In Re Meta Pixel Healthcare Litigation

Filing 379

REDACTED ORDER by Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi re #323 Plaintiffs' Rule 37 Motion for Sanctions. (vkdlc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/13/2023)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 IN RE META PIXEL HEALTHCARE LITIGATION 7 REDACTED VERSION 8 9 This Document Relates To: 10 All Actions. ORDER RE PLAINTIFFS’ RULE 37 MOTION FOR SANCTIONS Re: Dkt. No. 323 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 22-cv-03580-WHO (VKD) 12 Plaintiffs move for sanctions against defendant Meta Platforms, Inc. (“Meta”) on the 13 14 ground that Meta failed to comply with this Court’s prior discovery order regarding plaintiffs’ 15 Requests for Production (“RFPs”) Nos. 5-7. Dkt. No. 323; see Dkt. No. 275. Meta opposes the 16 motion, contending that it has fully complied. Dkt. No. 349. The Court held a hearing on this 17 matter on November 7, 2023. Dkt. No. 374. 18 For the reasons explained below, the Court concludes that Meta has completed its 19 production of documents responsive to RFP 5, but has not completed its production of documents 20 responsive to RFPs 6 and 7. The Court orders Meta to complete its production of documents 21 responsive to RFPs 6 and 7, as set out below. The Court does not impose sanctions under Rule 37 22 or otherwise. 23 I. 24 BACKGROUND At issue are plaintiffs’ RFPs 5-7. Dkt. No. 324-1 at ECF 3. In connection with a prior 25 discovery dispute concerning these same requests, Meta agreed to produce responsive documents 26 by June 30, 2023. See Dkt. No. 247 at 3, 4. The Court ordered Meta to produce responsive 27 documents by June 30, 2023. Dkt. No. 275. 28 Plaintiffs contend that, in violation of this Court’s order, Meta failed to produce documents 1 2 responsive to RFPs 5-7. Plaintiffs seek an order requiring Meta to produce documents 3 “concerning” several purported data sources as well as Meta’s Filter; the fields within each such 4 data source; and “[c]orresponding data flow, including through Meta’s backend systems such as 5 Hive and the list [of purported data sources].” Dkt. No. 323 at 22-23. Meta responds that 6 plaintiffs demand the production of documents that are outside the scope of RFPs 5-7, and insists 7 that it has already produced documents responsive to these request, in full compliance with the 8 Court’s prior order. Dkt. No. 349 at 1. 9 II. United States District Court Northern District of California 10 DISCUSSION If a party fails to obey an order to provide discovery, a court may order sanctions. Fed. R. 11 Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A). Instead of or in addition to other sanctions, “the court must order the 12 disobedient party, the attorney advising that party, or both to pay the reasonable expenses, 13 including attorney’s fees, caused by the failure, unless the failure was substantially justified or 14 other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(C). 15 A. 16 Plaintiffs’ RFP 5 asks for “[d]ocuments sufficient to show the data flow through which 17 Meta receives information via the Meta Pixel deployed on Medical Provider Web-Properties.” 18 Dkt. No. 324-1 at ECF 3. Meta produced at least two responsive documents: (1) a detailed 19 schematic that shows the “data flow” for data Meta receives from a Pixel deployed on a third-party 20 webpage, as well as “xxx xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xx xxxxxxxxxx x xxxxxx” 21 (Pixel_Health000000064); (2) a document from Meta’s internal wiki called “How the Meta Pixel 22 works” (Pixel_Health000000057-63), which includes x xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx 23 xxx Xxxxx xxx xx xxxxxxxxxxx xx x xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx, xxx xxx Xxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx 24 xxxx, xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx. Dkt. No. 349 at 5-6; Dkt. 349-1 ¶¶ 4-10; Dkt. No. 326-12; Dkt. No. 25 349-5. In addition, Meta has made its source code available for inspection by plaintiffs’ experts, 26 which will permit a detailed analysis of how Pixel data is received, re-directed, and stored by 27 Meta. Dkt. No. 349 at 22-23. 28 RFP 5: Data flow In their opening motion, plaintiffs complain that Meta failed to produce “discovery related 2 1 to the Pixel Filter, a tool that Meta has acknowledged would impact the data flow.” Dkt. No. 323 2 at 10. In their reply brief, plaintiffs also complain that Meta’s production does not include more 3 detailed information about each step of the data flow reflected in the two documents described 4 above. See Dkt. No. 361 at 5-7. United States District Court Northern District of California 5 Plaintiffs’ arguments are not well taken. In RFP 5, plaintiffs asked for documents 6 “sufficient to show the data flow through which Meta receives information via the Meta Pixel.” 7 They did not ask for documents showing the entirety of the data flow from the third-party 8 webpage through Meta’s internal systems or for documents detailing what happens at every step 9 of the data flow. More importantly for purposes of this motion, the Court never ordered Meta to 10 make such a production in response to RFP 5. See Dkt. No. 275. In any event, Meta explained 11 during the hearing that the schematic it has already produced (Pixel_Health000000064) shows the 12 location of the Filter. Dkt. No. 374. Moreover, Meta has already agreed to produce source code 13 relating to the Filter for inspection by plaintiffs’ experts. Dkt. No. 349 at 20. 14 The Court denies plaintiffs’ motion with respect to RFP 5. 15 B. 16 Plaintiffs’ RFP 6 asks for “[d]ocuments sufficient to identify the databases, logs, or other RFPs 6 and 7: Data sources, fields 17 electronic sources where Meta receives, re-directs, or stores event-level and/or derived data 18 collected through and associated with the Meta Pixel for Medical Provider Web-Properties.” Dkt. 19 No. 324-1 at ECF 3. RFP 7 asks for “[d]ocuments sufficient to identify and describe each of the 20 fields in databases, logs, or other electronic sources where Meta receives, re-directs, or stores 21 event-level and/or derived data collected through and associated with the Meta Pixel for Medical 22 Provider Web-Properties . . . [including] data dictionaries.” Id. In response to RFP 6, Meta says 23 that no single document comprehensively identifies each of the data sources where Meta receives, 24 re-directs, or stores even-level or derived Pixel-related data, but it contends that the principal data 25 sources are identified in documents it has already produced, including the two documents 26 described above that are responsive to RFP 5. See Dkt. No. 349 at 6-9; Dkt. No. 349-1 ¶¶ 4-10. In 27 response to RFP 7, Meta produced one document that shows the fields and events Meta receives 28 from third-party webpages via the Pixel, including descriptions of those fields and events. See 3 1 Dkt. No. 349 at 9-10; Dkt. No. 349-2, Ex. 5. Plaintiffs contend that Meta has not fully responded to RFPs 6 and 7 because it has not 2 3 produced documents identifying several data sources that plaintiffs believe are within the scope of 4 these requests, and because it has not produced documents reflecting the fields/descriptions for 5 each distinct, responsive data source. See Dkt. No. 323 at 5-14; Dkt. No. 361 at 7-11. The Court agrees with plaintiffs that Meta’s production in response to RFPs 6 and 7 is United States District Court Northern District of California 6 7 incomplete. However, plaintiffs have not shown that they are entitled to the full extent of 8 production they demand in response to these RFPs. Having considered the briefing, supporting 9 materials, and the arguments at the hearing, the Court concludes that the following data sources 10 are responsive to RFP 6: (1) xxx xxxxxxxx Xxxx xxxxxx xxxx Xxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxx 11 xxxxxxxxxxxxx xx Xxxxx xxxx;;1 (2) Xxxxx xxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx Xxxxx xxxx; (3) Xxxxx 12 xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxx xxx XXX/XXX xxxx; (4) Xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx 13 Xxxxxxxxxxx xxxx; and (5) Xxxxx xxxx x xxxx xx xxxx xxxxxxx To the extent these data 14 sources have fields, Meta shall produce documents sufficient to identify and describe each of the 15 fields in response to RFP 7. If Meta contends that its source code is the only place that identifies 16 and/or describes a particular field, Meta shall so state in writing in response to RFP 7. Plaintiffs have not shown that the following data sources contain Pixel data or are 17 18 otherwise responsive to RFP 6 or RFP 7, or that Meta failed to produce documents from these 19 sources in violation of the Court’s prior order: Everstore, Manifold, TAO, MySQL, 20 ZippyDB/Akkio, Memcache, Laser, Puma, Swift, Stylus, XxXxxxx, EventScribe, LogDevice, 21 Meta’s Data Lakehouse, and “log sources” other than the Hive tables. 22 Although the Court concludes that Meta’s production of documents reccsponsive to RFPs 23 6 and 7 is incomplete, the Court finds that no sanctions are warranted under Rule 37 or otherwise. 24 III. Meta must complete its production of documents responsive to RFPs 6 and 7, consistent 25 26 CONCLUSION with this order, by December 11, 2023. Plaintiffs’ motion is denied in all other respects. 27 28 1 Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxx xx xxx xxxxxxxxxx x xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xx Xxxx xxxxoo xxxxxx-xxxxx xxx xxxxxxx Xxxxx xxxx. Xxx, x.x., Xxx. Xx. Xxx xx X;XXX. 4 1 2 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: November 13, 2023 3 4 Virginia K. DeMarchi United States Magistrate Judge 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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