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Myers v. SSC Westland Operating Company, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

June 4, 2015

ASIA MYERS, Plaintiff,
v.
SSC WESTLAND OPERATING COMPANY, LLC, d/b/a HOPE HEALTHCARE CENTER, a Michigan limited liability company, SAVASENIORCARE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES, LLC a Delaware limited liability company, Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

MONA K. MAJZOUB, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Asia Myers filed this action on October 23, 2013, against Defendants SSC Westland Operating Company, LLC and SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services, LLC, alleging that Defendants violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the ADA when they did not allow her to return to work with reasonable accommodations following pregnancy-related complications. ( See Docket no. 1.) Before the Court is Plaintiff's request for Rule 37 fees related to Plaintiff's Motion to Compel, which the Court granted at a hearing held on March 4, 2015. ( See Bench Order, Mar. 4, 2015; docket no. 37.) Plaintiff's Motion to Compel was referred for consideration. (Docket no. 38.)

Following the hearing, Plaintiff submitted her Bill of Costs. (Docket no. 51.) Defendants filed Objections. (Docket no. 52.) And Plaintiff filed a Reply. (Docket no. 54.) The undersigned has reviewed the pleadings, heard the Parties' arguments with regard to Plaintiff's initial Motion, dispenses with a hearing related to the Bill of Costs pursuant to E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f)(2), and issues this Report and Recommendation.

I. Recommendation

Plaintiff should be awarded reasonable costs and attorneys' fees in the amount of $1, 614.30, payable by Defendant and Defense counsel.

II. Report

A. Facts

Plaintiff filed her Complaint on October 23, 2013. On August 22, 2014, Plaintiff served Defendants with Plaintiff's First Request for Production of Documents. (Docket no. 37-2.) And on September 30, 2014, Plaintiff served Defendants with Plaintiff's (Revised) First Set of Interrogatories. (Docket no. 37-3.) Through communication between attorneys, Plaintiff agreed to allow Defendants to respond on October 27, 2014. (Docket no. 37-4.) The Court acknowledged this deadline in a stipulated order. (Docket no. 36.)

When Defendants had not responded to Plaintiff's discovery requests by November 13, 2014, Plaintiff filed her instant Motion to Compel. (Docket no. 37.) Defendants did not file a response. The parties did, however, file a Joint Statement of Resolved and Unresolved Issues on January 5, 2015. (Docket no. 48.) In their Joint Statement, Plaintiff indicated that Defendants still had not responded to her discovery requests. And although they had waived their arguments by not objecting to the requests and by not responding to Plaintiff's Motion, Defendants argued that Plaintiff's discovery requests were overbroad. Thus, while they did not attempt to avoid production, they requested an additional 21 days to produce responses. (Docket no. 48.)

On February 13, 2015, the Court ordered the Parties to appear at a hearing related to Plaintiff's Motion. (Docket no. 47.) And on February 25, 2015, the Parties filed a second Statement of Resolved and Unresolved Issues. (Docket no. 48.) Filed just over seven weeks after Defendants requested an additional 21 days to respond, Plaintiff indicated that she still had not received any discovery responses. ( Id. )

At the March 4, 2015 hearing, Defendants asserted that they had not responded to Plaintiff because they were trying to work things out but had been unable to do so. Defendants indicated, however, that they had provided some responses on February 27, 2015, and that additional documents were being scanned for production as the hearing was being held. Plaintiff, however, told the Court that many of the February 27 responses raised general objections or referred to initial disclosures, which the Court noted was a violation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Therefore, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion and ordered Plaintiff's counsel to submit a bill of costs related to the filing of her Motion.

Pursuant to the Court's Order, Plaintiff submitted its Bill of Costs, seeking $10, 176.96 in fees related to its Motion. (Docket no. 51-3.) Plaintiff's attorney's fees are broken down as follows:

(Docket no. 51-3.) Defendants object, arguing that Rule 37 sanctions are not appropriate, that Plaintiff's attorneys' rates are unreasonable, and that Plaintiff's attorneys' hours ...


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