United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
ANDREA COBB AND SCOTT COBB, INDIVIDUALLY, AND ON BEHALF OF THE WRONGFUL DEATH BENEFICIARIES OF GEORGIA CATE COBB, DECEASED PLAINTIFFS
VICKSBURG HEALTH CARE, LLC DBA RIVER REGION MEDICAL CENTER; DBA RIVER REGION HEALTH SYSTEMS; DBA MERIT HEALTH RIVER REGION; DBA MERIT HEALTH SYSTEMS; AND ODALIS E. SIJIN, M.D. DEFENDANTS
KEITH BALL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
cause is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Amended Motion
to Compel the Deposition of Defendant Odalis Sijin  and
Plaintiffs' Motion for Additional Time for the Deposition
of Defendant Odalis Sijin .
Andrea and Scott Cobb, filed this medical malpractice case
relating to their daughter's death, which occurred
shortly after birth on December 25, 2015. They named the
hospital where she was born and the delivering obstetrician,
Odalis Sijin, M.D., as defendants.
26, 2018, Plaintiffs noticed Dr. Sijin's deposition to
take place at a law office in Jackson, Mississippi, beginning
at 9:00 a.m. on August 6, 2018. . Plaintiffs'
counsel, Rick Davis, arrived at the deposition site
approximately thirty minutes before it was scheduled to
begin. Shortly thereafter, defense counsel, Gene Parker,
informed him that due to Dr. Sijin's flight departure
time that day, she must leave the deposition at 4:00
Parker took the position that Davis had seven hours, from
9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., to take Dr. Sijin's
deposition began at 8:57 a.m. [85-4] at 7. At 4:00 p.m.,
Parker instructed Dr. Sijin not to answer any more questions,
and, over Davis's objection, the deposition ended.
Id. at 277-80.
contend that Parker prevented them from deposing Dr. Sijin
for the seven hours afforded under Rule 30(d)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. They request that the Court
compel Dr. Sijin to provide a full seven-hour deposition,
excluding breaks, and award sanctions. Defendants respond
that Davis was inefficient in his questioning of Dr. Sijin
and that the time spent in a phone call with the magistrate
judge and for a lunch and bathroom breaks should be deducted
from the seven hours permitted by the rule.
(1) Duration. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the
court, a deposition is limited to one day of 7 hours. The
court must allow additional time consistent with Rule
26(b)(1) and (2) if needed to fairly examine the deponent or
if the deponent, another person, or any other circumstance
impedes or delays the examination.
(2) Sanction. The court may impose an appropriate
sanction-including the reasonable expenses and attorney's
fees incurred by any party--on a person who impedes, delays,
or frustrates the fair examination of the deponent.
Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 30 state that Rule 30(d)(1)
“imposes a presumptive durational limitation of one day
of seven hours for any deposition. . . . This limitation
contemplates that there will be reasonable breaks during the
day for lunch and other reasons, and that the only time to be
counted is the time occupied by the actual deposition.”
and the Advisory Committee Notes directly contradict
Defendants' position. The Rule grants a presumptive limit
of seven hours to depose a witness, and the Advisory
Committee Notes make clear that “reasonable
breaks” for “lunch and other reasons” are
not to be deducted from the seven hours allowed.
undisputed that a total of sixty-eight minutes of
interruptions occurred during the deposition. As stated by
Defendants, “A total of 68 minutes of the deposition
was occupied with matters other than Mr. Davis'[s]
questioning of the witness at his sole choice! This consisted
of 11 minutes of bathroom breaks, 32 minutes for lunch and 25
minutes for calling Judge Ball.”  at 5. The
Court finds that all of these constituted “reasonable
breaks” and should not be deducted from the presumptive
seven hours afforded Plaintiffs under Rule 30(d)(1) to depose
Defendants contend that “inefficient questioning”
is the real reason that Plaintiffs' counsel was unable to
finish the deposition in five hours and fifty-two minutes,
this argument misses the point. Rule 30(d)(1) permits
Plaintiffs seven hours to depose Dr. Sijin, even if
Plaintiffs' counsel failed to use the seven hours in the
most efficient manner. See Martinez v. Texas Workforce
Comm'n-Civil Rights Div., No. A-11-CA-837 LY, 2013
WL 6243882, at *1 (W.D. Tex. Dec. 3, 2013).
Court finds that Dr. Sijin's flight departure time
impeded Plaintiffs' examination of her. Due to the flight
departure time, Plaintiffs were not permitted to depose Dr.
Sijin for seven hours, as allowed by Rule 30(d)(1).
Accordingly, Plaintiffs' request in motion  to