United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
KAREN M. HUMPHREYS, Magistrate Judge.
This matter is before the court on defendant's motion to compel discovery responses (Doc. 92). For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion shall be DENIED.
Defendant employed plaintiff as a courier for over 14 years until her termination in May 2008. Highly summarized, plaintiff claims she was terminated in retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim after suffering a work-related injury in September 2007. Defendant denies plaintiff's claim and contends it terminated her for falsifying time records. Plaintiff seeks back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, damages for emotional distress and other equitable relief.
Defendant's Motion to Compel (Doc. 92)
Defendant served plaintiff with its Second Set of Interrogatories, First Requests for Production, and Third Requests for Admission. Plaintiff provided responses and supplemental responses, and the parties conferred as required by D. Kan. Rule 37.2. As explained in greater detail below, defendant requests that the court order production of additional documents and sanctions. The disputed requests are addressed in the order in which the parties have categorized the issues.
Interrogatory Nos. 5 and 20, Request for Production No. 19, and Request for Admission No. 30.
Defendant asks plaintiff to state whether she has ever been convicted of or pled guilty to a felony (Interrogatory No. 5), to identify all other lawsuits to which she has been a party (Interrogatory No. 20), to produce all documents that relate to any felony conviction (Request for Production No. 19), and to admit that she pled guilty to charges of selling and conspiracy to sell cocaine (Request for Admission No. 30). Plaintiff initially objected to all requests on the basis of relevance, and to all requests, except Request No. 30, because the requests were vague and unduly burdensome because they are not limited to a specific time period.
Defendant asserts that the information regarding prior lawsuits and criminal convictions could bear on plaintiff's credibility, particularly any crimes of dishonesty, and such information is relevant to plaintiff's mitigation of damages. This court has "routinely allowed discovery of a party's criminal past" in employment discrimination cases, which could extend to this wrongful termination action. However, this court "routinely finds a request unduly burdensome on its face if it uses the omnibus term relating to' or regarding' with respect to a general category or groups of documents, " which could also apply here.
However, the court need not reach either issue. Plaintiff explains that she served supplemental discovery responses after defendant filed its motion to compel. Those responses include answers to the disputed requests. Because defendant elected not to file a reply, plaintiff's responses are therefore undisputed. The court is satisfied with plaintiff's responses and defendant's motion is DENIED as to Interrogatory Nos. 5 and 20, Request for Production No. 19, and Request for Admission No. 30.
Interrogatory No. 9 and Request for Production No. 22
Defendant asks plaintiff to identify other FedEx employees who may have falsified documents or violated FedEx policies and who were not disciplined as harshly as plaintiff (Interrogatory No. 9), and to produce all documentary evidence of those policy violations (Request for Production No. 22). Plaintiff initially responded by referring to the documents produced during the post-termination (GFTP) process.
Defendant argues that the answer is non-responsive because plaintiff failed to identify specific employees and her document reference did not identify or "produce, organize, and label" the documents as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(E)(i) so that defendant could ascertain what documents were being referenced.
Plaintiff contends that defendant has misled the court by referencing only her initial responses and failing to mention her supplemental responses. Plaintiff produced supplemental responses to Interrogatory No. 9 on December 18, 2013 and to both requests on January 14, 2014. In these responses, plaintiff identifies specific employees who may have changed their time cards but were not terminated. Plaintiff also identifies, by the title ...