Hopkins v. Isaac et al
ORDER Granting 25 Motion to Compel - Signed by Magistrate Judge Mona K. Majzoub. (LBar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
CIVIL ACTION NO. 16-cv-12064
MAGISTRATE JUDGE MONA K. MAJZOUB
DEMEDRICK ISAAC, METEOR
EXPRESS, INC., and STATE FARM
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO COMPEL 
This matter comes before the Court on Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile
Insurance Company’s (“State Farm’s”) Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Answers to Defendant’s
Second Set of Interrogatories. (Docket no. 25.) Plaintiff has not responded to Defendant’s
Motion. With consent of the parties, this case has been referred to the undersigned for all
proceedings in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 73.
(Docket no. 14.) The Court has reviewed the Motion and dispenses with oral argument pursuant
to Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 7.1(f)(2). The Court is now ready to rule pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).
On May 4, 2016, Plaintiff Lena Hopkins filed a Complaint against Defendants
Demedrick Isaac, Meteor Express, Inc. (“Meteor Express”), and State Farm in the Wayne
County Circuit Court. (Docket no. 1 at 11-20.) In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that on July 7,
2015, Defendant Isaac negligently operated a motor vehicle, which struck a motor vehicle
operated by Plaintiff, and caused Plaintiff to suffer serious and permanent injuries. (Id. ¶¶ 6-12.)
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendant Meteor Express is vicariously liable for Defendant Isaac’s
actions and that its negligence in hiring, retaining, and/or supervising Defendant Isaac was a
proximate cause of her injuries.
(Id. ¶¶ 13-28.)
Plaintiff further alleges a claim against
Defendant State Farm for first-party insurance benefits. (Id. ¶¶ 29-37.) Defendants Isaac and
Meteor Express removed the case to this Court on June 7, 2016. (Docket no. 1 at 1-2.) On
November 30, 2016, Defendant State Farm served Plaintiff with a Second Set of Interrogatories.
(Docket no. 25 at 7-10.) Plaintiff failed to provide timely answers or otherwise respond to
Defendant’s discovery request. (Id. at 3.) After attempting to confer with Plaintiff in an effort to
secure the requested discovery, to no avail, Defendant State Farm filed the instant Motion to
Compel Plaintiff’s Answers to Defendant’s Second Set of Interrogatories. (Id.)
Law and Analysis
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 33 and 34 allow a party to serve interrogatories and
requests for production of documents on an opposing party. Fed. R. Civ. P. 33, 34. A party
receiving these types of discovery requests has thirty days to respond with answers or objections.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(b)(2), 34(b)(2)(A). If the party receiving discovery requests under Rules 33 or
34 fails to respond properly, Rule 37 provides the party who sent the discovery the means to file
a motion to compel. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(3)(B). If a court grants a Rule 37 motion to compel,
or if discovery is received after a Rule 37 motion is filed, then the court must award reasonable
expenses and attorney’s fees to the successful party, unless the successful party did not confer in
good faith before the motion, the opposing party’s position was substantially justified, or other
circumstances would make an award unjust. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(5)(A).
Plaintiff did not respond to Defendant State Farm’s Second Set of Interrogatories, and she
has not responded to Defendant’s Motion to Compel. By not filing any proper objections during
the response period, Plaintiff has waived any objections to the discovery requests. And because
Plaintiff did not respond to Defendant’s Motion, the Motion is unopposed. Therefore, the Court
will grant Defendant’s Motion to Compel and order Plaintiff to provide full and complete
responses to Defendant State Farm’s Second Set of Interrogatories, without objection, within
twenty-one days of this Opinion and Order. Rule 37 sanctions are appropriate in this case
because the Court grants Defendant’s Motion to Compel and because Plaintiff has failed to
demonstrate that her lack of response was substantially justified or that other circumstances
make an award of expenses unjust. The Court will therefore order Plaintiff to pay Defendant
State Farm’s reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees associated with bringing this Motion
pursuant to Rule 37(a)(5). The Court will also order Defendant to submit a Bill of Costs.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendant State Farm’s Motion to Compel
Plaintiff’s Answers to Defendant’s Second Set of Interrogatories  is GRANTED. Plaintiff is
ordered to provide full and complete responses to Defendant’s Second Set of Interrogatories,
without objection, within twenty-one (21) days of this Opinion and Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff pay the reasonable expenses and attorney’s
fees incurred by Defendant State Farm as a result of bringing the instant Motion. Defendant
State Farm is ordered to submit to the Court a Bill of Costs itemizing the same within twenty-one
(21) days of this Opinion and Order, at which time the Court will determine the amount of costs
and fees for which Plaintiff is liable.
Dated: October 11, 2017
s/ Mona K. Majzoub
MONA K. MAJZOUB
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
PROOF OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that a copy of this Opinion and Order was served upon counsel of record
on this date.
Dated: October 11, 2017
s/ Lisa C. Bartlett
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