Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Help At Home, Inc.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Supplementation of Initial Disclosures and Discovery 33 is GRANTED in part. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff is granted until Wednesday, May 8, 2013 to submit documentation in support of its request for attorney's fees and costs associated with the filing of its motion. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 5/3/13. (LAH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY )
KARI McCONNELL, SHANNON
SCHROETER, JACLYN STONE,
HELP AT HOME, INC.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Supplementation of
Initial Disclosures and Discovery. [ECF No. 33] Plaintiff also requests its reasonable expenses
including attorney’s fees incurred in bringing its motion. In response, Defendant states that since
receiving Plaintiff’s motion, it has conducted additional investigation and provided all of the
contact information for each individual named in its Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures and in Plaintiff’s
interrogatories. (Doc. No. 35) Defendant argues that an award of fees to Plaintiff would be unjust
because it has produced all of the documents and information requested and was substantially
justified in its delay in providing such information.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 authorizes the Court to compel discovery, to sanction
the party who was not substantially justified in withholding or delaying discovery, and to award
attorney fees related to the motion to compel. While the issue of compliance is now moot, the
Court finds that an award of expenses and attorney's fees is appropriate in this instance.
Defendant served its Initial Disclosures Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
26(a)(1) on December 17, 2012. (Doc. No. 33-2) The Disclosures identified twelve individuals,
all current or former employees, who are likely to have discoverable information that Defendant
may use to support its defenses. For each disclosed individual, except one, Defendant listed its
attorneys’ law firm address and telephone number. Plaintiff served its First Interrogatories to
Defendant on January 3, 2013. In its Responses and Objections to Plaintiff’s First Interrogatories
Nos. 2 and 6, which asked Defendant to “identify” various individuals, Defendant failed to
provide addresses and telephone numbers for the individuals identified despite the fact that the
definition of “Identify” required such information. (Doc. No. 33-4)
After a March 20, 2013, telephone conference with Plaintiff’s counsel, Defendant served
its Supplemental Initial Disclosures Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1),
providing a home address and telephone number for four additional individuals but continuing to
list its attorneys’ law firm address and telephone number for six of the individuals disclosed and
providing no address and telephone number at all for one of the individuals disclosed. (Doc. No.
33-3) Defendant also served its First Supplemental Responses and Objections to Plaintiff’s First
Interrogatories in which it again provided the address and telephone number of its attorneys’ law
office for some individuals identified and provided no address and telephone number at all for
others. (Doc. No. 33-5) Plaintiff outlined its continuing concerns with Defendant’s supplemental
discovery responses and updated Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures in a letter to Defendant’s counsel
dated April 11, 2013. (Doc. No. 33-1) In the absence of a response from Defendant, Plaintiff
filed its motion to compel on April 17, 2013.
Defendant states that the contact information for the individuals for whom Plaintiff
requested information was not readily available, and that Defendant made it clear to Plaintiff
when it submitted its First Supplemental Responses to Plaintiff’s Interrogatories and First
Supplemental Rule 26(a)91) Disclosures, that it was in the process of obtaining the requested
contact information and would update its responses as soon as possible. Defendant did not,
however, request an extension of time to respond, necessitating the filing of the instant motion to
compel. Moreover, it was only after this motion was filed that Defendant supplemented its
responses to Plaintiff.
The party seeking litigation fees bears the burden to provide “evidence of the hours
worked and the rate claimed.” Saint Louis University v. Meyer, 2009 WL 482664, at *1
(E.D.Mo. Feb. 25, 2009). In order to determine the amount of a reasonable attorney fee, the
Court will permit Plaintiff’s counsel to submit documentation of the expenses and attorney's fees
it incurred in connection with its motion to compel.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Supplementation of
Initial Disclosures and Discovery  is GRANTED in part.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff is granted until Wednesday, May 8, 2013
to submit documentation in support of its request for attorney's fees and costs associated with the
filing of its motion.
Dated this 3rd day of May, 2013.
JOHN A. ROSS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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