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Beeman v. Anthem Prescription Management Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

November 17, 2017

Jerry Beeman and Pharmacy Services, Inc., et al.
v.
Anthem Prescription Management, Inc., et al.

          Present: The Honorable KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          CIVIL MINUTES-GENERAL

         Proceedings: Order Granting Defendant's Motion to Compel [Dkt. 492]

         On October 19, 2017, Defendant Argus Health Systems, Inc. (“Defendant”) filed a Motion to Compel Plaintiffs Carrie McCarthy and Rocida, Inc. (“Plaintiffs”) to provide supplemental responses to Interrogatory Nos. 7 and 8 and Request for Production Nos. 26 and 27 (“Motion to Compel”). ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 492. Defendant also seeks its reasonable expenses incurred in bringing the Motion to Compel. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Defendant's Motion to Compel and request for reasonable expenses.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On February 25, 2004, the Complaint in the instant action was filed by the several plaintiffs, owners of retail pharmacies, as a putative class action against numerous defendants alleging (1) violation of Section 2527 of the California Civil Code[1]; (2) unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business acts and practices in violation of Section 17200 of the California Business and Professions Code; and (3) declaratory relief and unjust enrichment. See Dkt. 288 at 2 (Order summarizing Complaint).

         At some point prior to February 2008, [2] Defendant served a set of twenty-six interrogatories on the named plaintiffs “on behalf of all defendants.” Dkt. 493, Joint Stipulation (“JS”), at 13. Defendant also served Interrogatory Nos. 1 through 6 on plaintiffs on its own behalf. Dkt. 492-1, Declaration of Jeremiah Levine (“Levine Decl.”), ¶ 2, Ex. A.

         On February 19, 2008, the plaintiffs served responses to Defendant's Interrogatory Nos. 1 through 6. Id.

         On April 11, 2016, the plaintiffs served a motion to substitute Carrie McCarthy as successor in interest to the named plaintiff Charles Miller, who died on October 12, 2010. Dkt. 393.

         On November 10, 2016, the Court granted the plaintiffs' motion to substitute Ms. McCarthy. Dkt. 455.

         On August 2, 2017, Defendant propounded Interrogatory Nos. 7 and 8, and Requests for Production of Documents on Plaintiffs. JS at 3. On September 18, 2017, Plaintiffs served Responses to Interrogatory Nos. 7 and 8 and the Requests for Production of Documents. Id.

         On September 21, 2017, Defendant's counsel sent Plaintiffs' counsel a letter explaining the deficiencies in Plaintiffs' Responses and requesting to meet and confer. Levine Decl., ¶ 4. Plaintiffs' counsel did not respond to Defendant's counsel's request to meet and confer. Id. Hence, on October 4, 2017, Defendant's counsel served Plaintiffs' counsel with Defendant's portion of the Joint Stipulation in support of the instant Motion to Compel. Id. ¶ 5.

         On October 19, 2017, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Compel with a Joint Stipulation pursuant to Local Rule 37-2. Dkt. 492, Motion; Dkt. 493, JS. On October 19, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a declaration in support of their Opposition to the Motion to Compel. Dkt. 494, Declaration of Michael A. Bowse (“Bowse Decl.”). On October 26, 2017, Defendant filed a supplemental brief in support of the Motion to Compel. Dkt. 496. The matter thus stands submitted.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b) provides that parties may obtain discovery regarding:

any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Relevant information “need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.” Id. A court “must limit the frequency or extent of discovery otherwise allowed” if “(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the action; or (iii) the proposed discovery is outside the scope permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).

         “A party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling an answer, . . . production, or inspection.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B)(iii), (iv). “[A]n evasive or incomplete disclosure, answer, or response must be treated as a failure to disclose, answer or respond.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(4).

         “The party moving to compel bears the burden of demonstrating why the information sought is relevant and why the responding party's objections lack merit.” Bluestone Innovations LLC v. LG Elecs. Inc., No. C-13-01770 SI (EDL), 2013 WL 6354419, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 5, 2013). In addition, “[r]elevancy alone is no longer sufficient to obtain discovery, the discovery requested must also be proportional to the needs of the case.” Centeno v. City of Fresno, No. 1:16-CV-653 DAD SAB, ...


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