Ferguson et al v. Army Fleet Support, LLC et al
ORDER denying 152 Motion to Quash; further ORDERING that the deposition of Rohn Olson shall be by telephone, and shall not exceed two hours, as further set out in order. Signed by Honorable Judge Charles S. Coody on 9/2/11. (djy, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
STEVEN D. FERGUSON, and
SHIRLEY A. FERGUSON,
BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON INC.,
CIVIL ACT. NO. 1:09cv635-MHT
Now pending before the court is the defendant’s motion to quash (doc. # 152) filed
on August 23, 2011. The defendant seeks to quash the deposition notice issued by the
plaintiffs to deponent Rohn Olson. According to Bell Helicopter, because deponent Rohn
Olson has been deposed as the FED.R.CIV.P. 30(b)(6) representative for Bell Helicopter
Textron, Inc., the plaintiffs cannot redepose Olson without leave of the court pursuant to
Bell Helicopter asserts that deposing Olson further is
duplicative, burdensome and unreasonable.1 The court heard oral argument on the motion
on August 31, 2011. For the reasons that follow, the motion to quash is due to be denied.
It is undisputed that on August 9, 2011, the defendant tendered Rohn Olson for
deposition as its Rule 30(b)(6) corporate representative. Thereafter, the plaintiffs noticed
Bell Helicopter also objected to the notice as untimely; the plaintiffs gave four (4) days
notice for the deposition. While the notice was untimely, that problem was cured when the court
stayed the deposition.
Olson’s deposition in his individual capacity as a fact witness. The defendant objects to
“subjecting” Olson to another deposition because Olson was “examined extensively” on the
very topics on which the plaintiffs are seeking to redepose him.
A deposition pursuant to Rule 30(b)(6) is substantially different from a
witness’s deposition as an individual. A 30(b)(6) witness testifies as a
representative of the entity, his answers bind the entity and he is responsible
for providing all the relevant information known or reasonably available to the
entity . . . Moreover, if the persons designated by the corporation do not
possess personal knowledge of the matters set out in the deposition notice, the
corporation is obligated to prepare the designees so that they may give
knowledgeable and binding answers for the corporation. Thus, the duty to
present and prepare a Rule 30(b)(6) designee goes beyond matters personally
known to that designee or to matters in which that designee was personally
involved. . . . In other words, “[U]nder the law, a corporate entity is distinct
from individuals who control or manage the corporation.”
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Winn-Dixie, Inc., 2010 WL 2202520 (S.D.
Ala. 2010) (No. CA 09-0643-C) (citations omitted, alterations in the original). See also
DHL Express (USA), Inc., v. Express Save Indus., Inc., 2009 WL 3418148 (S.D. Fla. 2009)
(No. 09-60276-CIV); Provide Commerce, Inc. v. Preferred Commerce, Inc., 2008 WL
360588 (S.D. Fla. 2008) (No. 07-80185 CIV.)
The court concludes that Olson’s deposition as the corporate representative for Bell
Helicopter does not preclude his subsequent deposition in his individual capacity as a fact
witness. Accordingly, for the reasons as stated in this opinion and in open court, and based
on representations of counsel, it is
ORDERED that the motion to quash (doc. # 152) be and is hereby DENIED. It is
ORDERED that the deposition of Rohn Olson shall be by telephone, and shall not
exceed two hours.
Done this 2nd day of September 2011.
/s/Charles S. Coody
CHARLES S. COODY
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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