Mealey's Discovery

  • July 12, 2021

    Motion To Quash Third-Party Subpoena Stayed In Marriott Data Breach Suit

    CHICAGO — In a July 7 paperless order, the Maryland federal judge presiding over the consolidated class action over a massive data breach experienced by Marriott International Inc. stayed the resolution of the consumer plaintiffs’ motion to quash Marriott’s third-party discovery subpoena on a nonparty forensics firm pending resolution of the subpoena target’s own motion to quash in Illinois federal court.

  • July 09, 2021

    Fracking Company:  Subpoenas Should Be Quashed In Water Pollution Appeal

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A hydraulic fracturing company on July 1 filed a brief with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) arguing that it should quash subpoenas and enter an order prohibiting depositions in a permit dispute on grounds that the plaintiffs seek information protected by the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.

  • July 09, 2021

    Homeowners Insurer Must Turn Over Requested Documents In Bad Faith Dispute

    LAKELAND, Fla. — A trial court did not err in concluding that a homeowners insurer must turn over a number of requested documents to an insured because the documents at issue are relevant to the insured’s bad faith claim, the Second District Florida Court of Appeal said June 30.

  • July 07, 2021

    California Court Told Asbestos Deposition Time Challenge Built On ‘Fallacies’

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Legislature addressed the very complaints raised by defendants in challenging limits on asbestos depositions, recognized that other means existed to accomplish the goals of a deposition and chose to protect terminally ill mesothelioma suffers, plaintiffs told a California appeals court on July 2 in urging the court to dismiss a petition.

  • July 07, 2021

    D.C. Circuit: FBI Properly Withheld Some Documents In AP FOIA Request Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a July 2 ruling, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel handed a mixed victory to the FBI, finding that certain internal emails were properly withheld from production under the deliberative process privilege in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Associated Press (AP), while finding that the bureau did not establish that other materials related to an undercover operation were privileged or that their release would cause harm.

  • July 06, 2021

    Parties Await Ruling On Motion To Compel Asbestos-Talc Testing Results

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Parties to a dispute over whether an asbestos plaintiff produced the full lab results of testing on a consumer talc product await a federal judge in North Carolina’s ruling after wrapping briefing on May 7.

  • July 06, 2021

    Judge Orders Production Of Hospital’s Tissue Slides, Sanctions Asbestos Plaintiffs

    HARRISON, Ark. — Plaintiffs must draft an authorization allowing a hospital to turn over lung pathology slides of a woman who died of mesothelioma after alleged exposure to asbestos in talc she used as a hairdresser and, as a sanction for discovery violations, must produce their expert witness and pay associated court reporter fees, a federal judge said June 22 while also ordering the plaintiffs not to disturb the talc samples in their control.

  • July 02, 2021

    Magistrate Partly Grants Insurer’s Motion To Compel Discovery In Bad Faith Suit

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on June 29 granted in part and denied in part a homeowners insurer’s motion to compel in a bad faith lawsuit arising from storm damage, finding that the plaintiff failed to comply with providing initial disclosures of damages under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A)(iii) and failed to fully respond to certain interrogatories and requests for production seeking information and documents related to the alleged damages.

  • July 02, 2021

    High Court Will Consider Enforcement Of Discovery Stay In State Court Securities Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on July 2 granted a petition for certiorari filed by Dell Technologies Inc., a subsidiary and other parties that were sued for securities violations related to the subsidiary’s initial public offering (IPO), in which they asked the court to find that a discovery stay provision in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (Reform Act) applies to securities lawsuits filed in state courts and not just in federal courts, as California trial and appeals courts found.

  • June 29, 2021

    U.S. Government Tells High Court Section 1782 Does Not Apply To Private Tribunals

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States on June 28 filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court and moved for leave to participate in oral argument in a case addressing discovery in aid of foreign courts and tribunals, arguing that the relevant statute does not apply to private commercial tribunals and that a contrary finding may jeopardize investor-state arbitrations.

  • June 28, 2021

    Judge Allows Acts-Of-God Affirmative Defense In Roofing Spat, Strikes Spoliation

    MINNEAPOLIS — The maker of allegedly defective roofing membranes may plead an acts-of-God affirmative defense in response to a supplemental complaint from Target Corp. that increased the number of stores at issue by two, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled June 21, denying Target’s motion to strike newly asserted affirmative defenses on that count but granting it as to spoliation of evidence, which the judge said “is not an affirmative defense.”

  • June 28, 2021

    California Court To Weigh Mesothelioma Deposition Limits

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on June 25 agreed to determine the propriety of a state law limiting 80 asbestos defendants in a mesothelioma case to 14 hours of deposition time.

  • June 25, 2021

    Saint-Gobain: Whistleblower’s Deposition In PFOA Case ‘Fraught With Problems’

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. on June 17 filed a bench memorandum in Vermont federal court arguing that a former attorney for the company who filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration contending that he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for alerting the company to responsibilities it had related to drinking water contamination from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) should not be deposed because it would be “fraught with problems of privilege and confidentiality.”

  • June 25, 2021

    Motion To Exclude Absent Class Member Declarations Partially Granted In Wage Suit

    FRESNO, Calif. — Five absent class members who were previously issued subpoenas and failed to appear for depositions in a lawsuit over wages for agricultural workers must appear for depositions or face preclusion of their declarations in support of class certification, a federal magistrate judge in California ruled June 22, declining the employers’ request to strike the declarations of all absent class members.

  • June 23, 2021

    11th Circuit Vacates Judgment In ADA Suit Due To Abuse, Orders Deposition

    ATLANTA — A trial court abused its discretion when it limited discovery sought by a former employee suing for disability discrimination and denied multiple requests to compel the deposition of the then-executive vice president of human resources, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 21, vacating the summary judgment ruling for the employer, reversing the denial of the former employee’s motion to compel the deposition and remanding with instructions that the district court permit the deposition to take place.

  • June 22, 2021

    With Arbitration Hearing Over, Section 1782 Dispute Is Moot, High Court Told

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two companies tell the U.S. Supreme Court in June 21 response briefs that a dispute over the applicability of a federal statute allowing discovery in aid of foreign courts and tribunals to private commercial tribunals is moot because the underlying arbitration’s hearing concluded in May and say that applying the statute to private tribunals would destabilize foreign and domestic arbitrations.

  • June 21, 2021

    Claimants’ Committee Says Debtor’s Proposed Questionnaire Should Be Scrapped

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Chapter 11 debtor DBMP LLC’s request to send questionnaires to about 4,000 mesothelioma sufferers with claims pending against the company in an attempt to estimate its asbestos liability suffers from several fatal defects, including that the discovery would be “unduly burdensome and harassing,” a committee of asbestos claimants says in a June 11 objection to the motion in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court.

  • June 21, 2021

    Only Limited Portions Of Asbestos Settlement Agreement Relevant, Magistrate Says

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina federal magistrate judge on June 17 determined that a dissolved insured is required to produce only limited portions of a settlement agreement with one of its insurers for underlying asbestos bodily injury claims because the insurer seeking production of the settlement failed to show that the entire agreement is relevant.

  • June 21, 2021

    Judge Orders Discovery Into Whether Taiwanese Company Is Led From Massachusetts

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on June 18 declined to adjourn an Austrian company’s action to enforce a roughly 142 million euro award against a Taiwanese company for a pharmaceuticals contract dispute despite a pending set-aside proceeding in Germany and said the Austrian company may seek limited jurisdictional discovery regarding whether the Taiwanese company is operated from Massachusetts.

  • June 17, 2021

    Magistrate Stays, Extends Discovery In Dispute Over Personal Injury Judgment

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Finding “good cause shown,” a federal magistrate judge in Georgia on June 1 granted a consent motion to stay and extend discovery in a commercial auto insurer’s lawsuit seeking a declaration that there is no coverage for the insured, its owners and an employee for an underlying $112,466.57 personal injury default judgment.

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