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Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation v. Harley

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

July 22, 2014

CLAUDE WORTHINGTON BENEDUM FOUNDATION, a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM FRANCIS HARLEY, III, an adult individual, FURSA ALTERNATIVE STRATEGIES, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, ARSENAL GROUP, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, and HBS HOLDING COMPANY, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

NORA BARRY FISCHER, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions. (Docket No. 71). The matter has been fully briefed, and the Court heard oral argument on this matter on May 29, 2014. (Docket Nos. 71, 72, 74). On June 4, 2014, the Court ruled in part on Plaintiff's Motion, ordering Defendants to produce a list of documents identified within said Order. (Docket No. 77). The Court deferred ruling, however, as to Plaintiff's request for sanctions, keeping this matter under advisement. ( Id. ). The Court has subsequently reviewed the Declaration of Plaintiff's expert, David R. Tantlinger, Jr., (Docket No. 81), as well as the transcript of Mr. Tantlinger's deposition, which was taken on May 7, 2014. Upon the Court's consideration of these documents, all related filings, and for the reasons, Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions is granted, in part, and denied, in part.

II. BACKGROUND

Since this case was removed on September 25, 2012, this Court has heard multiple discovery disputes. The case management conference was held on October 31, 2012, at which time fact discovery was ordered to close by April 30, 2013. (Docket Nos. 14; 15). On March 27, 2013, the parties filed a Joint Motion to Extend Fact Discovery. (Docket No. 35). The Court granted this Motion the same day, ordering that fact discovery conclude by July 31, 2013. (Docket No. 36).

On May 24, 2013, the Plaintiff filed its first Motion to Compel. (Docket No. 41). Therein, Plaintiff averred that Defendants had produced general ledgers from the Fund, but these ledgers failed to show what happened to money once investments were sold. ( Id. at ¶¶ 11-14). Thus, Plaintiff sought "documents that show where the disbursement went after leaving the Fund, whether to Harley, investors, banks, etc." ( Id. at ¶ 15). In Response, Defendants averred that they were in the process of obtaining additional bank records, which would be produced. (Docket No. 44). On June 7, 2013, the Court issued an Order as follows: "Defendants are to produce all bank records described in their response brief (Docket No. 44 at ¶¶ 11, 15, 18, 19, 21), by July 8, 2013." (Docket No. 47). This Order encompassed bank records that Defendant had averred it was in the process of collecting. (Docket No. 44).

Then, on July 26, 2013, Plaintiff filed a second Motion to Compel and a Motion for Leave to Serve Additional Discovery. (Docket Nos. 49; 51). The Court held a hearing on August 5, 2013, (Docket No. 55), and on August 6, 2013, the Court ordered that Defendants were required to produce six items to Plaintiff:

1. Defendant Harley's bank account records from 2006 to the present;
2. Defendant HBS Holding Company, LLC's bank records from 2006 to the present;
3. Defendant FURSA Alternative Strategies, LLC's bank records that have not already been produced from 2006 to the present;
4. Bannon Holdings, LLC's bank account records from 2006 to the present;
5. A S Wings, LLC's bank account records from 2006 to the present; and,
6. HRK Holdings, LLC's bank account records from 2006 to the present.

(Docket No. 56). Defendants subsequently produced additional documents responsive to this Order between September and October ...


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