Blalock v. FCA US LLC
Order denying Plaintiff's Motion to compel without prejudice. Should Plaintiff seek to amend the Complaint, the motion must be accompanied by a Proposed Amended Complaint and be filed on or before December 8, 2023. Defendant's opp osition brief shall then be filed by January 12, 2024, and any reply shall be filed by January 26, 2024. If Plaintiff chooses not to pursue an amendment to the Complaint, the parties shall file a joint status report on or before December 15, 2023. (Related Doc # 30 ). Judge Jeffrey J. Helmick on 11/15/2023.(M,SM)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Case No. 3:20-cv-2764
FCA US LLC,
Following an unsuccessful attempt to resolve a pending discovery issue via telephone
conference, I ordered the parties to brief this issue of “whether a union and non-union employee
may be considered similarly situated for the purpose of establishing a prima facie discrimination
claim.” (Doc. No. 29). In response, Plaintiff filed his second motion to compel, seeking “an order
compelling Defendant to provide the names of all employees, whether union, management, hourly,
or salary, that were terminated by Defendant and later returned to work when it was determined that
their failure to provide timely medical documentation occurred through no fault of their own.”
(Doc. No. 30 at 6). Defendant asserts these names need not be produced because they are not
relevant to Plaintiff’s claim. (Doc. No. 31).
Although the substance of the briefing exceeded the scope defined by my Order, it raises
important questions regarding the nature of Plaintiff’s claim. I appreciate that the most recent
request for production stems from information learned through discovery. But I agree with
Defendant’s assertion that the Plaintiff has not met his burden to show how the information he
seeks is relevant to his sole claim of disability discrimination as pleaded in the Complaint. (See Doc.
No. 1); O’Malley v. NaphCare Inc., 311 F.R.D. 461, 463 (S.D. Ohio 2015). Therefore, Plaintiff’s
second motion to compel is denied without prejudice. (Doc. No. 30).
Should Plaintiff seek to pursue a claim for relief based on new information, he must first
move for leave to amend the Complaint under Rule 15(a)(2). Defendant’s opposition to that motion
would then be a proper vehicle through which it may challenge whether “similarly situated”
employees for purposes of Plaintiff’s prima facie disability discrimination case must be “nondisabled,” as they argue here. (See Doc. No. 31 at 5-6).
Any motion to amend the Complaint must be accompanied by a Proposed Amended
Complaint and shall be filed on or before December 8, 2023. Defendant’s opposition brief shall
then be filed by January 12, 2024, and any reply shall be filed by January 26, 2024. If Plaintiff
chooses not to pursue an amendment to the Complaint, the parties shall file a joint status report on
or before December 15, 2023.
s/ Jeffrey J. Helmick
United States District Judge
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