Farm Bureau General Insurance Company of Michigan v. SMART BALANCE WHEEL et al
ORDER GRANTING Plaintiff's 7 Motion Expedited Discovery--Signed by Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti. (MWil)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
FARM BUREAU GENERAL
Case No. 2:16-14286
District Judge Paul Borman
Magistrate Judge Anthony P. Patti
WHEEL, et al.,
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO CONDUCT
EXPEDITED DISCOVERY (DE 7)
This matter is before the Court for consideration of Plaintiff’s motion to
open discovery (i.e., conduct expedited discovery). (DE 7.) The gist of the
Complaint is that a hoverboard Plaintiff’s insured bought on Ebay ignited and
caused a house fire. Counsel has unsuccessfully tried to find the corporate
information for Smart Balance Wheel, the ostensible manufacturer of the allegedly
defective hoverboard. Subpoenas for Smart Balance Wheel and its Board, as well
as the other Defendants, were issued on December 15, 2016, but there is no
indication service of process has actually been executed on any Defendant. (DE 3-
6.) Therefore, because no other party has entered an appearance in the case,
Plaintiff’s motion is de facto ex parte in nature.
Rule 26(d)(1) generally provides that, absent a court order, parties may not
conduct discovery prior to conducting a Rule 26(f) conference. However, Plaintiff
states that expedited discovery is necessary to locate the correct corporate name
and information necessary for service of process upon Smart Balance Wheel. If
granted leave to conduct expedited discovery, Plaintiff’s counsel intends to
subpoena Ebay to ascertain the identity of the person/entity that sold the
hoverboard to Plaintiff’s insured; counsel will then engage in a series of
subpoenas, as necessary, until the manufacturer of the hoverboard can be identified
“Expedited discovery may be granted upon a showing of good cause.
Plaintiff, as the party seeking expedited discovery, bears the burden of
demonstrating good cause.” Best v. Mobile Streams, Inc., 2012 WL 5996222, at *1
(S.D. Ohio Nov. 30, 2012). “Good cause for expedited discovery exists when the
need for the expedited discovery outweighs the prejudice to the responding party,
based on the entirety of the record to date and the reasonableness of the request in
light of the surrounding circumstances.” 6-26 Moore's Federal Practice - Civil §
Because counsel needs the proper name and contact information for the
hoverboard manufacturer to proceed further in this case, and because counsel has
engaged in reasonable prelitigation efforts to locate that information without
success, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has shown good cause to be granted
leave to conduct expedited discovery. The motion to open discovery (DE 7) thus is
GRANTED. However, the expedited discovery authorized herein shall be limited
ONLY to ascertaining the identity and contact information of the manufacturer of
the hoverboard at issue and shall conclude no later than May 18, 2017.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: January 18, 2017
s/Anthony P. Patti
Anthony P. Patti
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was sent to parties of record
on January 18, 2017, electronically and/or by U.S. Mail.
Case Manager for the
Honorable Anthony P. Patti
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