United States District Court, C.D. California
Present: The Honorable KENLY KIYA KATO, UNITED STATES
Order Granting In Part Defendant's Motion for Fees and
Costs and for Sanctions for Discovery Abuses [Dkt. 18]
October 17, 2019, Defendant Highland AL-MC GP, LLC as General
Partner of Highland AL-MC Group, Limited Partnership, dba
Brightwater Senior Living of Highland,
(“Defendant”) filed a Motion for Fees and Costs
and for Sanctions for Discovery Abuses (“Motion”)
seeking to recover fees and costs pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 30(g) (“Rule 30(g)”) in the
amount of $6, 329.00 and for fees incurred in bringing the
instant Motion. ECF Docket No. (“Dkt.”) 18. For
the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion is
granted in part.
October 5, 2018, Plaintiff Sandy Santos
(“Plaintiff”) initiated this action by filing a
Complaint for Damages for Disability Discrimination in
Employment, Wrongful Termination, and Related Claims
(“Complaint”) in the San Bernardino County
Superior Court. Dkt. 1, Ex. A. On November 5, 2018, Defendant
filed an Answer. Dkt. 1, Ex. B. On November 7, 2018,
Defendant removed the action to this Court. Dkt. 1.
February 14, 2019, the Court issued a Scheduling Order
setting a discovery cut-off (including hearing of discovery
motions) of September 30, 2019 and trial for February 4,
2020. Dkt. 13.
Friday, September 20, 2019, Plaintiff served a deposition
notice with three subpoenas commanding the appearance of
nonparty witnesses, Taylor Shreve, Melissa Espitia, and
Jennifer Lee, for deposition on September 30, 2019 at
Plaintiff's counsel's office in Los Angeles. Dkt.
18-2, Declaration of Haley Morrison (“Morrison
Decl.”), ¶ 2, Ex. 1; Dkt. 22-1, Declaration of
Zach McCort (“McCort Decl.”), ¶ 4.
September 24, 2019, Plaintiff's counsel's litigation
assistant, Zach McCort, confirmed with the messenger service
that “service of deponents was proceeding.”
McCort Decl., ¶ 4, Ex. 3.
Friday, September 27, 2019, McCort emailed Defendant's
counsel to see if there were any “updates”
regarding the depositions. Morrison Decl., ¶ 6, Ex. 4.
Defendant's counsel responded that she “plan[ned]
to be there Monday” and requested to be notified as
soon as possible if “the deponents (or any one of them)
does not plan to attend . . . so that I can adjust my travel
Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 7:01 p.m., while
Defendant's counsel was en route to Los Angeles from her
office in Portland, Oregon, McCort sent an email stating,
“We have not as of yet confirmed service of deponents.
I will keep you updated ..... ” Morrison Decl., ¶
7, Ex. 4; McCort Decl., ¶ 8. Defendant's counsel
promptly responded that she was en route to Los Angeles and
“did not understand that service had not even been
perfected; I thought you just didn't know whether they
are planning to attend.” Morrison Decl., ¶ 7, Ex.
Monday morning, September 30, 2019, Plaintiff's counsel
received confirmation from the messenger service that Ms. Lee
had been served at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 29, 2019.
McCort Decl., ¶ 10, Ex. 9.
Monday, September 30, 2019, when Defendant's counsel
arrived at Plaintiffs' counsel's office for the
depositions, she was informed that Ms. Lee had been served,
but did not intend to appear. Morrison Decl., ¶ 9.
Plaintiff's counsel then arrived and explained that
service had not been perfected on the other two witnesses and
no depositions would go forward that day. Id.
Plaintiff's counsel told Defendant's counsel,
“if I had known the preceding Friday that none of the
deponents had been served, I would have told [Defendant's
counsel].” Dkt. 22-1 at 6-7, Declaration of Geoffrey
Lyon (“Lyon Decl.”), ¶ 2. Defendant's
counsel rescheduled her return travel and flew back to
Portland that afternoon. Morrison Decl., ¶ 10.
October 1, 9, and 11, 2019, Defendant's counsel sent
Plaintiff's counsel emails attempting to meet and confer
regarding reimbursing her for the expense of traveling to the
depositions. Morrison Decl., ¶¶ 11-13, Exs. 6, 7.
October 17, 2019, Defendant filed the instant Motion. Dkt.
18. On October 31, 2019, Plaintiff filed an Opposition. Dkt.
22. On November 6, 2019, Defendant filed a ...