United States District Court, E.D. California
JOANN MARTINELLI, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
JOHNSON & JOHNSON and McNEIL NUTRITIONALS, LLC, Defendants.
F. BRENNAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter was before the court on June 22, 2016, for hearing on
plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery. Attorney Annick
Persigner appeared on behalf of the plaintiff and attorneys
Ronie Schmelz and Amanda Villalobos appeared on behalf of the
defendants. Oral argument was heard and the court ordered the
parties to submit supplemental briefing. ECF No. 35. On July
1, 2016, defendants filed their supplemental opposition. ECF
No. 39. On July 8, 2016, plaintiff filed a supplemental
response. ECF No. 40.
to the June 15, 2016 updated joint statement, ECF No. 34, the
parties’ disputes are as follows.
Plaintiff’s RFP No. 4
motion to compel seeks discovery “dating back to
mid-2008.” ECF No. 34 at 9. Defendants, however,
“object to producing information that is beyond the
appropriate statute of limitations applicable to
Plaintiff’s state law claims.” Id. at
12. Specifically, defendants contend that the statute of
limitations for plaintiff’s claims extends only to 2011
and object to producing discovery for periods prior to that.
Id. at 9. Defendants add that they “presently
intend to file a motion pursuant to Rule 12(c) . . . seeking
an order that defines the appropriate temporal scope of the
putative class Plaintiff seeks to represent.”
Id. at 12. However, they have not filed a motion
pursuant to Rule 12(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure nor has the court issued an order setting a
temporal limitation on the scope of the putative
class. To the contrary, on March 7, 2016, the
assigned District Judge issued a Scheduling Order, permitting
the parties to proceed with discovery of “facts that
are relevant to whether this action should be certified as a
class action . . . .” ECF No. 25 at 2.
regard, the court finds defendants’ argument
unpersuasive and orders defendants to respond to
plaintiff’s request for production of documents number
Plaintiff’s RFP Nos. 10, 12, 13, 24, and 36
numbers 10, 12, 13, 24, and 36 are characterized as
concerning “consumer research and marketing.” ECF
No. 34 at 13. Plaintiff argues that the information sought by
these requests is “relevant to class certification
because Plaintiff must demonstrate that each element of each
claim can be proven with evidence common to the class.”
Id. Many of these requests, however, seek discovery
beyond the complaint’s allegations concerning Benecol
Spreads’ claims of “No Trans Fats, ” and
“No Trans Fatty Acids.” ECF No. 1 at 2.
request number 10, plaintiff seeks:
ALL DOCUMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING consumer feedback
regarding the BENECOL SPREADS made within the CLASS PERIOD,
including but not limited to the number and nature of
consumer complaints and the complaints themselves.
ECF No. 34 at 33.
number 12, plaintiff seeks:
ALL DOCUMENTS and COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING YOUR consumer
research regarding the BENECOL SPREADS, including but not
limited to e-mails, surveys, and correspondence with