United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER EXCLUDING EVIDENCE AND VACATING HEARING RE:
DKT. NO. 54
PHYLLIS J. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the court is Akima Infrastructure Services, LLC and Akima,
LLC's (together, “Akima”) motion for
Evidentiary Sanctions, or in the Alternative, Motion to
Modify the Scheduling Order. Dkt. 54. The matter is fully
briefed and suitable for decision without oral argument.
Accordingly, the hearing set for October 23, 2019 is VACATED.
Having read the parties' papers and carefully considered
their arguments and the relevant legal authority, and good
cause appearing, the court hereby GRANTS the motion for
evidentiary sanctions, as follows.
17, 2016, plaintiff Sarah Rodriguez filed this action in the
Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. Dkt. 1 at
ECF p. 21 (“Compl.”). On June 27, 2016, Akima
removed the action to this court. Dkt. 1. The complaint
asserts three causes of action: (1) a claim under the federal
Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2601, et
seq. ("FMLA"); (2) a claim under the California
Family Rights Act, Cal. Lab. Code § 12945.2; and (3) a
claim alleging wrongful termination.
complaint alleges that plaintiff was employed by defendants
as a recruiter from approximately October 7, 2014, until her
termination on approximately October 23, 2015. Compl. ¶
6. She alleges that she requested a leave of absence from
work due to the impending birth of twins, she gave birth, and
she was subsequently granted and took a leave of absence.
Id. ¶¶ 9-12. Plaintiff alleges that while
she was on her approved leave of absence, defendants
discharged her from employment. Id. ¶ 13.
discovery was originally scheduled to end on February 24,
2017. Dkt. 20. The parties stipulated to extend that deadline
to March 24, 2017. Dkts. 24-25. Defendants moved for summary
judgment on April 7, 2017, following the close of fact
discovery. Dkt. 32.
19, 2017, this court granted defendants' motion for
summary judgment. See Dkts. 37-38. Plaintiff
appealed the order, and the Ninth Circuit found that “a
genuine dispute of material fact exists regarding whether
Akima replaced her [plaintiff] while she was on leave under
the” FMLA. Dkt. 42 at 2. The Ninth Circuit accordingly
reversed this court's order granting defendants'
motion for summary judgment, and it remanded the action.
Id. The Ninth Circuit's mandate issued on
January 31, 2019. Dkt. 43.
February 21, 2019, this court conducted a case management
conference with the parties. See Dkt. 46 (minute
entry). At that conference, the parties informed the court
that all fact discovery had been completed, although
defendant may need to supplement. Id. The court set
deadlines for expert discovery and scheduled trial to begin
on December 9, 2019. Id.; see also Dkt. 47
(case management and pretrial order). Fact discovery remained
April 22, 2019, plaintiff produced for the first time certain
emails and related documents. See Iskander Decl.,
Dkt. 54-1 ¶ 6 & Ex. C. On September 3, 2019, in
response to plaintiff's production of records after the
close of discovery, defendants filed the present motion for
evidentiary sanctions to exclude those materials. Dkt. 54.
Rule of Civil Procedure 26 (“Rule 26”) requires,
“[e]xcept as exempted by Rule 26(a)(1)(B) or as
otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, ” that
“a party must, without awaiting a discovery request,
provide to the other parties . . . . a copy-or a description
by category and location-of all documents, electronically
stored information, and tangible things that the disclosing
party has in its possession, custody, or control and may use
to support its claims or defenses, unless the use would be
solely for impeachment[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(e) requires a party to “supplement or correct its
[Rule 26(a)] disclosure . . . in a timely manner if the party
learns that in some material respect the disclosure or
response is incomplete or incorrect, and if the additional or
corrective information has not otherwise been made known to
the other parties during the discovery process or in
writing[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(e)(1)(A).
with Rule 26's disclosure requirements is
‘mandatory.'” Ollier v. Sweetwater Union
High Sch. Dist., 768 F.3d 843, 863 (9th Cir. 2014)