the Court expressed disappointment at both Defendant's failure to respond to discovery 22 requests and Plaintiff's failure to take appropriate action, such as filing a motion to compel, to 23 ensure that discovery progressed in a timely fashion. The Court advised Plaintiff that if Defendant 24 engaged in further delay or obfuscation, Plaintiff should file a motion for sanctions. The Court Magnusson-Moss Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2301 et seq., which requires full and conspicuous disclosure of the terms and conditions of a written warranty, see 15 U.S.C. § 2302(a).

Relevant to this motion, the Court held a Case Management Conference ("CMC") on Plaintiff's counsel filed a declaration in which he claimed that the delay in the case was due to

A. August in Supp. of JCMS ("August JCMS Decl."), ECF No. 38. With his declaration, then discussed what discovery would be needed for the upcoming mediation, and the parties agreed 2 upon a timeline for producing this discovery. Following the CMC, the Court issued an order that 3 required Defendants to produce discovery as follows:

(1) By March 30, 2011, Defendant shall provide discovery regarding the consumers who paid for window repairs or replacement from 2006 forward and the amounts paid;

(2) By April 20, 2011, Defendant shall provide discovery regarding the consumers who paid for window repairs or replacement from 2000-2006 and the amounts paid.

Minute Order and Case Management Order, Mar. 16, 2011, ECF No. 39. The Court's 9 understanding was that the parties needed the aggregate numbers for each of the above categories 10 for mediation.

On March 30, 2011, Defendant served Plaintiff with interrogatory responses that provided the number of consumers who paid for window repairs or replacement, and the total amount paid, 13 between March 3, 2006, and December 31, 2010. Decl. of Meghan M. Baker in Supp. of Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Sanctions ("Baker Decl.") at 4-5, Ex. Z, ECF No. 55. On April 20, 2011, Defendant 15 served Plaintiff with interrogatory responses providing the same information for the period 16 between December 16, 2002, and March 2, 2006. Id. Ex. AA at 4, 6. Defendant claims that it does 17 not have information in its Customer Service Database relating to warranty service provided prior 18 to December 16, 2002.

It seems that Defendant believed that its interrogatory responses were sufficient to comply with the Court's discovery order, while Plaintiff believed that the Court's order required Defendant 21 to produce all documents regarding consumer repairs or replacements and the amounts paid.

During the months of March and April, the parties continued to meet and confer regarding this 23 dispute, as well as the timing of other discovery requested by Plaintiff. Eventually the parties filed 24 a "Stipulation Regarding the Production of Documents and Information to Plaintiff," which the Court approved. Pursuant to parties' stipulation, Defendant agreed to begin a rolling production of 26 certain documents agreed upon by the parties on April 20, 2011, and to complete production, 27 barring any unforeseen difficulties, by May 2, 2011. See Stipulation Regarding the Production of Documents and Information to Plaintiff at 3, ECF No. 42. The parties dispute what was meant by "rolling production," and it appears that Defendant encountered some difficulty because the search 3 terms it used generated a greater volume of documents than expected. Ultimately, Defendant 4 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.