Flynn et al v. FCA US LLC et al
ORDER re 513 October 3, 2019 Discovery Dispute Conference. Signed by Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly on 10/4/2019. (nmf)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
BRIAN FLYNN, GEORGE BROWN,
KELLY BROWN, and MICHAEL KEITH,
on behalf of themselves and all others
FCA US LLC, f/k/a Chrysler Group LLC and )
Case No. 3:15-cv-855-SMY-RJD
DALY, Magistrate Judge:
A discovery dispute conference was held in this matter on October 3, 2019. During the
conference, the Court addressed two disputes brought by Plaintiffs. The parties submitted brief
summaries of the disputes ahead of the conference. Familiarity with the background of this case
is presumed1 and the Court’s orders are set forth below.
1. Deposition of T. Kohno
Plaintiffs ask that the Court expand their time to depose Defendant FCA US LLC’s
(“FCA”) cybersecurity expert Dr. Kohno pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(d)(1).
Plaintiffs cite the length of Dr. Kohno’s report, the complexity and breadth of issues on which he
opined, as well as Defendants’ opportunity to depose Plaintiff’s primary cybersecurity expert twice
(once during the class certification phase and once in the merits phase of this case).
Under Rule 30(d)(1), the court must allow additional time to conduct a deposition
Additional background information is included in the Court’s April 18, 2019 Order (see Doc. 486).
consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and (2) if needed to fairly examine the deponent. As articulated at
the discovery dispute conference, until Plaintiffs attempt to complete Dr. Kohno’s deposition
within the time allotted (7 hours), the Court cannot properly evaluate whether an additional 7 hours
is necessary for Plaintiffs to “fairly examine” the deponent. Accordingly, the parties are directed
to take Dr. Kohno’s deposition as scheduled (October 15, 2019). If Plaintiffs have a good faith
basis to move for an expansion of time after said deposition is taken, they are directed to file a
2. FCA’s Interrogatory Responses
Plaintiffs propounded their ninth set of interrogatories on FCA asking FCA to specify all
bases for its denials of certain requests for admissions. FCA objected to the interrogatory
requests, citing limitations set forth in the Scheduling Order, as well as issues with the overbreadth
of the requests.
With regard to limitations, the Court finds that the initial Scheduling and Discovery Order
limited the number of interrogatories to 40 during the class certification phase. No other specific
directive concerning this issue has been set forth by the Court; accordingly, it is appropriate to
defer to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows parties to serve 25 written
interrogatories, including all discrete subparts.
As such, FCA’s objection to Plaintiffs’
interrogatories on the basis of the limitation set forth in the Court’s Scheduling and Discovery
Order is OVERRULED.
Page 2 of 4
Next, the Court considers FCA’s argument that interrogatories 37, 38, 39, and 402 include
multiple separate and distinct interrogatories and, as such, Plaintiffs have served a total of at least
67 interrogatories. As an example, interrogatory 37 asks FCA to specify all bases for its denial
of requests for admissions 27 through 39. In these requests for admissions, Plaintiffs asked FCA
to admit that the various models of Affected Vehicles do not have a hardware gateway anywhere
in the vehicle. FCA contends this request would require it to conduct an analysis and review of
each of the 13 vehicles mentioned in the request, including the components particular to each
vehicle. Plaintiffs disagree, asserting they presume FCA’s answer and explanation is the same
for each Affected Vehicle, particularly because Plaintiffs believe the documents and testimony are
clear that the vehicles do not have hardware gateways.
The Court agrees with FCA. Notwithstanding Plaintiffs’ presumption concerning FCA’s
response, Plaintiffs propounded separate and distinct requests for admissions as to each model of
the Affected Vehicles and the Court has no reason to doubt FCA in its assertion that each of the
Affected Vehicles and its components would need to be analyzed separately to respond to the
Accordingly, it appears Plaintiffs have attempted to circumvent the 25-
interrogatory limit in propounding their interrogatories in this way. However, the Court may
grant leave to serve additional interrogatories consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and (2). Finding the
requests within the bounds of Rule 26, and noting the Court’s interest in resolving this dispute as
expeditiously as possible, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs leave to propound additional
The Court notes Plaintiffs’ ninth set of interrogatories includes interrogatories 37-41; however, neither Plaintiffs nor
FCA included interrogatory 41 in their briefing or discussion with the Court. Accordingly, this Order does not
address the said request.
Page 3 of 4
interrogatories number 37-40. Plaintiffs must seek leave of Court to propound any further
Having granted Plaintiffs leave to propound interrogatories 37-40, the Court considers
FCA’s substantive objections to the same. FCA objects that the interrogatories are overbroad in
their request for “all bases” and contend that each of the interrogatories calls for a lengthy
narrative. FCA asserts that the information sought is more reasonably obtainable from the
voluminous documents that have been produced and the numerous depositions that have been
taken. The Court OVERRULES FCA’s objection in part.
FCA is ORDERED to respond to interrogatories 37-40; however, FCA shall only be
required to set forth the primary bases of its denials, given the breadth of the requests to admit
underlying the interrogatory requests. FCA shall respond to interrogatories 37-40 by October
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: October 4, 2019
s/ Reona J. Daly
Hon. Reona J. Daly
United States Magistrate Judge
Page 4 of 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?