Khachab v. Boeing Company et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 17 MOTION to Compel Discovery filed by Defendant The Boeing Company motion is granted in part and denied in part (see order) If plaintiff has any further information with regard to interrogatories 1, 2, and 3 or requests 81, 82, and 87, he is ordered to supplement his responses within fourteen days. Signed by District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr on 10/15/15. (MRS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
THE BOEING COMPANY and
Case No. 4:15CV357 SNLJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on defendants’ motion to compel discovery. The
motion has been fully briefed and is ripe for disposition. For the following reasons, the
Court will grant in part and deny in part the motion to compel.
Plaintiff Jawad Khachab filed this action alleging claims of employment
discrimination in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), section 213.100
RSMo et seq., against defendants The Boeing Company, his former employer, and Trish
O’Bannon, his former supervisor. Plaintiff alleges harassment, discrimination, and
termination of his employment because of his age, his association with his disabled son,
and in retaliation for a discrimination complaint he made pursuant to the MHRA.
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to discovery permit each party to
serve the opposing party with document requests and interrogatories which relate to “any
matter that may be inquired into under Rule 26(b).” Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(a)(2) and 34(a).
Under Rule 26(b)(1), “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter
that is relevant to any party's claim or defense[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Where a party
fails to cooperate in discovery, the propounding party may move the Court “for an order
compelling an answer, designation, production, or inspection.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B).
“Some threshold showing of relevance must be made before parties are required to open
wide the doors of discovery and to produce a variety of information which does not
reasonably bear upon the issues in the case.” Hofer v. Mack Trucks, Inc., 981 F.2d 377,
380 (8th Cir. 1992). “Upon a showing by the requesting party that the discovery is
relevant, the burden is on the party resisting discovery to explain why discovery should
be limited.” CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Allied Mortg. Group, Inc., 4:10CV1863 JAR, 2012
WL 1554908, at *2 (E.D. Mo. May 1, 2012).
Defendants filed a motion to compel seeking responses to a number of
interrogatories and requests for production of documents. Several issues raised in the
motion are moot because plaintiff submitted supplemental responses. Plaintiff’s response
to the motion alleges that only one issue remains – defendants’ request for an unlimited
authorization for plaintiff’s son’s medical records. Defendants contend, however, that
plaintiff’s discovery responses remain deficient in three areas: 1) failure to fully respond
to interrogatories 1 and 2 requesting information about plaintiff’s other employers; 2)
failure to fully respond to interrogatory 3 and requests 81, 82, and 87 seeking information
and documents regarding plaintiff’s efforts to mitigate damages; and 3) failure to provide
information and documents regarding plaintiff’s son’s alleged disability in response to
interrogatory 14 and request 88 including failure to execute an authorization that would
allow defendants to obtain medical records related to his son’s disability. The Court will
address the matters that still appear to be in dispute.
As to interrogatories 1, 2, and 3 and requests 81, 82, and 87, defendants are not
seeking a ruling on any objection made by plaintiff. Instead, they merely complain that
plaintiff’s responses are inadequate. Additionally, as to interrogatory 2, defendants argue
that plaintiff’s response is inconsistent with his response to interrogatory 1. In his
response to the motion, plaintiff has not asserted or argued any objection as to
interrogatories 1, 2, and 3 or requests 81, 82, and 87. Instead, plaintiff maintains that he
has provided all responsive information and documents. If plaintiff has any further
information with regard to those interrogatories and requests, he is ordered to supplement
his responses within fourteen days. If he has provided all information and documents in
his possession and/or available to him, defendants may address any deficiencies or
inconsistencies during plaintiff’s deposition and/or potentially at trial.
The parties agree that there is a discovery dispute as to defendants’ request for
information and medical records for plaintiff’s son as set forth in Interrogatory 14 and
Request 88. Interrogatory 14 states:
Describe in detail any and all forms of medical or psychological care, treatment,
and/or consultation that your son has received in the past 10 years, including but
not limited to care, treatment or consultation received from any hospital, doctor,
nurse, nurse practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other healthcare
practitioner, or any therapist, counselor, or member of the clergy of any kind, or
healthcare provider or other provider of any kind, including without limitation
such care, treatment or consultation received for any condition you contend is a
disability, and for each instance state the following:
(A) the name, address and phone number of each healthcare provider, doctor,
psychologist, counselor and/or therapist or other healthcare provider or
provider of any kind, who has rendered such care, treatment and/or
(B) their area of expertise, if any
(C) the type of care, treatment and/or consultation rendered;
(D) the inclusive dates of such care, treatment and/or consultation;
(E) the cost of such care, treatment and/or consultation;
(F) the identity and custodian of each document relating to any treatment, care
and/or consultation; and
(G) please sign and return the attached Authorization for Use or
Disclosure of Medical/Benefits Records form and the attached Authorization for
Use or Disclosure of Protected Health Information (Psychotherapy Notes) form,
either in blank or as to each such provider.
Request 88 seeks:
Any and all documents and ESI that relate to any medical or psychological
treatment, therapy or counseling of any type that your son, or anyone associated
with you, has sought or undergone for the last ten years as a result of any
condition that you allege constitutes a disability, including but not limited to
medical records, statements, invoices, checks, bills, and receipts. Please execute
the attached Authorization for Use or Disclosure of Protected Health Information
(Psychotherapy Notes) and the Authorization for Use or Disclosure of
Medical/Benefits Records, either in blank or as to each such provider.
Plaintiff objects to these discovery requests for a number of reasons including that
the information and authorization sought are overly broad. The Court agrees that the
discovery requests are overly broad in time and scope. Although defendants may be
entitled to some medical records as to the alleged disability of plaintiff’s son that is the
basis of the claim for association discrimination, for the relevant time, the discovery
requests are not so limited. As a result, the objections to interrogatory 14 and request 88
will be sustained.
Finally, the Court will deny defendants’ request for attorneys’ fees incurred for the
filing of the motion to compel.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendants’ motion to compel (ECF #17) is
GRANTED in part and DENIED in part as set forth above. If plaintiff has any further
information with regard to interrogatories 1, 2, and 3 or requests 81, 82, and 87, he is
ordered to supplement his responses within fourteen days.
Dated this 15th day of October, 2015.
STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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