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Walton v. Best Buy Company

April 14, 2010

LORI WALTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BEST BUY COMPANY, INC., AND BEST BUY STORES, L.P., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mona K. Majzoub United States Magistrate Judge

DISTRICT JUDGE STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III

MAGISTRATE JUDGE MONA K. MAJZOUB

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL COMPLETE RESPONSES TO DISCOVERY REQUESTS AND AMEND SUMMARY JUDGMENT BRIEFING SCHEDULE (DOCKET NO. 24) AND DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO EXCLUDE PLAINTIFF'S EXPERT WITNESSES (DOCKET NO. 26)

These matters come before the Court on two motions. The first motion is Plaintiff's Motion To Compel Complete Responses To Discovery Requests And Amend Summary Judgment Briefing Schedule filed on November 10, 2009*fn1 . (Docket no. 24). Defendant filed a Response on November 24, 2009. (Docket no. 35). The parties filed a Joint List Of Unresolved Issues on December 21, 2009. (Docket no. 46). Defendant filed a Supplement To Joint List Of Unresolved Issues on December 23, 2009. (Docket no. 47). The second motion is Defendant's Motion To Exclude Plaintiff's Expert Witnesses filed on November 16, 2009. (Docket no. 26). Plaintiff filed a Response Opposing Defendants' (sic) Motion on November 30, 2009. (Docket no. 39). Defendant filed a Reply Brief on December 4, 2009. (Docket no. 41). The parties filed a Joint List Of Unresolved Issues on December 18, 2009. (Docket no. 44). These matters were referred to the undersigned for determination pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). (Docket nos. 25, 27). The matters being fully briefed, the Court dispenses with oral argument. (Docket nos. 28, 29). E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f). The matters are ready for ruling.

I. Facts and Claims

Plaintiff is an employee of Defendant and brings this action alleging "sex plus" discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 37.2201 et seq. Plaintiff alleges harassment and disparate treatment as a pregnant female employee and as a female employee with children. (Docket no. 1).

II. Plaintiff's Motion To Compel Complete Responses To Discovery Requests (Docket no. 24)

Plaintiff served her Second Interrogatories And Requests For Production Of Documents To Defendants on October 7, 2009. (Docket no. 24-2). Defendant served Responses and Answers on November 9, 2009. (Docket no. 24-3). Plaintiff alleges that the responses and answers are insufficient. According to the parties' Joint List of Unresolved Issues, they have resolved Request for Production Nos. 3 and 13 and Interrogatory No. 6. (Docket no. 46). The unresolved issues are Request for Production Nos. 1, 2 and 4-12 and Interrogatory Nos. 2, 4 and 5. (Docket no. 46).

A. Relevance

Pursuant to Rule 26, Fed. R. Civ. P., a party may seek discovery "regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense . . . . For good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Despite Defendant's general objections to relevance, the Court finds that most of the Requests and Interrogatories remaining at issue are relevant to Plaintiff's claim.

The Courts finds that Request for Production No. 12 is not relevant. It asks for "a copy of all IA's (Inventory Adjustments) for the stores in District 16 for the period October 15, 2006 through November 1, 2007." (Docket no. 24-3). Defendant with its Response Brief produced a copy of an IA and it does not mention anything related to employees. There appears to be no relevance to Plaintiff's claims or the defenses in this matter and the Court will deny Plaintiff's motion to compel as to Request for Production No. 12. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).

The Court also notes that Request for Production Nos. 9 and 10 are exactly the same. The Court will deny Plaintiff's motion to compel as to Request for Production No. 10 and strike the Request as duplicative.

B. Requests for Production

Plaintiff alleges that several of Defendant's responses to the Requests for Production were incomplete, evasive and non-responsive. (Docket no. 24). Pursuant to Rule 34, Fed. R. Civ. P., "[a] party may serve on any other party a request within the scope of Rule 26(b): (1) to produce and permit the requesting party . . . to inspect, copy, test, or sample . . . items in the responding party's possession, custody, or control . . . ." Fed. R. Civ. P. 34(a)(1). "The word 'control' is to be broadly construed. A party controls ...


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