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Susan Patroski v. Pressley Ridge and

November 29, 2011

SUSAN PATROSKI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PRESSLEY RIDGE AND B. SCOTT FINNELL,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Terrence F. McVerry United States District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER OF COURT

AND NOW, this 29th day of November, 2011, upon consideration of Plaintiff's MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS BY PARTY B. SCOTT FINNELL (Document No. 43) and her MOTION FOR ORDER COMPELLING PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS BY PRESSLEY RIDGE (Document No. 46), with briefs in support (Document Nos. 44 and 48), the RESPONSES / OBJECTIONS of the Defendants (Document Nos. 53 and 54), the REPLY MEMORANDUM and SUPPLEMENT TO REPLY MEMORANDUM filed by Plaintiff (Document Nos. 57 and 58), the REPLY TO PLAINTIFF'S SUPPLEMENT filed by Pressley Ridge (Document No. 59), and after discussion in open court at the Case Management Conference, it is hereby ORDERED as follows:

Plaintiff's motions to compel are GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART. On or before December 13, 2011, Defendants shall produce, in accordance with the following rulings, all documents in response to the pending motions to compel for production of documents to the best of their ability and understanding of the request(s). Defendant Pressley Ridge's search of e-documents is ongoing. To the extent that additional responsive documents are found through e-searches, such documents shall be produced to Plaintiff immediately upon discovery.

Further, on or before December 19, 2011, each Defendant shall produce to Plaintiff a privilege log which reflects the document description and the privilege claimed for every responsive document not produced.

Additionally, the Court notes that Plaintiff and Pressley Ridge have a fundamental disagreement as to the extent of the search of electronic documents which Pressley Ridge must undertake. Plaintiff requests that Pressley Ridge gather "all" responsive documents from "all employees" of Pressley Ridge, including management and non-management employees; Pressley Ridge responds that this request is "unduly burdensome, onerous, vexatious and utterly unreasonable." Given that Pressley Ridge employs approximately 1,100 employees and has locations in seven states and serves children and families in two international countries, the Court agrees that it would be unduly burdensome to require Pressley Ridge to search its "entire electronic database" for responsive documents. However, the Court finds that Defendant's proposal to produce only documents from "executive level" employees is unduly limited. Accordingly, Pressley Ridge shall produce all responsive documents from all Pressley Ridge employees, whether "executive level" or not, who worked or works in the Pressley Ridge Pittsburgh corporate office located in McCandless Township and who has knowledge of the alleged misconduct which gives rise to this lawsuit from the date of Plaintiff's employment through January 1, 2011.

DOCUMENT REQUESTS DIRECTED TO B. SCOTT FINNELL

The merits of Defendant Finnell's responses / objections to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Production of Documents are addressed seriatim.

11. Defendant's response / objection is SUSTAINED and the Motion to Compel Request No. 11 is DENIED IN PART AND GRANTED IN PART. The response / objection is sustained in that Plaintiff's request is vague, overly broad, and has the potential to infringe upon the privacy interests of non-parties to this litigation. Defendant Finnell has stated that he does not have any documents in his possession which are related to a hypnosis or relaxation session with any specific person (as contrasted with general materials he is producing in response to other requests regarding techniques.) Defendant states that any such documents, if they exist, would be on the hard drive of his computer which is in the possession of Defendant Pressley Ridge. Plaintiff's request to compel Pressley Ridge to provide Finnell a copy of data stored on the hard-drive of the computer which Finnell left behind at Pressley Ridge is GRANTED IN PART. Plaintiff is entitled to any relevant information found on the hard-drive of the Pressley Ridge computer which Fennell utilized while he was employed at Pressley Ridge and any responsive documents found on this computer shall be provided directly from Pressley Ridge to Plaintiff within the time frame hereinabove stated.

18. Defendant's response / objection is SUSTAINED and the Motion to Compel Request No. 18 is DENIED. The response / objection is sustained in that the request seeks documents which are personal and are not relevant to the claims in this action. In his counterclaim, Defendant is NOT claiming any lost income as a result of his resignation from Pressley Ridge. Rather, Defendant's counterclaim is limited to lost employment opportunities following his resignation.

19, 20, and 21. Defendant's responses / objections are GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART and the Motion to Compel Request Nos. 19, 20, and 21 is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. Plaintiff is entitled to documents regarding the resignation, "termination," and/or "departure" of Finnell as CEO from Pressley Ridge which are in his personal possession. However, information contained within such documents which relate to income, bonuses, benefits, expense reimbursement, severance payments and any other compensation which Finnell received from Pressley Ridge may be redacted by Defendant.

23. Defendant's responses / objections are GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART and the Motion to Compel Request No. 23 is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. To the extent that this request seeks documents which reflect Finnell's employment agreement with Pressley Ridge or any documents which reflect his compensation with Pressley Ridge, including documents which reflect any negotiations regarding compensation with Pressley Ridge, Defendant's response / objection is GRANTED. However, Plaintiff is entitled to all documents related to Finnell's job search since April 2010. In that regard, it appears based on Defendant's response that he has produced all documents related to his job search since April 2010 and that he has not received any job offers except one from the University of Phoenix for which documents, including those regarding compensation, have been produced.

DOCUMENT REQUESTS DIRECTED TO PRESSLEY RIDGE

The merits of Defendant Pressley Ridge's responses / objections to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Production of Documents are addressed seriatim.

1. Defendant's response / objection is SUSTAINED and the Motion to Compel Request No. 1 is DENIED. Defendant's objection is sustained insofar as Plaintiff's request seeks "all documents or objects relating to or referring to Susan Patroski," etc. It appears that Pressley Ridge has produced a substantial number of documents in response to this request including "Plaintiff's personnel file, documents relating to the termination of Plaintiff's employment, the disciplinary warning she was issued, the investigation into her internal compliant against Dr. Finnell, her EEOC charge against Pressley Ridge, and hundreds of emails between Plaintiff and Dr. Finnell." Response at 6. The e-searches for additional relevant documents, if any, is ongoing. If Plaintiff seeks additional files or documents, she should make a more particularized request as opposed to the ...


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