Van Hoek v. McKesson Corporation et al
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 115 Motion to Compel. Signed by Magistrate Judge Amanda Arnold Sansone on 10/8/2019. (BEE)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
HILDA VAN HOEK,
Case No. 8:17-cv-2447-T-03AAS
MCKESSON CORPORATION; PSS
WORLD MEDICAL, INC.; MCKESSON
MEDICAL-SURGICAL INC.; and
MCKESSON MEDICAL-SURGICAL TOP
Plaintiff Hilda van Hoek moves to compel Defendant McKesson MedicalSurgical Inc. (McKesson) to produce documents responsive to her second request for
production. (Doc. 115).
Van Hoek alleges sex discrimination in compensation, terms, and privileges of
employment and retaliation by her employer. (Doc. 21). Van Hoek served McKesson
with her second request for production on June 11, 2019. (Doc. 115, p. 1). McKesson
responded on August 2, 2019. (Id.). On the day of the discovery deadline, August 23,
2019, van Hoek moved to compel documents responsive to her second request for
production nos. 4, 10, 11, and 12. (See Doc. 104). McKesson opposes the motion. (Doc.
A party may obtain discovery about any nonprivileged matter relevant to any
party’s claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case. Fed. R. Civ. P.
26(b)(1). Discovery is meant to assist parties in ascertaining facts that bear on issues
in the case. ACLU of Fla., Inc. v. City of Sarasota, 859 F.3d 1337, 1340 (11th Cir.
2017) (citations omitted). That said, requests for production should be clear, concise,
and reasonably particularized. Middle District Discovery (2015) at III(A)(1).
A party may move for an order compelling discovery from the opposing party.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a). The party moving to compel discovery has the initial burden of
proving that the requested discovery is relevant. Douglas v. Kohl’s Dep’t. Stores, Inc.,
No. 6:15-cv-1185-Orl-22TBS, at *2 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 25, 2016) (quotation and citation
The responding party must then specifically demonstrate how the
requested discovery is unreasonable or unduly burdensome. Panola Land Buyers
Ass’n v. Shuman, 762 F.2d 1550, 1559-60 (11th Cir. 1985).
Request for Production No. 4
Request for production no. 4 seeks “[d]ocuments showing [McKesson’s] net
worth in 2018 and, when available, Documents showing [McKesson’s] net worth in
2019.” (Doc. 115, p. 2). McKesson raised several objections including that the request
is vague, ambiguous, overbroad, and premature. (Id.).
Punitive damages are available in employment discrimination cases for
egregious conduct. Dudley v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 166 F.3d 1317, 1322-23 (11th Cir.
1999). If the plaintiff has pleaded punitive damages in the complaint, the defendant’s
financial worth may be reasonably calculated to support the plaintiff’s claim for
punitive damages and may be obtained during discovery. See E.E.O.C. v. DiMare
Ruskin, Inc., No. 2:11-cv-158-FTM-36, 2011 WL 3715067, at *3 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 24,
2011) (stating “defendant’s financial worth may be discoverable if plaintiff has
pleaded punitive damages under an ADA claim”); Soliday v. 7-Eleven, 2:09-cv–807FtM-29SPC, 2010 WL 3928586, *1 (M.D. Fla. Oct.4, 2010) (holding discovery of net
worth is permitted when punitive damages are sought in an employment
discrimination suit); Preferred Care Partners Holding Corp. v. Humana, Inc., No. 0820424-CIV, 2008 WL 45500258, *4 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 3, 2009) (finding production of net
worth appropriate under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26).
Van Hoek pleaded a request for punitive damages and is entitled to discovery
of McKesson’s financial worth. However, as drafted, request for production no. 4 is
overbroad because it does not identify the document sought.
There are likely
numerous documents containing this information. Because the request is overbroad,
the parties must further meet and confer to reach an agreement on a narrow set of
clearly identifiable documents that substantially disclose McKesson’s current
financial health. A review of the investor portion of McKesson’s website indicates
that a large volume of financial information is already publicly available and easily
Request for Production Nos. 11, 12, and 13
Request for production nos. 10, 11, and 12 seek W-2 forms for Craig Williams,
Clinton Brady, and Todd Anderson for 2012, 2014, 2018, and any later year while this
case is pending. (Doc. 115, pp. 3-6). Van Hoek argues these documents are necessary
to complete her damages computations. (Id.).
Van Hoek’s allegations of discrimination are specific to certain accounts. (Doc.
21). Van Hoek alleges she was forced to share a portion of one account with Williams,
as well as a portion of two accounts with Brady. (Id.). Williams testified he has
around 300 accounts. (Doc. 124, Ex. A). Brady testified he has around 350 to 400
accounts. (Id.). Documents evidencing Williams’s and Brady’s total compensation
would not assist in damages calculations for those specific accounts. Thus, request
for production nos. 10 and 11 are not proportional to the needs of this case.
Van Hoek’s fourth amended complaint does not identify Anderson as an
individual who unfairly received compensation. (See Doc. 21). Van Hoek argues she
later discovered Anderson was given “Access ship-to accounts.” (Doc. 115, p. 6). This
does not bring Anderson’s entire compensation into the scope of discovery. As with
Brady and Williams, any compensation paid for those accounts constitutes only a
portion of Anderson’s total compensation.
Thus, van Hoek’s second request for
production no. 12 also is not proportional to the needs of this case.
Van Hoek’s motion to compel (Doc. 26) is GRANTED in part and DENIED
in part. The parties must meet and confer no later than October 14, 2019 for the
purpose of reaching an agreement on the production of a narrow set of clearly
identifiable documents that substantially disclose McKesson’s current financial
health. McKesson must then produce the agreed upon documents no later than
October 28, 2019. In all other respects, the motion is denied.
ORDERED in Tampa, Florida on October 8, 2019.
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