Russell v. Werner Enterprises, Inc.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 69 motion to compel responses to interrogatories and requests for production. Ordered by Senior Judge Lyle E. Strom. (JDR)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
EZEQUIEL OLIVARES ABARCA,
individually nd on behalf of
all those similarly situated,
WERNER ENTERPRISES, INC.,
and DOES 1-100, inclusive,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs’ motion
to compel responses to interrogatories and requests for
production (Filing No. 69).
The motion has been fully briefed by
See Filing Nos. 70, 74, 82.
After review of the
motion, the parties’ briefs, and relevant law, the Court finds as
This matter arises out of plaintiffs’ pursuit of a
class action suit.
Plaintiffs allege eight causes of action
against Werner Enterprises, Inc. (“Werner”), Does 1-100,
inclusive, and Drivers Management, LLC (collectively
See Filing No. 80.
Plaintiffs “assert violations
of California law” and “violations of Nebraska law” causing “some
form of injury” due to defendants’
uniform policy and practice [of]
. . . not paying all wages owed,
not paying for all time worked
. . . making improper deductions
from pay for work performed, not
providing properly itemized pay
statements that accurately reflect
hours worked, applicable hourly
rates . . . and, according to
Plaintiff’s information and belief,
not maintaining records that
accurately reflect hours worked and
applicable hourly rates.
(Id. at 6).
On June 4, 2014, Antonia Russell filed a putative class
action against Werner under California wage and hour law in a
California state court.
After the named plaintiffs in the
current action joined and Ms. Russell dismissed her claims
without prejudice, Werner removed the case from the California
state court to the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California.
The case was then transferred to this
Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
See Filing No. 23.
March 18, 2015, plaintiffs filed a joint stipulation for leave to
file a second amended complaint.
(Filing No. 50.)1
On March 30,
2015, the Court approved and adopted the stipulation in part
allowing plaintiffs to file a second amended complaint (Filing
The Court ordered the amended complaint to be filed on
On February 18, 2015, the Court, in accordance with Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 26(f), issued an order determining that “[d]iscovery limited
to class certification shall be completed by November 16, 2015.” (Filing No.
or before April 6, 2015, and gave defendants twenty days after
the filing of the amended complaint to respond.
On September 16,
2015, with no objection from the defendants, the Court again
permitted plaintiffs to amend their complaint (Filing No. 79).
The newest complaint adds a nationwide class, in addition to the
See Filing No. 80.
Defendants filed an answer
to the third amended complaint on September 30, 2015 (Filing No.
This matter is related to the break down of the
parties’ meet and confer conferences and arises out of
plaintiffs’ request concerning defendants’ responses to certain
interrogatories and requests for production.
Filing No. 70.
Plaintiffs request a court order “compelling
[Werner] to produce sufficient responses to:
. . . Abarca’s Interrogatories Nos. 1-12 . . .; (2) [p]laintiff
. . . Alesna, Jr.’s Interrogatories Nos. 1-2 and 6-8 . . .; and
(3) [p]laintiff . . . Abarca’s Requests for Production of
Documents Nos. 4, 7-8, 10, 12-18, 21, 23, 28-32, 35-37, and 39-49
. . . .”
(Filing No. 69 at 1.)
“A district court is afforded wide discretion in its
handling of discovery matters.”
F.2d 602, 604 (8th Cir. 1988).
Cook v. Katridg Pak Co., 840
Courts recognize Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 26(b) “as a discovery rule which is liberal in
scope and interpretation, extending to those matters which are
relevant and reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of
Hofer v. Mack Trucks, Inc., 981 F.2d 377,
380 (8th Cir. 1992) (internal citations omitted).
proponent of discovery must make “[s]ome threshold showing of
relevance . . . before parties are required to open wide the
doors of discovery and to produce a variety of information which
does not reasonably bear on, any issue that is or may be in the
Hofer, 981 F.2d at 380.
In the event of noncompliance
with a discovery request for relevant information, Rule 37(a)
provides, “[A] party may move for an order compelling disclosure
The motion must include a certification that the
movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with
the person or party failing to make disclosure in an effort to
obtain it without court action.”
see also NECivR 7.1(i).
Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(2)(A);
“The party resisting production bears
the burden of establishing lack of relevancy or undue burden.”
St. Paul Reinsurance Co., Ltd. v. Commercial Fin. Corp., 198
F.R.D. 508, 511 (N.D. Iowa 2000) (internal citations omitted).
The Court finds that plaintiffs’ motion to compel
should be denied in its entirety.
At the present time, the Court
has limited the parties’ discovery to issues related to class
See Filing No. 49.
Therefore, the Court finds
that defendants have sufficiently established their requisite
As previously indicated in its October 29, 2015, order
(Filing No. 115), the Court encourages the parties to seek
productive means and methods of future meet and confer meetings
to avoid the need of involving the Court in future discovery
disputes, if and when possible.
IT IS ORDERED that plaintiffs’ motion to compel
responses to interrogatories and requests for production is
DATED this 13th day of November, 2015.
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Lyle E. Strom
LYLE E. STROM, Senior Judge
United States District Court
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