United States District Court, D. Kansas
D.M., a minor, by and through his next friend and natural guardian, KELLI MORGAN, Plaintiff,
WESLEY MEDICAL CENTER LLC d/b/a WESLEY MEDICAL CENTER-WOODLAWN, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE
KENNETH G. GALE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is the Motion for Protective Order (Doc.
234) filed by Defendant Wesley Medical Center, LLC regarding
the 30(b)(6) deposition notice served by Plaintiff (Doc.
234-1). Having reviewed the submissions of the parties,
Defendant's motion (Doc. 234) is GRANTED in
part and DENIED in part for the
reasons set forth below.
through his natural guardian and next friend, filed her
federal court Complaint on April 9, 2018, alleging claims
under Kansas medical malpractice laws and under the Federal
Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. The claims
result from the medical care D.M. received on March 5 and 6,
2017. Plaintiff alleges that on March 6, 2017, D.M.
“suffered a catastrophic and medically-preventable
stroke that left him with right-side paralysis, neurological
damage and other debilitating physical injuries that
permanently changed his and his parents' lives.”
(Doc. 1, at 5.)
present motion results from the amended notice Plaintiff
served as to the deposition of Defendant's corporate
representative, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6). The
parties conferred regarding the issues presented herein,
which resulted in the amended notice.
Legal Standards for Discovery.
26(b) states that
[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense
and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
importance of the issues at state in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
such, the requested information must be nonprivileged,
relevant, and proportional to the needs of the case to be
discoverable. Holick v. Burkhart, No.
16-1188-JTM-KGG, 2018 WL 372440, at *2 (D. Kan. Jan. 11,
Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions.
30(b)(6) deposition allows an opposing party to question a
corporate defendant by noticing the deposition of the
corporation's representative as to certain designated
topics. Pursuant to the rule,
[a] party may in [its deposition] notice ... name as the
deponent a public or private corporation ... and describe
with reasonable particularity the matters on which
examination is requested. In that event, the organization so
named shall designate one or more officers, directors, or
managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on
its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated,
the matters on which the person will testify. … The
persons so designated shall testify as to matters known or
reasonably available to the organization.
30(b)(6). “In a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition, there is no
distinction between the corporate representative and the
corporation.” Sprint Communications Co.
L.P. v. Theglobe.com, Inc., 236 F.R.D. 524, 527 (D. Kan.
such, “to allow [Rule 30(b)(6)] to effectively
function, the requesting party must take care to designate,
with painstaking specificity, the particular subject areas
that are intended to be questioned, and that are relevant to
the issues in dispute.” Id., at 528.
Thereafter, the responding party is required to “make a
conscientious good-faith endeavor to designate the persons
having knowledge of the matters sought by [the deposing
party] and to prepare those persons in order that they can
answer fully, completely, unevasively, the questions posed by
[the deposing party] as to the relevant subject
matters.” Id. (citing Prokosch v. Catalina
Lighting, Inc., 193 F.R.D. 633, 638 (D.Minn.2000)
Standards for Protective Orders.
Orders are governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), “which
confers broad discretion on the trial court to decide when a
protective order is appropriate and what degree of protection
is required.” Layne Christensen Co. v. Purolite
Co., 271 F.R.D. 240, 244 (D. Kan. 2010) (quoting
Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 36
(1984)). See also Thomas v. IBM, 48 F.3d 478, 482
(10th Cir. 1995); Terry v. Unified Gov't of Wyandotte
Co., No. 09-2094-EFM-KGG, 2011 WL 795816 (D. Kan. March
1, 2011). The rule provides, in relevant part:
A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move
for a protective order in the court where the action is
pending.... The motion must include a certification that the
movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer
with other affected parties in an effort to resolve the
dispute without court action. The court may, for good cause,
issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense,
including one or more of the following:
(A) forbidding the disclosure or discovery;
(B) specifying terms, including time and place, for the
disclosure or discovery;
(D) forbidding inquiry into certain matters, or limiting the
scope of disclosure or discovery to certain matters; ....
26(c)(1). In this context, the Court will analyze
Plaintiffs' 30(b)(6) deposition notice and
Defendant's objections thereto.