The opinion of the court was delivered by: KIM GIBSON, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This case comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to
Compel Discovery (Document No. 12). Based upon a consideration of
Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Discovery (Document No. 12) and
Memorandum of Law in Support of Their Motion to Compel Discovery
(Document No. 18), and upon consideration of Defendants' Response
to Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Discovery (Document No. 16) and
Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Response to
Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel (Document No. 17), and based upon
oral argument by means of a telephonic conference call on October
3, 2005 (Document No. 19) and the record in the case sub
judice, the Court shall grant Plaintiffs' motion in part for the
Jurisdiction is proper in the United States District Court for
the Western District of Pennsylvania pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1332, in that all parties to the above-captioned civil action are
citizens of different states. Specifically, Plaintiffs are
individuals who reside in Pennsylvania, and the Defendants,
Encore Medical Corporation, and Encore Orthopedics, Inc., are
Texas corporations with their principal place of business in Texas.
Furthermore, the subject matter in controversy exceeds the sum or
value of $75,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
On or about January 10, 2000, Asha L. Swain (hereinafter "Mrs.
Swain") had a total left knee replacement with an "Encore
Foundation Series posterior stabilized knee . . ." (Document No.
1, Exhibit 1, Plaintiffs' Complaint). The artificial knee joint
components, "which were manufactured, sold and distributed by
Encore in Pennsylvania" are alleged by Plaintiffs to be
"dangerously defective. . . ." Id. Specifically, on or about
June 26, 2002, Mrs. Swain felt her artificial left knee become
unstable, and she immediately visited her orthopedic physician.
The visit to her physician revealed that a stabilizing post in
her left knee had broken. Id. Consequently, on or about July
10, 2002, Mrs. Swain underwent another surgery to "revise the
left tibial polyethylene insert which had broken, [and to repair]
the delamination which had occurred. . . ." Id. A second Encore
artificial knee tibial insert was implanted into Mrs. Swain's
left knee. Id.
Following the replacement of the left tibial polyethylene
insert, Mrs. Swain continued to feel pain and soreness in her
left knee. Id. Eventually, gradual swelling and hemorrhaging
that succeeded the second knee operation revealed that Mrs.
Swain's left knee had become infected. Id.
On or about June 2003, Mrs. Swain underwent her third knee
surgery whereby the second artificial Encore left knee and all of
its components were removed. Id. An "artificial antibiotic
spacer" was implanted in place of the removed components. Id.
For the next several months, Ms. Swain received antibiotics
intravenously. Id. On or about August 19, 2003, Ms. Swain underwent her fourth
knee surgery. Id. The antibiotic spacer was surgically removed
from her left knee, and a total left knee replacement was
implanted. Id. However, due to the continued surgeries, Ms.
Swain is no longer a candidate for future knee replacement
Based upon the above-mentioned facts, the Plaintiffs filed the
following claims against the Defendants in the Court of Common
Pleas for Allegheny County: Count One-Negligence; Count
Two-Strict Liability in accordance with the Restatement of Torts,
2nd Ed. § 402(A); Count Three-Strict Liability:
Misrepresentation, § 402(B); Count Four-Breach of Warranties; and
Count Five Loss of Consortium (Pradip K. Swain v. Defendants).
Thereafter, the Defendants removed this civil action to the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania on July 21, 2004.
On or about November 23, 2004, this Court entered a case
management order, which set forth a discovery completion date of
June 30, 2005. (Document No. 8).
Thereafter, on May 26, 2005, the parties requested from the
Court an extension of the discovery deadline. The Court granted
the request, and the amended case management order set forth
August 30, 2005 as the date for discovery to be completed.
(Document No. 9).
On or about August 25, 2005, the Plaintiffs filed a Motion to
Compel Discovery. (Document No. 12). After receiving Defendants'
Response to Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Discovery (Document Nos.
16 & 17), the Court held oral argument by means of a telephonic
conference call on October 3, 2005 wherein the parties addressed
the issues raised in Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel. (Document No.
19). The issues in dispute were taken under advisement, and those
issues are decided in this Memorandum Opinion. DISCUSSION
The Plaintiffs argue in their Motion to Compel that the
Defendants have failed to engage in discovery as required under
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Document Nos. 12 & 18).
Specifically, the Plaintiffs allege that they served a request
for production of documents upon the Defendants on January 25,
2005, and the Plaintiffs served a set of written interrogatories
upon the Defendants on February 21, 2005. Id. Plaintiffs argue
that the Defendants "refuse to provide any discovery to
[P]laintiffs until such time as [P]laintiffs capitulate to sign a
confidentiality agreement acceptable to the [D]efendant[s]."
(Document No. 12). The Plaintiffs assert that without leave of
Court, the Defendants cannot stay discovery proceedings.
Moreover, the Plaintiffs ...