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Gavaghan v. Said

United States District Court, Third Circuit

June 14, 2013

JOHN GAVAGHAN, Plaintiff,
v.
SAYED BIBI SAID and SOUTHLAND CORP., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

ROBERT F. KELLY SENIOR JUDGE.

Presently before this Court is Defendants, Sayed Bibbi Said and Southland Corporation’s, Motion for Sanctions.[1] For the reasons set forth below, Defendants’ Motion is granted.

I. BACKGROUND

The Parties

Plaintiff, John Gavaghan (“Plaintiff”), is an adult individual residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Compl. ¶ 1.) Defendant, Sayed Bibi Said (singularly “Defendant Said”), is an adult individual residing in Oakley, California. (Not. of Removal ¶ 17.) Defendant, Southland Corporation (singularly “Defendant 7-Eleven”) changed its name to 7-Eleven, Corporation, in 1999. (Id. ¶ 18.) Defendant 7-Eleven is a Texas corporation with its principal place of business in Dallas, Texas. (Id. ¶ 19.) Defendant Said operates a 7-Eleven store at 5231 Harbison Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Compl. ¶ 2.) Plaintiff’s suit against Defendant Said and Defendant 7-Eleven (collectively “Defendants”) is for personal injury suffered as a consequence of allegedly dangerous conditions at the 7-Eleven storefront on Harbison Avenue. (Id. ¶ 8.)

Plaintiff’s Allegations

On or about September 11, 2010, Plaintiff was walking into the 7-Eleven store on Harbison Avenue when he tripped, stumbled and fell over a concrete wheel stop that was off its moorings. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 8.) Defendants did not place any warning signs or markers indicating the dangerous condition on their premises. (Id. ¶ 7.) Plaintiff suffered severe and permanent injuries to his hip, neck, back, spine and limbs, as well as multiple abrasions and contusions, and severe shock to his nerves and nervous system. (Id. ¶ 9.) These injuries have resulted in cosmetic disfigurement, physical and mental impairment, as well as physical pain, mental anguish, embarrassment and humiliation, which prevent Plaintiff from performing all or substantially all of the material acts, duties and occupations which constitute his usual and customary activities. (Id. ¶¶ 13-14.) Additionally, Plaintiff has suffered financial expenses and losses including a loss of his earnings and impairment of his earning capacity, which may continue into the future. (Id. ¶¶ 11-12.)

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County on September 7, 2012. (Not. of Removal at 1.) Noting the complete diversity of the parties and that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, Defendants removed the litigation to federal court on November 13, 2012. (Id.)

After a telephone conference between the Court and the parties, discovery began on November 30, 2012, and was to be completed by May 1, 2013. (Sch. Order Nov. 30, 2012.) The record evidences repeated noncooperation by Plaintiff, which required Defendants petitioning this Court for relief. These incidents are summarized in the following:

Defendants’ Motion for Contempt and Compel Compliance with a Subpoena

On December 17, 2012, Defendants served Plaintiff with a subpoena requesting the production of certain photographs of the site where the alleged injury occurred and any information relating to these photographs. (Defs.’ Mot. for Contempt ¶ 5.) Plaintiff’s response was due January 7, 2013. (Id. ¶ 6.) After not receiving any response, Defendants sent letters to Plaintiff on January 25, 2013, and February 14, 2013. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8.) Plaintiff again failed to respond in any way to Defendants’ attempts at correspondence, which necessitated Defendants to file a Motion for Contempt and to Compel Compliance with the Subpoena on March 7, 2013. (Doc. 9.) Five days later, we granted Defendants’ Motion and Ordered Plaintiff to produce the requested materials. (See Doc. 10.)

Defendants’ Motions to Compel

On January 22, 2013, Defendants filed a Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s Response to Defendants’ Interrogatories and Document Requests. (Doc. 6.) The Motion asserted that Plaintiff had failed to respond in any way to Defendants’ discovery requests, which were due on January 2, 2013, nor respond to a letter sent by Defendants on January 10, 2013, informing Plaintiff of his non-compliance. (Id. at 3.) On January 24, 2013, we issued an Order compelling Plaintiff to provide full responses to Defendants’ ...


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