Stokes et al v. McBride et al
ORDER granting 31 Motion to Compel. Plaintiff must provide responses to State Farm's Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents as stated by 10/12/2021. State Farm is entitled to an award of the reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in bringing this Motion as stated. Signed by Magistrate Judge Richard L. Bourgeois, Jr. on 10/4/2021. (SWE)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
CORY STOKES, ET AL.
LLOYD MCBRIDE, ET AL.
Before the Court is Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s
(“State Farm”) Motion to Compel Discovery filed on filed on August 24, 2021. (R. Doc. 31).
Under Local Rule 7(f), the deadline to file an opposition to the instant Motion to Compel
was twenty-one days after service of the motion, or September 14, 2021. In light of the impact of
Hurricane Ida, however, all deadlines commencing from August 26, 2021 were suspended for 30
days from that date. See General Order No. 2021-7 (M.D. La. Sept. 2, 2021). The last day of the
suspension fell on September 25, 2021, a Saturday. Accordingly, all deadlines were suspended
until the following Monday, September 27, 2021. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(a). No opposition has
been filed as of the date of this Order. Given the foregoing, the instant Motion to Compel is
State Farm served separate Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents on
Cory Stokes and Jeremy Pharms (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) on April 12, 2021. (R. Doc. 31-3 at
1-25). Plaintiffs had 30 days to respond to the written discovery requests after they were served.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(2); Fed. R. Civ. P. 34(b)(2)(A).
On July 6, 2021, State Farm requested a discovery conference with Plaintiffs with respect
to their outstanding discovery responses. (R. Doc. 31-3 at 26). On July 13, 2021, the parties held
a discovery conference wherein Plaintiffs agreed to provide discovery responses by July 20,
2021. (R. Doc. 31-3 at 27).
State Farm represents that it received responses from Plaintiff Jeremy Pharms on August
4, 2021, but did not receive any responses from Plaintiff Cory Stokes. (R. Doc. 31 at 1). State
Farm now seeks an order compelling Plaintiff Cory Stokes to provide discovery responses and
for the Court to award costs and attorney’s fees incurred by Defendant. (R. Doc. 31 at 1-2).
As Plaintiff Cory Stokes did not make any timely objections to State Farm’s written
discovery requests, the Court finds that Plaintiff Cory Stokes has waived his objections to the
discovery requests, with the exception of those pertaining to any applicable privileges or
immunities. See In re United States, 864 F.2d 1153, 1156 (5th Cir. 1989) (“[A]s a general rule,
when a party fails to object timely to interrogatories, production requests, or other discovery
efforts, objections thereto are waived.”); B&S Equip. Co. v. Truckle Servs., Inc., No. 09-3862,
2011 WL 2637289, at *6 (E.D. La. July 6, 2011) (finding waiver of all objections to “discovery
requests based on relevance, unduly burdensome, over broad, or any other objection not
grounded on the attorney client or the work product privilege.”). Accordingly, the Court will
require Plaintiff Cory Stokes to provide responses to State Farm’s Interrogatories and Requests
for Production of Documents (R. Doc. 31-3 at 14-25) without any objections other than those
pertaining to any applicable privileges or immunities.
Given the record, including Plaintiff Cory Stokes’s failure to file any opposition, the
Court will also award State Farm the recovery of reasonable expenses incurred in making the
instant motion, including attorney’s fees, pursuant to Rule 37(a)(5) of the Federal Rules of Civil
For the foregoing reasons,
IT IS ORDERED that State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s Motion to
Compel Discovery (R. Doc. 31) is GRANTED. Plaintiff Cory Stokes must provide responses to
State Farm’s Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents (R. Doc. 31-3 at 14-25),
without any objections other than those pertaining to any applicable privileges or immunities,
within 7 days of the date of this Order, or as otherwise agreed upon by the parties.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that State Farm is entitled to an award of the reasonable
attorney’s fees and costs incurred in bringing this Motion to Compel, and that Plaintiff Cory
Stokes shall be responsible for such payment. In connection with this award, the parties are to do
(1) If the parties are able to resolve this among themselves or otherwise agree to a
reasonable amount of attorney’s fees and costs,1 Plaintiff Cory Stokes shall pay that
(2) If the parties do not agree to a resolution, State Farm may, within 14 days of the
docketing of this Order, file a Motion for Fees and Costs pursuant to Rule 37, setting
forth the reasonable amount of costs and attorney’s fees (including evidentiary
support) incurred in obtaining this Order; and
(3) Plaintiff Cory Stokes shall, within 7 days of the filing of State Farm’s Motion, file
any opposition pertaining to the imposition of the amounts requested by State Farm.
Signed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on October 4, 2021.
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
This Court has previously found that a relatively modest award was reasonable under similar circumstances. See
Talley v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., No. 16-406, ECF No. 15 (M.D. La. Dec. 9, 2016) ($250 award).
The Court also recognizes that this was five years ago and appropriate fees may have increased over time. However,
the Court also recognizes that a reasonable award under Rule 37 may be less than the actual fees incurred.
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