Robert Heath v. Google Inc.

Filing 185

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd re 174 Discovery Dispute Joint Report No. 5. (hrllc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/27/2017)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 SAN JOSE DIVISION United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 ROBERT HEATH, et al., Plaintiffs, 13 14 15 16 Case No.5:15-cv-01824-BLF (HRL) ORDER RE DISCOVERY DISPUTE JOINT REPORT NO. 5 v. GOOGLE INC., Re: Dkt. No. 174 Defendant. 17 18 Plaintiff Cheryl Fillekes claims that, in violation of the federal Age Discrimination in 19 Employment Act (“ADEA”), Google did not hire her for an engineer position for which she was 20 qualified, because of her age. She says Google has a company-wide policy and practice of age 21 discrimination in hiring, and she seeks to maintain a collective action on behalf of other 22 unsuccessful over-40 job applicants for several engineering classifications in the company. 23 The presiding judge has at this point in the litigation granted conditional certification of a 24 class. Under the ADEA, potential members of a collective action must “opt-in” to the suit by 25 filing a written consent, and only then would they be bound by any judgment. To date 269 26 persons have opted in, and a few more may be expected before the deadline to do so expires. 27 28 Following the conditional certification, on several occasions the presiding judge and the parties have discussed what level of discovery Google may be allowed to obtain from the opt-ins. 1 The presiding judge made clear her belief that it should be limited discovery, not the full discovery 2 that might be taken from a “full-fledged” (this court’s word) named plaintiff. What’s to be 3 allowed? Google wants lots. Plaintiffs’ counsel urges moderation, pleading both burden and 4 proportionality. The two sides could not agree, and now come to this court for a decision. 5 In Discovery Dispute Joint Report (DDJR) #5, the parties seek an order delineating the 6 scope and extent of discovery Google may obtain from the opt-ins. Google wants to propound 7 written discovery to 120 randomly selected opt-ins. It proposes 8 Requests for Production of 8 Documents (“RFPs”) and 4 Interrogatories. It then wants to take “up to” 72 depositions, in 9 person, up to 3 hours each. Plaintiffs propose a sample of 30 opt-ins who would respond to 3 discovery requests (any combination of RFPs or Interrogatories). Then, plaintiffs say 25 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 depositions of up to 3 hours each, conducted by video, would be reasonable. 12 This court has carefully considered the respective arguments of each side in the DDJR #5, 13 and conducted a lengthy hearing on July 26 with brisk give and take from all participants. The 14 court wants to be fair and give Google limited discovery that will inform it on areas of legitimate 15 interest, but not impose a undue burden on the opt-ins or their attorneys to respond to discovery 16 that may only be tangentially relevant. 17 A. 18 Interrogatories 19 As it observed at the hearing, the court feels that some of the RFPs and Interrogatories 20 proposed by Google cast much too wide a net. The following is what the court will permit in 21 place of the 8 RFPs and 4 Interrogatories Google proposed: 22 23 24 Written Discovery 1. Identify and describe in detail all facts of any kind that support your claim that Google failed to hire you because of your age. 2. With respect to your answer to Interrogatory 1, identify any witness(es) that you 25 believe can attest to any of the facts, and, as to each witness, indicate which fact(s) he 26 or she can attest to. 27 28 3. Describe your best estimate of all damages or other compensation that you seek from Google in this action, including all calculations, a breakdown of different categories 2 and components, and any assumptions you made. 1 2 4. Describe your efforts to mitigate the damages you estimated in your answer to Interrogatory 3 as well as the result(s) of those efforts. 3 4 Request for Production of Documents 5 1. All documents supporting any of the facts you identified in your answer to Interrogatory 1. 6 7 2. All documents you referred to in preparing your answers to Interrogatories 3 and 4. 8 3. A copy of your birth certificate or other government-issued document showing your date of birth. 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 The parties shall agree on a process to randomly select 75 persons from the opt-in class to whom Google may propound this written discovery. 12 B. 13 Google may select from the opt-in class 35 persons for a deposition not to exceed 3 hours. Depositions 14 (Google can choose persons to whom written discovery was propounded, or not.) At least 30 of 15 the depositions will be conducted by video. At Google’s option, it may take 5 in person 16 depositions so long as all 5 are located within close geographic proximity and the depositions can 17 be taken seriatim. To be clear, questions to the deponents are not limited to the subjects covered 18 in the written discovery. 19 SO ORDERED. 20 Dated: July 27, 2017 21 22 HOWARD R. LLOYD United States Magistrate Judge 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 1 2 5:15-cv-01824-BLF Notice has been electronically mailed to: Anthony Craig Cleland, 3 4 Brian Davis Berry,, 5 Daniel A. Kotchen 6 Daniel Lee Low,, 7 Dow Wakefield Patten, 8 9 George S. Duesdieker, Michael F. Brown 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 Michael J von Klemperer 12 Thomas Michael McInerney,, 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?