United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania
GIBSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions. (ECF No.
25.) This Motion is fully briefed (see ECF Nos. 30,
31) and is ripe for disposition. For the reasons that follow,
Plaintiff's Motion is GRANTED.
April 19, 2018, Plaintiff Eugene Quick filed a three-count
Complaint against his former employer, Defendant The Geo
Group, Inc., in the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield
County, Pennsylvania. (See ECF No. 1-3.) Plaintiff
alleges that Defendant violated the Pennsylvania Human
Resources Act by creating a hostile work environment (Count
I) and wrongfully terminating Plaintiff's employment
(Count II), and that Defendant intentionally inflicted
emotional distress upon Plaintiff (Count III). (See
id.) Defendant removed the case to this Court on May 8,
2018. (See ECF No. 1.)
instant discovery dispute arose based on Defendant's
disclosure of electronically stored information. On November
6, 2018, Plaintiff sent Defendant a broad request for
"all non- privileged letters, emails, or other
correspondence in Defendant's possession that Defendant
or its representative have had with anyone ... regarding the
facts at issue in this matter. (ECF No. 30 at 3.) After
Defendant objected, Plaintiff submitted a second request for
production on February 15, 2019. (Id.) Plaintiff
requested "all non-privileged emails in Defendant's
possession referring to 'Eugene,' 'Eugene
Quick,' 'Mr. Quick,' or 'Training
Administrator/ which were either sent or received between
March 1, 2016, and the present." (Id. at 4.)
Defense counsel objected to the scope of that request and
requested that Plaintiff's attorney narrow the scope of
the request. (Id. at 4-5.) Fact discovery ended on
April 1, 2019, and Defendant did not disclose 10, 000 pages
of emails until April 10, 2019. (Id. at 5.)
Motion for Sanctions, Plaintiff argues that Defendant should
be sanctioned for disclosing 10, 000 pages of emails to
Plaintiff on April 10, 2019 -ten days after the period for
fact discovery ended under the Court's scheduling order.
(ECF No. 25 at 1.) Plaintiff requests that discovery in the
matter be reopened so that he can conduct second depositions
of Plaintiff's former supervisors, Shon Kuta and Edwin
Uhlig. (Id. at 3.) Plaintiff argues that "had
Mr. Quick received the more than 10, 000 pages of documents
that were disclosed after the discovery deadline, the
depositions in this matter would have been approached much
response, Defendant argues that Plaintiff's Motion must
be denied because Plaintiff did not confer in good faith
prior to filing the Motion. (ECF No. 30 at 8.) Defendant
contends that Plaintiff's Motion did not comply with the
Federal Rules of Procedure and Local Rules because it (1) did
not to include a certification that he conferred in good
faith with defense counsel, and (2) did not include the
specific discovery request which is the subject of the
motion. (Id. at 8-9.) Finally, Defendant argues that
Plaintiff does not demonstrate why the Defendant's late
disclosure of the emails necessitates additional depositions.
(Id. at 10.)
Jurisdiction and Venue
Court has jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims under 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Venue is appropriate under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1391 because a substantial portion of the events
giving rise to this case took place within the Western
District of Pennsylvania.
modify a scheduling order, a party must demonstrate
"good cause." Fed.R.Civ.P. 14(b)(4). "The
'good cause' inquiry focuses on the moving
party's burden to show due diligence." Courtney
v. Ivanov, No. 3:13-cv-227, 2016 WL 1367755, at *2 (W.D.
Pa. Apr. 6, 2016) (Gibson, J.) (citing Race Tires Am.,
Inc. v. Hoosier Racing Tire Corp., 614 F.3d 57, 84 (3d
Cir. 2010)). In the context of requests to extend deadlines,
courts have defined "good cause" to include
"circumstances beyond the control of a party."
See Id. (citing Partners Coffee Co., LLC v.
Oceana Servs. and Prods. Co., No. 09-cv-23, 2010 U.S.
Dist. LEXIS 41695, 2010 WL 1726829 (W.D. Pa. Apr. 28, 2010);
Lord v. Consolidated Rail Corp, No. 13-784, 2015
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142119, at *9, 2015 WL 6163951 (D. N.J. Oct.
19, 2015)) ("A court may find good cause to amend the
scheduling order where the movant learns of the facts
supporting [the motion] after the expiration of the relevant
authorizes the Court to levy sanctions when a party fails to
comply with discovery deadlines. See FED. R. Civ. P.
37(b)(3)(B)(iv); Yoder v. Frontier Nursing Univ.,
Inc., No. 17-cv-18, 2018 WL 1524395, at *1 (W.D. Pa.
Mar. 28, 2018) (Gibson, J.). Under Rule 37(d), "[t]he
court where the action is pending may . . . order sanctions
if ... a party, after being properly served with [discovery
requests] .. . fails to serve its answers, objections, or
written response. FED. R. Civ. P. 37(d)(1)(A). "[T]he
court must require the party failing to act, the attorney
advising that party, or both to pay the reasonable expenses,
including attorney's fees, caused by the failure, unless
the failure was substantially justified or other
circumstances make an award of expenses unjust."
Court will grant Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions and
permit him to take second ...