Defendants assert that the time, effort, and expense of producing station-level information are staggering and that the importance of the information is slight. In support of their argument, defendants submit the declaration of Ann Spiegel, counsel for the Shell defendants. Ms. Spiegel states that the Shell defendants do not regularly maintain any information or documents relating to the retail sale of motor fuel in Canada.
Thus, to respond to plaintiffs' requests regarding the use of ATC equipment at Canadian service stations, the Shell defendants would need to obtain information and documents from Shell Canada Limited (“SCL”), a Shell subsidiary but not a party to this litigation. Ms. Spiegel indicates that information older than five years is not kept in SCL's central database and would have to be gathered from approximately 750 individual service stations.
She estimates that, at “two hours per station, SCL would need 1,400 hours or 35 weeks to review its station files.”
The Shell defendants estimate the cost for this review to be $140,000.
With regard to the cost of installing ATC equipment, the Shell defendants state that SCL accounted for the expense on a project basis, not a per-station basis.
Finally, the Shell defendants state that SCL does not record data that reflects the temperature of motor fuel sold.
Defendants also submit the declaration of Jose Rios, a representative for 7–Eleven, Inc., in support of their undue burden argument. Mr. Rios states that data about the daily temperature in the motor fuel tanks is only available at individual 7–Eleven service stations in Canada, of which there are 246.
Mr. Rios estimates that it “would take well over 300 man hours” to gather this information.
Mr. Rios also notes, generally, that “it would be a very time consuming task” to search for responsive electronic information that may be stored on the individual databases of the 246 stores.