United States District Court, D. Oregon, Portland Division
RUSSELL PITKIN and MARY PITKIN, co-personal representatives of the Estate of MAD ALINE PITKIN, deceased, Plaintiffs,
CORIZON HEALTH, INC., a Delaware Corporation; CORIZON HEALTH, INC., a Tennessee Corporation; WASHINGTON COUNTY, a governmental body in the State of Oregon; JOSEPH MCCARTHY, MD, an individual; COLIN STORZ, an individual; LESLIE ONEIL, an individual; CJ BUCHANAN, an individual; LOUISA DURU, an individual; MOLLY JOHNSON, an individual; COURTNEY NYMAN, an individual; PAT GARRETT, in his capacity as Sheriff for Washington County; JOHN DOES 1-10; and JANE DOES 1-10, Defendants,
OPINION AND ORDER
Aiken United States District Judge
dispute stems from the death of Madaline Pitkin, which
occurred while she was in custody at Washington County Jail.
At the time of Ms. Pitkin's death, defendant Corizon
Health, Inc. ("Corizon") was a contractor for
Washington County, providing inmate health services in the
jail. Before me is a discovery dispute, in which plaintiffs
(Ms. Pitkin's parents and personal representatives of Ms.
Pitkin's estate) seek an extension of the discovery
deadlines and leave to take additional depositions. Corizon
opposes both motions. The parties disagree on the applicable
legal standard under which courts may grant leave to take
additional depositions, the relevance of the depositions
sought by plaintiffs, and whether an extension of discovery
is warranted, For the reasons set forth below,
plaintiffs' Motion to Extend Discovery is granted, and
plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Take Additional
Depositions is granted in part and denied in part.
November 30, 2016, plaintiffs filed suit against defendant
Corizon and others, claiming violations of the Fourteenth
Amendment to the United States Constitution; plaintiffs also
assert common law claims of wrongful death, negligence, and
gross negligence. Discovery in this case commenced in January
2017, and plaintiffs began taking depositions in April 2017.
In response to the complexity of this case and the resulting
scope of discovery, the parties filed a joint motion for an
extension of the discovery deadline in September 2017. I
granted the parties' request and established a new
deadline of December 15, 2017. Notably, defendants at that
time sought to extend discovery beyond the December 15
April 2017, plaintiffs conducted more than forty depositions,
including corporate depositions pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 30(b)(6). Plaintiffs also served two requests
for production of documents fewer than thirty days before the
close of discovery, on November 21, 2017, and December 6,
2017, respectively. Corizon objected to those requests on
timeliness grounds, Then, on December 8, 2017, plaintiffs
filed the instant motions to extend discovery and conduct
Rule of Civil Procedure 30(a) establishes a presumptive limit
often depositions per party. To exceed this limit, a party
must obtain a stipulation from the opposing party or leave of
the court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(a)(2)(A)(i). The rule directs the
court to follow the standards set forth in Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) and 26(b)(2) in determining whether
to grant such leave. Fed. R, Civ. P. 30(a)(2). Importantly,
Rule 30 lists no other standard - apart from those principles
enumerated in Rule 26 - governing requests for additional
depositions. See id.
26(b) establishes a broad scope of discovery, permitting
parties to "obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense
and proportional to the needs of the case." Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). Specifically, the rule requires the court, in
making discovery rulings, to consider "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."
Id. Further, the court must limit discovery if the
discovery sought is "unreasonably cumulative or
duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that
is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive."
the party seeking leave of the court to conduct additional
depositions under Rule 30 bears the burden of showing
sufficient reasons, consistent with the principles set forth
in Rule 26(b)(1) and (2), to justify an extension of the
A Particularized Showing of Necessity is Not Required
Under Rule 30(a)(2).
argue that their request to take five additional depositions
is justified under the standards established under Rule 26.
Specifically, plaintiffs assert that the following applies to
each of the depositions sought: 1) they are relevant to the
claims; 2) the information sought is not unreasonably
cumulative or duplicative; and 3) Corizon cannot establish
that the burden imposed outweighs the benefit to plaintiff.
In response, Corizon argues that plaintiffs' request
should be denied because they fail to "make a
particularized showing of why the discovery is
necessary" Defs.' Resp.to Pl.s.' Mot.
for Add'l Dep. 4 (quoting Archer Daniels Midland Co.
v. Aon Risk Servs., Inc. of Minnesota, 187 F.R.D. 578,
586 (D. Minn. 1999)) (emphasis in defendants' brief). In
making this argument, Corizon misconstrues the requirements
of Rule 30(a)(2).
threshold matter, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not
require a moving party to make a particularized showing
of necessity when seeking leave to take additional
depositions. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(a)(2).
Furthermore, imposing such a requirement would unduly
increase the burden on a moving party. The plain language of
Rule 30 states, inter alia, "the court must
grant leave to the extent consistent with Rule 26(b)(1) and
(2)." Id. There is no mention of necessity or a
particularized showing in Rule 26. Although some courts have
adopted the standard proffered by Corizon, I find no legal
basis for doing so. Accordingly, plaintiffs' only burden
is to show sufficient reason, based in the principles set
forth in Rule 26(b)(1) and (2), to exceed the presumptive
ten-deposition limit. See id.; see also Laryngeal Mask
Co. Ltd. v. Ambti A/S, 2009 WL 10672436, *3-4 (S.D. Cal.
July 17, 2009) (stating that ''[t]he plain language
of the Rules and the Advisory Committee Notes do not require
a particularized showing" when applying Rule 30(a)(2)).
Plaintiffs May Take Three of the Five ...