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Wellens v. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

United States District Court, Northern District of California

December 29, 2014

SARA WELLENS, Plaintiffs,
v.
DAIICHI SANKYO INC, Defendants.

ORDER RE: JOINT DISCOVERY LETTER [DOCKET NO. 146]

DONNA M. RYU, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

Before the court is a joint discovery letter filed by Plaintiffs and Defendant Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. [Docket No. 146.] At issue are four interrogatories that Defendant seeks to serve on 213 opt-in Plaintiffs. The court held a hearing on the letter on December 18, 2014. This summarizes the rulings made by the court during the hearing.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Factual Allegations

Defendant manufactures and sells cardiovascular, diabetes, and metastatic melanoma therapies and pharmaceuticals. Compl. [Docket No. 1] at ¶ 1. Plaintiffs are current and former female sales employees of Defendant. Id. at ¶¶ 14-19. Plaintiffs bring class and collective claims alleging violations of Title VII, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Equal Pay Act, the California Equal Pay Act, and the California Unfair Business Practices Act, in their individual capacities, and on behalf of certain current, former, and future female sales employees of Defendant. See generally Compl.

B. Procedural History

There are six named Plaintiffs in this lawsuit. On May 22, 2014, Judge Orrick granted conditional class certification. [Docket No. 126.] Notice of the lawsuit was then sent to 1, 390 female employees of Defendant. Of those, 209 filed consent forms to opt-in to the lawsuit as Plaintiffs. In addition, 33 individuals opted in to the lawsuit before the notice went out.

Thus, there are a total of 248 Plaintiffs.

C. Discovery Dispute

The parties have agreed that Defendant may take depositions of the six named Plaintiffs as well as 25 opt-in Plaintiffs. Of these 25 opt-in Plaintiffs, twelve deponents will be chosen by Plaintiffs.

However, the parties do not agree on the number of Plaintiffs from whom Defendants may seek written discovery. Specifically, Defendant seeks responses for four interrogatories[1] from the 213 opt-in Plaintiffs who did not submit declarations in support of Plaintiff s motion for conditional class certification.[2] Plaintiffs propose that Defendant be permitted to take written discovery from only 40 opt-in Plaintiffs (i.e., the 25 opt-in Plaintiffs that Defendants will be permitted to depose, plus 15 additional randomly selected opt-in Plaintiffs).

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 provides that a party may obtain discovery "regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). "Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). "Relevancy, for the purposes of discovery, is defined broadly, although it is not without ultimate and necessary boundaries." Gonzales v. Google, Inc., 234 F.R.D. 674, 679-80 (N.D. Cal. 2006). "District courts have broad discretion to control the class certification process, and whether or not ...


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