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Ramdeen v. Trihop 69th Street, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

February 14, 2017

RICKY RAMDEEN
v.
TRIHOP 69th STREET, LLC d/b/a IHOP

          OPINION

          JACOB P. HART, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         In this action, Ricky Ramdeen has sued Trihop 69th Street, LLC d/b/a IHOP (“Trihop 69th Street”), for his termination after two days of training as a host in its pancake restaurant, alleging discrimination, retaliation and a failure to accommodate, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., and relevant state law.

         Discovery in this case closed on January 30, 2017. Ramdeen has now filed a motion to compel certain discovery responses, to which Trihop 69th Street has responded. For the reasons that follow, Ramdeen's motion will be granted as specified below.

         II. Relevant Law

         Within certain limits which are not implicated here, parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense. Fed. R. Civ. Pr. 26(b)(1). Relevant information need not be admissible at trial, if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Id. A party has a duty to supplement or correct its disclosure or response in a timely matter, or as ordered by the court. Fed. R. Civ. Pr. 26(e). The party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling an answer or production, or where the response is incomplete. Fed. R. Civ. Pr. 37(a)(3) and (4).

         III. Discussion

         A. Document Request No. 20

         A court or jury's willingness to award actual damages, punitive damages or liquidated damages is often impacted by the size of the employer (as are damage caps under certain laws). Please provide documents reflecting the following information:

(a) All documents reflecting exactly how many employees worked for Defendant(s) during each of the last 3 calendar years on a part-time or full-time basis; and
(b) Payroll documentation reflecting all employees employed within the last 3 years for Defendant(s).

[If Defendant(s) has employed more than 500 employees for each of the last 3 calendar years, Defendant(s) need not provide any requested documents herein in Defendant(s) would prefer to provide a sworn affidavit to this effect in lieu of documentation from a high-level manage authorized to affirm such information (with details specifying such authorization)].

         Trihop 69th Street concedes that Ramdeen is entitled to “the best estimate” of the number of employees “during the relevant time period.” It asks for an additional two weeks within which to supply “the best available information regarding the number of employees at this restaurant in August and September of 2015 and for the time since.” It has not, however, explained its basis for refusing to offer information for the full three years, as requested. Nor has it explained why it has not provided this information before the close of discovery.

         Because the material requested is clearly relevant, and because Trihop 69th Street has not made any argument as to why the scope of the request should be limited, Ramdeen's motion will be granted. Within two weeks of the date of the accompanying Order, Trihop 69th Street shall provide the requested material regarding the full three years; any claim that such material (or some part of it) does not exist, or is unavailable, should be set forth in a written ...


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