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FC Meyer Packaging, LLC v. Converting Alternatives International, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division

February 27, 2017

FC MEYER PACKAGING, LLC, a Connecticut Limited Liability Company PLAINTIFF
v.
CONVERTING ALTERNATIVES INTERNATIONAL, LLC, a Michigan Limited Liability Company DEFENDANT

          ORDER

          MICHAEL T PARKER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Motion [40] to Compel Discovery Responses and Certain Depositions filed by Plaintiff FC Meyer Packaging, LLC. The Court having carefully considered the motion, the submissions of the parties, and the applicable law, finds that the Motion [40] should be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, a Connecticut corporation, owns a carton printing and packaging plant in Quitman, Mississippi. Defendant, a Michigan corporation, installs and services printer and cutter equipment. Plaintiff claims that it hired Defendant to inspect an outdated printer/cutter machine in Minnesota to determine whether it could be refurbished and modified for Plaintiff's use at its Mississippi plant. Relying on Defendant's advice, Plaintiff purchased the machine and hired Defendant to modify and install it. Defendant was purportedly unable to get the machine running at the rate specified in Plaintiff's initial inspection request.

         Plaintiff claims to have paid Defendant approximately $600, 000 throughout the course of this transaction. Additionally, it believes that Defendant placed an electronic device on the machine which renders it inoperable. Therefore, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit against Defendant, asserting the following claims: breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, negligence, gross negligence, and breach of contract. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of approximately $750, 000 and an injunction barring Defendant from interfering with the operation of the machine.

         Plaintiff filed the instant Motion [40] on February 1, 2017, requesting an order from this Court (1) directing Defendant to admit certain factual allegations made in the First Amended Complaint and the written discovery (Interrogatories and Requests for Admission) which were propounded to Defendant, (2) compelling CAI to have its 30(b)(6) deposition taken in the State of Mississippi, instead of Michigan, (3) compelling Marshall Williams and Dave Johnson to have their depositions taken telephonically, (4) compelling Defendant to provide more complete and detailed Responses to the written interrogatories which were propounded to Defendant, and (5) compelling Defendant to bear the full cost of such production and the fees associated with the filing of this Motion. See Motion to Compel [40].

         ANALYSIS

         Discovery Requests

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1) defines the scope of discovery:

Parties 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 stake 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.

         The discovery rules are accorded a broad and liberal treatment to achieve their purpose of adequately informing litigants in civil trials. Herbert v. Lando, 441 U.S. 153, 177 (1979). “It is well established that the scope of discovery is within the sound discretion of the trial court.” Freeman v. United States, 556 F.3d 326, 341 (5th Cir. 2009).

         Plaintiff requests that the Court deem admitted Requests for Admission Nos. 15, 16, and 17. Below are the requests for admissions and Defendant's answers:

REQUEST FOR ADMISSION NO. 15: Please admit that CAI, or its agents, employees or representatives, without any authority whatsoever, installed and inserted an electronic device to halt operations of the computer governed device which controls the overall operation of the Boelter machine.
Response: Denied
REQUEST FOR ADMISSION NO. 16: Please admit that the electronic device which was inserted into the Boelter machine, when activated by CAI, would render ...

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