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City of San Diego v. National Steel & Shipbuilding Co.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

November 7, 2013

CITY OF SAN DIEGO, Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONAL STEEL & SHIPBUILDING COMPANY; NATIONAL STEEL & SHIPBUILDING CORPORATION; NATIONAL IRON WORKS; MARTINOLICH SHIP BUILDING COMPANY; SOUTHWEST MARINE, INC.; BAE SYSTEMS SAN DIEGO SHIP REPAIR, INC.; SAN DIEGO MARINE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY; STAR AND CRESCENT BOAT COMPANY, a division of SAN DIEGO MARINE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY; STAR AND CRESCENT BOAT COMPANY; STAR AND CRESCENT INVESTMENT COMPANY; STAR AND CRESCENT FERRY COMPANY; SAN DIEGO MARINE CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION; MCCSD; CAMPBELL INDUSTRIES; SAN DIEGO GAS & ELECTRIC; UNITED STATES NAVY; SAN DIEGO UNIFIED PORT DISTRICT; and DOES 1-100, inclusive, Defendants. AND RELATED CROSS-ACTIONS AND COUNTERCLAIMS

ORDER

WILLIAM Q. HAYES, District Judge.

The matters before the Court are the Objections to Magistrate's July 19, 2013 Case Management Conference Order Regulating Phase I(B) and Phase II Discovery filed by Plaintiff City of San Diego ("Objections"). (ECF No. 292).

I. Background

On October 14, 2009, Plaintiff City of San Diego initiated this action by filing a Complaint alleging that Defendants are "Dischargers' or Persons Responsible' for alleged environmental contamination at the property known as the Shipyard Sediment Site' by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Diego Region... in Tentative Clean Up & Abatement Order No. R9-2005-0126...." (ECF No. 1 at 5). Plaintiff contends that Defendants are "jointly and severally responsible for alleged property damage...." Id. Defendants have filed counterclaims against the Plaintiff, cross-claims against each other, and supplemental cross-claims.

On July 15, 2010, the Magistrate Judge issued an order adopting a phased discovery plan proposed by the parties. (ECF No. 125). Phase I discovery was limited to certain categories of information, and was divided into three segments:

• Phase I(a), a seven-month phase during which each party served limited initial disclosures and was permitted to issue Interrogatories, Requests for Admission, Requests for Production of Documents and Things.'
• Phase I(b), fact depositions limited to the topics addressed in Phase I.
• and Phase I(c), court-ordered mediation during which no discovery would take place.

Id. at 3-5. Phase I(c) mediation began in May 2011, and continued through June 2013. On June 24, 25, and 26, 2013, the parties attended a Mandatory Settlement Conference with the Magistrate Judge. (ECF No. 279). A settlement was not reached, and the Magistrate Judge scheduled a Case Management Conference to address the timing and scope of Phase II of discovery. On June 27, 2013, the Magistrate Judge ordered the parties to submit a joint discovery plan for Phase II of discovery. (ECF No. 280 at 2).

The parties were unable to agree on a joint discovery plan for Phase II of discovery. Plaintiff, Defendant San Diego Unified Port District, Defendant Campbell Industries, and Defendant Star & Crescent Boat Company jointly requested a discovery schedule that allowed for fourteen months to complete fact discovery, the opportunity to serve 100 Interrogatories, 100 Requests for Admission, and 100 Requests for Production of Documents, 20 fact witness depositions per party, and the opportunity to obtain subpoenas. (ECF No. 284). Defendant National Steel & Shipbuilding Company ("NASSCO") and Defendant BAE Systems jointly requested a discovery schedule that allowed for four months to complete fact discovery, limiting depositions to 10 per party (including third party depositions), and permitting 50 Interrogatories, 50 Requests for Production of Documents, and 50 Requests for Admission per party. Id. at 26-41.

On July 19, 2013, the Magistrate Judge issued a Case Management Conference Order regulating Phase I(b) and Phase II of discovery ("July 19, 2013 Order"). (ECF No. 290). The Order allowed for four months to complete fact discovery (from August 23, 2013 through December 23, 2013). Id. at 2. The Order limited each party to 50 Interrogatories, 50 Requests for Production of Documents and Things, and 50 Requests for Admission. Id. at 3. The Order limited each party to a total of 10 non-expert depositions. Id.

On August 2, 2013, Plaintiff filed Objections to the Magistrate Judge's July 19, 2013 Case Management Conference Order, requesting that this Court "expand the scope of Phase II fact discovery." (ECF No. 292 at 26).

On August 13, 2013, Defendant Star & Crescent Boat Company filed a Notice of Non-Objection to the Magistrate Judge's July 19, 2013 Order.[1] (ECF No. 294).

On August 20, 2013, Defendant San Diego Gas & Electric Company ("SDG&E") filed a Response to Plaintiff's Objections, requesting that the Objections be overruled. (ECF No. 297). On August 20, 2013, Defendants BAE Systems and NASSCO jointly filed an Opposition to Plaintiff's Objections. (ECF No. 296). On ...


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