United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
District Judge Judith E. Levy
OPINION AND ORDER
STEVEN WHALEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court are Defendant / Third Party Plaintiff Innovative
Textiles, Inc.'s (“ITI's”) Motion to
Compel Discovery Regarding Communications Exchanged Between
and Information Considered by Carhartt's Four-Person
“Product Notification” Team [ECF No. 98] and its
Amended Motion to Compel [ECF No. 109]. Following an
in camera review of the documents in question, and
for the reasons discussed below, the motions will be DENIED.
is a Dearborn, Michigan based clothing company that markets a
line of flame-resistant garments. Beginning in 2009, ITI
supplied Carhartt with flame-resistant fabric. Carhartt
alleges that around June of 2016, its internal testing
revealed that ITI's fabrics “did not satisfy the
standards they were required to satisfy...and did not live up
to the representations that [it] had made about the
fabrics.” Complaint, ECF No. 1, PageID.11. As
a result, Carhartt recalled products containing the allegedly
non-conforming (i.e., defective) fabric, and seeks damages
associated with the recall.
issue in these motions is Carhartt's decision to recall
products containing the allegedly defective fabric, and
internal communications among Carhartt personnel preceding
that decision. Ultimately, four people participated in the
decision to recall products: William Hardy, Jeffrey Hicks,
Joe Don Long, and Anna Inch. Ms. Inch was Carhartt's
in-house counsel. Mr. Hardy, a senior vice-president,
testified as follows at his deposition:
Q: Okay. Who at Carhartt made the final decision to issue the
A: The final decision was made by a collective group of us,
there was three or four primary people involved in
that....Yeah, so it was a collective decision. Jeff, amongst
myself and our Linda Hubbard and Joe Don Long and our inside
counsel, we had extensive meetings together, and spent a lot
of time evaluating the information that we had.
Q: Was everyone in that group in agreement on the decision to
issue the product notification?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Okay. So there wasn't one final person that made the
A: No, we collectively all came to the agreement, what we
needed to do.
Deposition of William Hardy, ITI' Exhibit 3, ECF
No. 109-4, PageID.5023-5024; Carhartt Exhibit 2, ECF 126-3,
Long, formerly Carhartt's Director of Quality for Raw
Materials testified similarly that four individuals
participated in the ...