Allstate Insurance Company v. Hineman
ORDER entered GRANTING IN PART and DENYING IN PART 3 MOTION to Expedite Limited Discovery. (Signed by Chief Judge Lee H Rosenthal) Parties notified.(leddins, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY,
KENT L. HINEMAN,
July 20, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. H-17-1794
Allstate Insurance Company sued a former employee, Kent Hineman, alleging that he took
confidential Allstate information when he left Allstate’s employment and is using that information
to solicit Allstate customers on behalf of a competing insurance business. Allstate alleges that
Hineman violated a confidentiality and noncompete agreement that he signed as a condition of his
employment, and that he misappropriated trade secrets. Allstate moved for expedited limited
discovery consisting of nine requests for production and seven interrogatories. (Docket Entry No.
3). Hineman did not respond to the motion. The motion could be granted as unopposed. See S. D.
Tex. LR 7.2. The court also finds good cause to allow the limited expedited discovery.
Courts typically examine several nonexclusive factors in determining whether good cause
exists. These factors include: “(1) whether a preliminary injunction is pending; (2) the breadth of
the discovery requests; (3) the purpose for requesting the expedited discovery; (4) the burden on the
defendants to comply with the requests; and (5) how far in advance of the typical discovery process
the request was made.” St. Louis Grp., Inc. v. Metals & Additives Corp., 275 F.R.D. 236, 240 n.4
(S.D. Tex. 2011) (citing Sunflower Elec. Power Corp. v. Sebelius, 2009 WL 774340, at *2 (D.Kan.
Mar. 20, 2009)). Although there is no pending motion for preliminary injunction, Allstate states that
it intends to seek an injunction if the discovery it requests supports its information and belief that
Hineman is violating his contract obligations and misappropriating trade secrets. The rest of the
factors weigh in favor of granting the request for expedited discovery. Except for Request for
Production No. 9, the requests are narrowly targeted to determine the existence and character of
Allstate information in Hineman’s possession and any use of the information to improperly solicit
Allstate customers. The burden is not significant; Hineman did not respond to the motion.
Moreover, Hineman has not moved to dismiss, and discovery will begin relatively soon.
Given the alleged ongoing harm to Allstate, the risk of spoliation or destruction of evidence,
and the factors discussed above, the court finds and concludes that good cause exists to grant the
motion for expedited discovery in significant part. Hineman must respond to the First Set of
Requests for Production, No. 1 through 8, and the First Set of Interrogatories, Nos. 1 to 7, no later
than August 14, 2017. The motion for expedited discovery is denied as to Request for Production
SIGNED on July 20, 2017, at Houston, Texas.
Lee H. Rosenthal
Chief United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?