United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
STATE FARM MUT. AUTO. INS. CO., ET AL., Plaintiffs,
LEONARD STAVROPOLSKIY, ET AL., Defendants. EASTERN APPROACH REHABILITATION, LLC, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
STATE FARM MUT. AUTO. INS. CO., ET AL., Defendants.
J. April 24, 2017 Before this Court are motions to compel
discovery filed by both parties, together with their
responses and replies. For the reasons set forth, each motion
will be granted in part and denied in part.
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, district courts have
broad discretion to manage discovery. Sempier v. Johnson
& Higgins, 45 F.3d 724, 734 (3d Cir. 1995).
Discovery need not be confined to matters of admissible
evidence; it may encompass any “nonprivileged matter
that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and
proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).
Leonard Stavropolskiy, Dr. Joseph Wang, Aquatic Therapy of
Chinatown, and Eastern Approach Rehabilitation (collectively,
the “Medical Parties”) and State Farm Fire and
Casualty Company (collectively, “State Farm”)
have served a series of interrogatories and document requests
on each other. Both sides have answered certain requests, but
have refused to respond to others in whole or in part. In
their respective motions to compel, both parties argue that
certain responses are incomplete or unresponsive. We review
each request individually to determine whether, under the
standard set out in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the
documents requested or subpoenaed are discoverable.
Medical Parties' Motion to Compel (Doc. No.
Medical Parties' requests to compel answers to
interrogatories and production of documents are granted or
denied as follows:
Interrogatory #1: “When did you first begin any
investigation of Eastern Approach Rehabilitation, Aquatic
Therapy of Chinatown, Dr. Leonard Stavropolskiy, and/or Dr.
response to this request, State Farm asserted that it opened
a multi-claim investigation project on or about November 15,
2013 and that it had “also engaged in investigation of
the above referenced” Medical Parties prior to that
date. State Farm's response cross-referenced its response
to another interrogatory revealing that State Farm reviewed a
claim or claims against the Medical Parties on or around
September 19, 2011.
Medical Parties submit that a more specific answer is
required. We agree and thus, we direct State Farm to state
with specificity when it first began any investigation of the
Interrogatory #5: “When and how did you first identify
the fraud you allege in your lawsuit against the Eastern
response to this request, State Farm stated that it made the
determination sometime between September 8, 2014 and the date
of the filing of the Complaint. State Farm protests that it
cannot answer “down to a specific minute, hour, or day,
” (Doc. No. 48), because its determination was not an
epiphany but rather occurred over time. State Farm maintains
that the best it can do is to provide a time frame during
which it is reasonably certain the identification of fraud
was made, which it has done. We agree with State Farm that
its response is sufficient as to when it first identified the
how it identified the alleged fraud, State Farm initially
provided no response and now refers the Medical Parties and
the Court to the evidence detailed in its amended complaint
and a response to a later interrogatory regarding the reasons
State Farm was unable to discover the alleged fraud earlier
than October 30, 2011. These answers are not responsive to
the Medical Parties' interrogatory. ...