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Hinostroza v. Denny's Inc. - No. 2:17-cv-02561-RFB-NJK, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109602 (D. Nev. June 29, 2018)

Rule:

Parties are entitled to discover non-privileged information that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and is proportional to the needs of the case, including consideration of the importance of the issues at stake in the action, 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.

Facts:

Plaintiff customer alleged a slip and fall accident at Defendant Denny, Inc.’s restaurant. In March 2018, Defendant requested various releases from Plaintiff to obtain documents regarding her employment, a prior car accident in 2015, and records from medical providers. On March 21, 2018, Plaintiff provided some of the requested releases. In April 2018, the parties met and conferred three times regarding the outstanding releases, as well as Plaintiff's responses to Defendant's amended second set of requests for production of documents. The parties were unable to resolve their discovery disputes. Defendant, therefore, filed the instant motion to compel the outstanding releases and responses to its requests for production.

Issue:

Can the defendant compel the plaintiff to release certain documents it averred are essential for the resolution of the case?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The Court held that parties were entitled to discover non-privileged information that was relevant to any party's claim or defense and was proportional to the needs of the case, including consideration of the importance of the issues at stake in the action, 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. According to the Court, when a party failed to provide requested discovery, the requesting party may move to compel that discovery. The burden was on the party resisting discovery to show why a discovery request should be denied by specifying in detail, as opposed to general and boilerplate objections, why "each request is irrelevant." After analysis, the Court granted defendant’s motion to compel release of medical records allegedly associated with the fall accident, police report, insurance information, and her employment information. The Court denied the motion to compel other documents.

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