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United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma
August 26, 2013, Decided; August 26, 2013, Filed
Case No. 11-CV-720-JED-PJC
OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Regarding Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition. [Dkt. No. 149]. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
Plaintiff brings this action against Defendants alleging cruel and unusual punishment under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and negligence arising from the treatment, and subsequent death, of Elliott Williams after Williams' arrest and while he was in the custody of the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center ("Tulsa County Jail"). [See Dkt. No. 15]. On or about May 9, 2013, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6), [*3] Plaintiff served upon Defendants Correctional Healthcare Companies, Inc. ("CHC"), Correctional Healthcare management, Inc. ("CHM"), and Correctional Healthcare Management of Oklahoma, Inc. ("CHMO"), a Notice of Deposition. Exhibit "A" to that Notice sets forth the anticipated Areas of Inquiry. There are more than 50 Areas of Inquiry, including sub-parts. [Dkt. No. 149-1, Exhibit "A"].
On May 22, 2013, counsel for Defendants CHC, CHM and CHMO objected to most of the Areas of Inquiry. In compliance with LCvR37.1, the parties personally met and conferred about the dispute and resolved some of the issues. Defendants continue to object to Areas 4-9, 14-27, and 30-31. Defendants' objections focus on over-breadth of the topics and relevance. Defendants demand that Plaintiff demonstrate that the designated Areas of Inquiry ("AOI") were reasonably calculated to lead to admissible evidence.
Rule 30(b)(6) offers a mechanism for a party to obtain the testimony of a corporation or other such organization on particular, designated topics. The corporation designates its spokesperson on those topics. The designated witness then testifies "as to [*4] information known or reasonably available to the organization." Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6).
The discovering party must satisfy the general deposition notice requirements of Rule 30(b)(1)-(3). In addition, the discovering party must "describe with reasonable particularity the matters for examination." Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6). See, McBride v. Medicalodges, Inc., 250 F.R.D. 581, 584 (D. Kan. 2008) (Requesting party must take care to designate, "with painstaking specificity," the particular subject areas that are intended to be questioned). The description of deposition topics must be specific because the responding organization must prepare a witness or witnesses on the designated topics. As with document discovery, a Rule 30(b)(6) notice that uses "omnibus" descriptions such as "concerning" or "relating to" or "referencing" may be found to be unacceptably vague or overbroad. See, Howard v. Segway, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31402, 2013 WL 869955, *2 (N.D. Okla. March 7, 2013); Judge Paul Cleary, "Some Thoughts on Discovery and Legal Writing," 82 Okla. B. J. 2923 (Dec. 10, 2011). Use of a phrase such as "including, but not limited to" in a Rule 30(b)(6) notice may cause the notice to be stricken for lack of definiteness. [*5] Tri-State hosp. Supply Corp. v. U.S., 226 F.R.D. 118, 125 (D.D.C. 2005).
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120818 *; 2013 WL 4521172
ROBBIE EMERY BURKE, Special Administrator of the Estate of Elliott Earl Williams, Plaintiff, v. STANLEY GLANZ, SHERIFF OF TULSA COUNTY, et al., Defendants.
Subsequent History: Motion granted by Burke v. Glanz, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8242 (N.D. Okla., Jan. 23, 2014)
Prior History: Burke v. Glanz, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109363 (N.D. Okla., Aug. 5, 2013)
notice, discovery, designated, reasonable particularity, Deposition, deliberate indifference, specific type, suffer injury, healthcare, discovering, compliance, studies, surveys, audits, inmate