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

October 19, 2012

ROBERT WATTS, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF INDIVIDUALLY AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALLSTATE INDEMNITY COMPANY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

ORDER

Presently before this court is plaintiff Robert Watts' ("plaintiff") "Motion To Compel Further Responses To Plaintiff's Request For Production Of Documents From Plaintiff's Second Amended Notice Of Videotaped Deposition Of Person(s) Most Knowledgeable (July 18, 2012)" ("Motion to Compel"). (Mot. to Compel, Dkt. No. 326). Plaintiff filed the Motion to Compel on September 11, 2012. (Id.) Defendants Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Insurance Company and Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company's ("Allstate" or "defendants") and plaintiff filed a Joint Statement Re: Discovery Dispute on October 11, 2012. (Joint Statement, Dkt. No. 355.) The parties dispute plaintiff's entitlement to documents requested in connection with Mr. Finley's deposition, namely "Allstate's NextGen Entity Attribute Report" and "Allstate's D-710 Report." (Id.) Plaintiff argues that these documents are "data dictionaries" in electronic form that organize data related to Allstate's processing of insurance claims, including claims implicating seatbelts. (Id. at 3-5.)

The matter came on for hearing on October 18, 2012. Attorney Wendy York attended on behalf of the plaintiff. Attorney Mark Hanover attended on behalf of the defendants. The undersigned has considered the briefs, oral arguments, and the appropriate portions of the record in this case and, for the reasons stated below, denies the motion.

The Motion to Compel was filed after the January 29, 2011 deadline for completion of non-expert, class discovery stated within the district judge's Scheduling Order, and accordingly it is denied.

I. BACKGROUND

The parties do not dispute that Judge Karlton's Scheduling Order gives a discovery cutoff date of January 29, 2011. (Joint Statement at 16-17.) By way of background, Judge Karlton previously extended the discovery cutoff date in this case, but no party argues that Judge Karlton extended it beyond January 29, 2011.*fn1 (Id.)

The Joint Statement, declarations in support thereof, and the court's electronic docket, reflect this case's recent stop-and-start history. Because plaintiff suggests that the recent history partially explains the timing of the pending motion, the undersigned summarizes the relevant events here.

On January 11, 2011, plaintiff issued a deposition notice for defendant's person(s) most knowledgeable pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) and attached a document request thereto. (Exh. C to Declaration of Wendy York ("York Decl."), Dkt. No. 356). On January 21, 2011, the parties stipulated to depose person most knowledgeable Michael Finley sometime after the class discovery cutoff of January 29, 2011. (Exhs. D-E to Declaration of Mark Hanover ("Hanover Decl."), Dkt. No. 358-2.) The discovery deadline of January 29, 2011, came and went.

On April 8, 2011, defendants filed their motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 201.) On April 25, 2011, plaintiff filed his opposition thereto. (Dkt. No. 238.) On May 12, 2011, Judge Karlton granted defendants' motion for summary judgment, and this case was closed. (Dkt. Nos. 255-56.)

On June 9, 2011, plaintiff moved for reconsideration of the order granting summary judgment and for a new trial. (Dkt. Nos. 260, 266.) On March 30, 2012, Judge Karlton partially granted plaintiff's motions and reopened the case. (Dkt. No. 290.) Judge Karlton did not reopen discovery. On June 13, 2012, Judge Karlton set a briefing schedule for plaintiff's class certification motion with plaintiff's class certification motion to be filed on August 27, 2012. (Dkt. No. 308.) Again, Judge Karlton did not reopen discovery.

On June 8, 2012, the day after the case was reopened, plaintiff's counsel met and conferred with defendants' counsel and requested that the deposition of Michael Finley proceed in accordance with the parties' stipulation of January 2011. (Exhs. F-G to Declaration of Mark Hanover ("Hanover Decl."), Dkt. No. 358-2.) Defendants ultimately produced Mr. Finley for deposition, and plaintiff now moves to compel production of various documents requested in Mr. Finley's deposition notice.

II. DISCUSSION

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(4) provides, "A schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the judge's consent." Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4) (emphasis added).

Here, it is undisputed that the parties did not obtain Judge Karlton's "consent" to extend the discovery deadline, either for discovery generally or for the limited purpose of deposing Michael Finley and ...


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