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Stonebarger v. Union Pacific Corporation

United States District Court, D. Kansas

July 21, 2014

MELISSA STONEBARGER, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF VERONICA HOGLE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
UNION PACIFIC CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

TERESA J. JAMES, Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Discovery (ECF No. 43). Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37, Plaintiffs ask the Court to overrule the objections of Defendants Union Pacific Corporation and Union Pacific Railroad Company (collectively "Union Pacific") and order Union Pacific to produce all documents responsive to Request Numbers 41, 63, 64, and 67 of Plaintiffs' First Requests for Production of Documents.[1] As set forth below, Union Pacific's objections to the discovery requests are overruled and Plaintiffs' motion is granted, subject to the limitations specified herein.

I. Relevant Background

Plaintiffs served their First Requests for Production of Documents on September 10, 2013. Union Pacific filed its responses and objections on November 14, 2013.[2] After conferring with Union Pacific to resolve the issue without court action, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(1) and D. Kan. Rule 37.2, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to Compel Discovery.

II. Specific Discovery Requests at Issue

Plaintiffs request in their motion that the Court order Union Pacific to produce documents responsive to their First Requests for Production Numbers 41, 63, 64, and 67.

A. Request No. 41

Plaintiffs seek to compel Union Pacific to produce documents responsive to their First Requests for Production No. 41, which asks that Union Pacific produce "[a]ll physicals, eye tests, hearing tests, and any other health-type test, and the results of same, performed on each train crew member involved in the incident in question. Such record to be from each person's initial date of employment to present." Union Pacific asserted the following objection:

Defendant objects to this request for the reason it is vague and ambiguous, facially overly broad and unduly burdensome, is not reasonably limited in time or scope, seeks private and confidential information concerning Defendant's employees, it violates certain HIPPA laws, and seeks documents that are irrelevant and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.[3]

B. Request No. 63

Plaintiffs also seek to compel Union Pacific to produce documents responsive to their First Requests for Production No. 63, which asks that Union Pacific produce "a copy of any and all reports of any other railroad crossing accidents or train accidents which took place in Brown County, Kansas in the past five (5) years." Union Pacific asserted the following objection:

Defendant objects to this request for the reason it is facially overly broad and unduly burdensome, is not reasonably limited in time or scope, seeks documents protected by 49 U.S.C. § 20903 and 23 U.S.C. § 409, seeks documents protected by attorney/client and work product privileges, and seeks documents that are irrelevant and not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.[4]

C. Request No. 64

Plaintiffs also seek to compel Union Pacific to produce documents responsive to their First Requests for Production No. 64, which asks that Union Pacific produce "a copy of any and all reports of any other railroad crossing accidents or train accidents which took place in Hiawatha, Kansas ...


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