United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MATTHEW W. BRANN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Plaintiffs James and Cheryl Hoffman, husband and wife, filed
this products liability action when one of Defendant's
generators allegedly malfunctioned and caused a substantial
potential defense advanced by Champion is that the subject
generator, due to its manufacture and sales dates, did not
belong to a known recall of defective generators.
Shortly after I issued an Order narrowing the scope of the
Defendant's Rule 30(b)(6) deposition, Plaintiffs
cancelled that deposition and returned to the Court on the
day before it was scheduled to request supplemental
“It is well established that the scope and conduct of
discovery are within the sound discretion of the trial court
. . . and that after final judgment of the district court . .
. our review is confined to determining if that discretion
has been abused.” Marroquin-Manriquez v.
I.N.S., 699 F.2d 129, 134 (3d Cir. 1983) (Aldisert, J.).
“To find such abuse it is usually necessary to conclude
that there has been an interference with a substantial right
. . . or that the discovery ruling is seen to be a gross
abuse of discretion resulting in fundamental unfairness in
the trial of the case.” Id. Thus, the United
States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has forewarned
litigants that it “will not interfere with a trial
court's control of its docket except upon the clearest
showing that the procedures have resulted in actual and
substantial prejudice to the complaining litigant.”
In re Fine Paper Antitrust Litig., 685 F.2d 810,
817-18 (3d Cir. 1982) (Aldisert, J.).
“Discovery need not be perfect, but discovery must be
fair.” Boeynaems v. LA Fitness Int'l, LLC,
285 F.R.D. 331, 333 (E.D. Pa. 2012) (Baylson, J.). “The
responses sought must comport with the traditional notions of
relevancy and must not impose an undue burden on the
responding party.” Hicks v. Arthur, 159 F.R.D.
468, 470 (E.D. Pa. 1995). “[T]he scope of [ ] discovery
is not without limits.” Kresefky v. Panasonic
Commc'ns & Sys. Co., 169 F.R.D. 54, 64 (D.N.J.
1996). As such, “[d]iscovery should be tailored to the
issues involved in the particular case.” Id.
amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) states:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding 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. Information within this scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
“To determine the scope of discoverable information
under Rule 26(b)(1), the Court looks initially to the
pleadings.” Trask v. Olin Corp., 298 F.R.D.
244, 263 (W.D. Pa. 2014) (Fischer, J.). In ascertaining which
materials are discoverable and which are not, a district
court must further distinguish between requests that
“appear[ ] reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence, ” Bell v.
Lockheed Martin Corp., 270 F.R.D. 186, 191 (D.N.J.
2010), and demands that are “overly broad and unduly
burdensome.” Miller v. Hygrade Food Products
Corp., 89 F.Supp.2d 643, 657 (E.D. Pa. 2000).
“[T]he discovery rules are meant to be construed quite
liberally so as to permit the discovery of any information
which is relevant and is reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence.” Fid. Fed. Sav.
& Loan Ass'n v. Felicetti, 148 F.R.D. 532, 534
(E.D. Pa. 1993). “As an initial matter, therefore, all
relevant material is discoverable unless an applicable
evidentiary privilege is asserted. The presumption that such
matter is discoverable, however, is defeasible.”
Pearson v. Miller, 211 F.3d 57, 65 (3d Cir. 2000).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(a)(3)(B) states that
“[a] party seeking discovery may move for an order
compelling an answer, designation, production, or
inspection.” “In order to succeed on a motion to
compel discovery, a party must first prove that it sought
discovery from its opponent.” Petrucelli v.
Bohringer & Ratzinger, 46 F.3d 1298, 1310 (3d Cir.
1995) (Cowen, J.) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1)). In
addition, “[t]he party seeking the discovery has the
burden of clearly showing the relevancy of the information
sought.” Caver v. City of Trenton, 192 F.R.D.
154, 159 (D.N.J. 2000).
Rule 37(a)(1) requires that a party moving to compel
discovery “include a certification that the movant has
in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the
person or party failing to make disclosure or ...