Medpace, Inc. v. InspireMD, Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER conditionally granting in part 37 Defendant's Motion to Stay All Discovery and All Pretrial Deadlines, as otherwise indicated in this Order. So that discovery may quickly resume following disposition of the pendin g motion for summary judgment, Inspire must respond to the following: (a) Inspire shall enter into an agreed protective order with Medpace regarding future discovery, on or before 4/30/2018 regarding future document production; and (b) Inspire shall respond to Medpace's inquiries regarding which, if any, of the fifteen individuals identified by Inspire with knowledge of its claims may have scheduled travel in the United States in the coming months. Discovery shall be stayed only for three months, until 6/11/2018, with all corresponding pretrial deadlines to be simultaneously extended. The dates by which expert witnesses shall be identified and furnish reports shall be extended for both parties until 8/24/2018, with a corresponding de adline of 9/28/2018 for rebuttal experts, and with all discovery to be completed by 11/5/2018. Any summary judgment motions shall be filed not later than December 8, 2018. If either party believes a further stay or extension of discovery is require d, or any other dispute arises that relates to this Order, the parties are to fully exhaust extrajudicial efforts to resolve their dispute prior to seeking intervention from this Court. If unable to resolve the dispute extrajudicially, they must contact Bowman_Chambers@ohsd.uscourts.gov, or the undersigned's deputy clerk Kevin Moser at 513-564-7680 to request a telephonic status conference before filing a motion. Signed by Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman on 3/9/2018. (km)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Case No. 1:16-cv-830
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On December 14, 2017, the presiding district judge referred the supervision of
discovery, including the resolution of non-dispositive pretrial motions, to the
undersigned magistrate judge. (Doc. 34). Defendant has filed a motion to stay discovery
and pretrial deadlines. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be granted in part.
Plaintiff Medpace, Inc. (“Medpace”) and InspireMD, Ltd. (“Inspire”) entered into a
contract under which Medpace was to assist with certain clinical trials of Inspire’s
product(s), which included Inspire’s MGuard Prime Stent Styem (the “Stent”).
parties agree the key agreement is the Master Services Agreement (the “MSA”),
although Inspire also relies upon a document called the Task Order that it maintains
further defines the terms of the contract.
In its complaint, Medpace alleges that Inspire owes Medpace up to $2 million
dollars, either as a result of a breach of the contract, or under theories of promissory
estoppel or unjust enrichment. The promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment claims
are pleaded in the alternative. 1 In response to the complaint, Inspire filed a counterclaim
that also sought breach of contract, as well as fraudulent inducement, negligent
misrepresentation and violation of Ohio’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Inspire’s
counterclaims seek damages totaling approximately $3 million dollars. The Court’s
current scheduling order directs the parties to complete discovery by August 3, 2018,
with motions not directed to the pleadings to be filed by September 7, 2018.
Barely two months into discovery, Inspire filed a motion for partial summary
judgment on Medpace’s claims, arguing that the valid and enforceable contract that is at
the heart of the dispute contains clear and unambiguous language, which entitles
Inspire to judgment as a matter of law. (See Doc. 35-1 at 5: “The Agreements either
provide for the additional payments that Medpace seeks, or they do not.”)
later, Inspire filed motion to stay further discovery and to stay all other pretrial deadlines
pending resolution of the motion for summary judgment. Inspire’s motion essentially
argues that: (1) the fundamental issue in this case is the parties’ differing interpretations
of the contractual language, which is an issue of law that requires no discovery; (2)
Defendant is an Israeli company with limited financial resources; (3) the amount and
type of discovery sought on Inspire’s counterclaims will be exorbitantly expensive for
Defendant to respond to, such that the discovery costs would either require it to drop
the claims and/or hinder the possibility of any future settlement. Inspire seeks to stay all
The Court previously denied Inspire’s motion to dismiss the alternative claims. (Doc. 24).
discovery until resolution of its motion for summary judgment, suggesting that the
disposition of the pending motion may spur the parties to resolve their dispute
extrajudicially, implying that Inspire may simply drop its counterclaims rather than
proceed with the expense of discovery.
Medpace strongly objects to any stay, arguing in part that preventing Medpace
from pursuing discovery on the counterclaims (which Medpace views as frivolous)
would be greatly prejudicial to Plaintiff, including but not limited in its position in any
future settlement negotiations. As to Inspire’s claims of the cost of discovery, Medpace
argues that the projected high costs are due to deliberate and strategic tactics and
positioning by Inspire, which it could easily avoid.
Medpace also points out that
although Inspire makes much of its “limited” means, Inspire is represented by very large
firms and appears to have spared no expense to date. Medpace maintains that the
cases cited by Inspire in favor of a stay are all distinguishable, and that Inspire has
otherwise failed to show good cause for a stay.
Although the undersigned is well aware of the vigorous motion practice and
briefing that undercut Inspire’s claim of its “limited” means, 2 the undersigned
nevertheless will exercise her judicial discretion to grant the requested stay in part.
Medpace makes only a cursory and unpersuasive argument that it needs any discovery
at all in order to respond to the pending motion for summary judgment (see Doc. 29 at
10), at least insofar as that motion seeks to resolve, as a matter of law, the two parties’
differing constructions or interpretations of the same contractual language. The
In addition to multiple motions to dismiss and the pending motion for summary judgment, Inspire
filed more than 30 pages of briefing on the pending motion to stay alone, which was supported by 20
exhibits spanning 264 additional pages.
undersigned agrees that Medpace could be prejudiced by a lengthy stay, but in light of
the briefing schedule, finds good cause to grant a relatively short stay of three months
at this time, conditioned on some actions by Inspire that will ensure that little time is lost
if and when discovery resumes.
Conclusion and Order
For all the reasons stated herein, IT IS ORDERED THAT:
1. The motion to stay all discovery and all pretrial deadlines pending the
issuance of a decision on Inspire’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. 37) is
conditionally GRANTED IN PART, as otherwise indicated in this Order;
2. So that discovery may quickly resume following disposition of the pending
motion, Inspire must respond to the following:
a) Inspire shall enter into an agreed protective order with Medpace regarding
future discovery, on or before April 30, 2018 regarding future document
b) Inspire shall respond to Medpace’s inquiries regarding which, if any, of the
fifteen individuals identified by Inspire with knowledge of its claims may
have scheduled travel in the United States in the coming months;
3. Discovery shall be stayed only for three months, until June 11, 2018, with all
corresponding pretrial deadlines to be simultaneously extended;
4. The dates by which expert witnesses shall be identified and furnish reports
shall be extended for both parties until August 24, 2018, with a
corresponding deadline of September 28, 2018 for rebuttal experts, and with
all discovery to be completed by November 5, 2018. Any summary judgment
motions shall be filed not later than December 8, 2018.
5. If either party believes a further stay or extension of discovery is required, or
any other dispute arises that relates to this Order, the parties are to fully
exhaust extrajudicial efforts to resolve their dispute prior to seeking
intervention from this Court. If unable to resolve the dispute extrajudicially,
undersigned’s deputy clerk Kevin Moser at 513-564-7680 to request a
telephonic status conference before filing a motion.
s/ Stephanie K. Bowman
Stephanie K. Bowman
United States Magistrate Judge
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