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Edu-Science (USA) Inc. v. Intubrite, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. California

June 17, 2015

EDU-SCIENCE (USA) INC., Plaintiff,
v.
INTUBRITE, LLC, Defendant.

ORDER: (1) DENYING INTUBRITE'S MOTION TO QUASH SUBPOENA; AND (2) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART EDU-USA'S MOTION TO COMPEL [ECF Nos. 121, 122]

JILL L. BURKHARDT, District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Defendant IntuBrite's ("IntuBrite") Motion to Quash Subpoena (ECF No. 121), and Plaintiff Edu-Science's ("Edu-USA") Motion to Compel Production of Documents (ECF No. 122). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Quash Subpoena is DENIED and the Motion to Compel is GRANTED in part and

DENIED in part.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 16, 2013, Edu-USA sued IntuBrite for breach of contract. (ECF No. 2.) In its First Amended Complaint, Edu-USA alleges that IntuBrite breached its contract to purchase custom-manufactured instruments for tracheal intubation from Edu-USA. (ECF No. 97 at 5.) According to Edu-USA, although IntuBrite paid for some of the product, IntuBrite did not fulfill its obligations under the contracts. (Id. )

IntuBrite, in its First Amended Counterclaim, alleges that the products delivered were defective and untimely. (ECF No. 99.) IntuBrite further claims it paid fully for the products it actually received. (Id. at 5.) IntuBrite asserts seven claims against Edu-USA and Counter Defendant Edu-Science (HK) LTD ("Edu-HK"): (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the implied warranty of merchantability; (3) negligence; (4) intentional interference with prospective economic advantage; (5) negligent interference with prospective economic advantage; (6) intentional misrepresentation of fact; and (7) negligent misrepresentation of fact. (ECF No. 99.)

Edu-HK, in its Third Amended Cross-Complaint, asserted three claims against IntuBrite and Cross Defendant Robert Hicks: (1) intentional misrepresentation; (2) fraudulent non-disclosure; and (3) negligent misrepresentation. (ECF No. 98.) On March 10, 2015, Edu-HK's Third Amended Cross-Complaint was dismissed without prejudice for failure to properly allege falsity. (ECF No. 118 at 5.)

On March 23, 2015, this Court issued a Minute Order setting a briefing schedule for cross-motions to resolve the parties' pending discovery disputes. (ECF No. 120.) On March 27, 2015, Edu-USA filed a Motion to Compel Production of Documents and IntuBrite filed a Motion to Quash Subpoena. (ECF Nos. 122, 121.)

II. THE INSANT MOTIONS

A. Motion to Compel

Edu-USA's Motion seeks a Court order compelling IntuBrite to produce documents responsive to six Requests for Production ("RFPs"): 135; 136; 139; and 140-142. (ECF No. 122-1.) The RFPs can be organized into three categories. RFP No. 135 seeks financial statements. (Id. at 4.) RFP Nos. 136 and 140-142 seek sales projections and sales forecasts.[1] (Id. at 5-6.) And RFP No. 139 seeks customer lists. (Id. at 6.) Edu-USA argues that these requests seek relevant information and that such discovery is necessary to allow it to rebut IntuBrite's counterclaims for damage to customer relationships and lost future profits. (Id. at 5.) Furthermore, such discovery is necessary to allow Edu-USA to "fully and completely respond to and cross-examine IntuBrite's expert testimony [regarding] damages." (Id. at 4.)

IntuBrite argues that the documents sought are irrelevant and that the requests violate IntuBrite's right of privacy. (ECF No. 123 at 2-5.) "While the privilege that protects financial and proprietary information is not absolute, where there is no doubt that the information requested implicates traditional notions of what is private information, the burden is on the requesting party to demonstrate that the information needs of the case outweigh the need for non-disclosure." (Id. at 5 (citing Davis v. Leal, 43 F.Supp.2d 1102, 1110 (E.D. Cal. 1999).) IntuBrite argues that Edu-USA fails to meet this burden. (ECF No. 123 at 5.)

B. Motion to Quash

IntuBrite moves to quash Edu-USA's Subpoena that requests, "without limitation of any kind, all IntuBrite's financial records from... third party [Moss Adams LLP]." (ECF No. 121 at 1.) The subpoena requests "[a]ll documents, financial records, financial documents and financial statements relating to or pertaining to IntuBrite, LLC." (Id. (citing Exhibit 1).) IntuBrite objects on the grounds that the subpoena: (1) seeks irrelevant information; and (2) violates IntuBrite's right to privacy. (Id. at 2-5.)

Edu-USA argues that the documents sought are relevant to the claims and counterclaims in the instant action and that IntuBrite's privacy concerns do not outweigh Edu-USA's interest in ...


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