BOYINGTON v. PERCHERON FIELD SERVICES, LLC
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting in part and denying in part 243 Motion to Reopen Discovery Regarding Newly-Acquired Evidence and Compel Discovery Responses, and as more fully stated in said Memorandum Opinion and Order. Signed by Judge Kim R. Gibson on 11/21/2017. (dlg)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
ERIC BOYINGTON, on behalf of himself
and all others similarly situated,
Case No. 3:14-cv-90
JUDGE KIM R. GIBSON
PERCHERON FIELD SERVICES, LLC,
Pending before the Court is the Motion to Re-Open Discovery Regarding Newly-
Acquired Evidence and Compel Discovery Responses (ECF No. 243) filed by Plaintiff Eric
Boyington ("Boyington"), on behalf of himself and others similarly situated. This Motion has
been fully briefed by all parties (see ECF Nos. 243, 244, 247) and is ripe for disposition.
This case is a hybrid collective/class action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act
("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-19, and the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act ("PMWA"), 43 Pa.
Cons. Stat. §§ 333.101-15. (ECF No. 1 'iI 1.) Plaintiffs are current and former Right of Way
Agents ("ROW Agents") 1 for Defendant Percheron Field Services, LLC ("Percheron"). Plaintiffs
allege that Percheron improperly classified them as overtime-exempt employees and, thus, seek
backpay for non-payment of overtime wages, liquidated damages, and reasonable attorneys'
fees and costs under the FLSA. (Id. 'iI'iI 1, 75.)
ROW Agents provides support devices for projects such as land acquisitions and surveys.
In their Motion to Re-Open Discovery Regarding Newly-Acquired Evidence and
Compel Discovery Responses, Plaintiffs request that the Court re-open discovery and compel
responses to discovery requests regarding the departure of Shannon Gwin and Scott Gwin
(collectively "the Gwins")2 from employment with Percheron. More specifically, Plaintiffs ask
that the Court order that Percheron respond, within 30 days of service, to a set of interrogatories
and requests for production of documents (see ECF No. 243-5) on the limited subject of the
departure of the Gwins from employment with Percheron. (ECF No. 243at10.)
For the reasons that follow, Plaintiffs' Motion to Re-Open Discovery Regarding NewlyAcquired Evidence and Compel Discovery Responses is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN
Jurisdiction and Venue
The Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiffs' FLSA claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and
supplemental jurisdiction over their related state law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Because
a substantial part of the events underlying this case occurred in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Pennsylvania, venue is proper in this United States District Court pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2).
Under the Court's Case Management Order of November 1, 2016, Plaintiffs were
ordered to "complete all depositions pertinent to any further dispositive motions as well as
The Gwins are husband and wife.
Due to the extensive procedural history in this case and the parties' familiarity with the case, this
background is narrowly constrained to the background relevant for deciding the present Motion to ReOpen Discovery Regarding Newly-Acquired Evidence and Compel Discovery Responses.
their Motion for Class Certification by March 1, 2017." (ECF No. 203 at <][ 2.a.) This discovery
deadline of March 1, 2017 was never amended.
Pursuant to this Case Management Order, Plaintiffs took the depositions of the Gwins
on February 1, 2017. (ECF No. 247 at 4.) Shannon Gwin was the Percheron project manager on
the eastern part of a Sunoco pipeline project known as Mariner East 2, Segment 3 on which
many of the opt-in Plaintiffs worked; Scott Gwin was an ROW Agent under Shannon Gwin.
(ECF No. 243 at 1-3.) However, at some time shortly after Plaintiffs took these depositions, the
Gwins' employment with Percheron ended, and, according to Facebook and Linkedln posts
located by Plaintiffs, the Gwins moved to Louisiana and began operating "Friendly Farms Pet
Retreat, LLC" in Baskin, Louisiana. (Id. at 1, 5-6.) The exact date of the Gwins' departure from
Percheron and move to Louisiana is unknown to Plaintiffs, but, again, based on content posted
on Facebook and Linkedln, Plaintiffs infer that the date is presumably in the range of March
2017 to July 2017. (Id. at 6.)
Plaintiffs allege that they have heard "reports" that the cause of the Gwins' departure
from Percheron was the Gwins' involvement with "improper and/or illegal" arrangements with
landowners on the Mariner East 2, Segment 3 project.
Plaintiffs asked Defendant to
consent to further depositions and discovery regarding the Gwins' departure; Defendant
refused and has provided no other explanation regarding the Gwins' apparently voluntary
resignation from Percheron. (Id. at 7-8.)
Having failed to amicably resolve this dispute, Plaintiffs filed their Motion to Re-Open
Discovery Regarding Newly-Acquired Evidence and Compel Discovery Responses and
accompanying exhibits on August 16, 2017. (ECF No. 243). In response, Defendant filed its
Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Re-Open Discovery and accompanying exhibits on August
24, 2017. (ECF No. 244.) Lastly, Plaintiffs filed their Reply Brief in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion
to Re-Open Discovery Regarding Newly-Acquired Evidence and Compel Discovery Responses
on August 30, 2017. (ECF No. 247.)
Plaintiffs ask the Court to reopen discovery and to order Defendant to provide complete
responses to the set of interrogatories and the request for documents contained in Exhibit E to
Plaintiffs' Motion to Re-Open Discovery Regarding Newly-Acquired Evidence and Compel
Discovery Responses. (See ECF No. 243.)
The Court analyzes this request under Rule 16(b)(4) and Rule 26(b). See Fed. R. Civ. P.
16(b)(4); Fed R. Civ. P. 26(b).
B. Plaintiffs Have Demonstrated Good Cause to Modify the Court's Case
Management Order under Rule 16(b)(4)
To reopen discovery as Plaintiffs request, the Court must modify the Case Management
Order of November 1, 2016. (See ECF No. 203 at
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