No. 00-737, 99-2332
United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
February 02, 2005
James G. Sheehan, Associate United States Attorney, United States Attorney's Office, Philadelphia, PA, for United States.
Marc S. Raspanti, Michael A. Morse, Miller Alfano & Raspanti, P.C., Philadelphia, PA, Alison M. Duncan, Robert T. Rhoad, Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, Washington, DC, for plaintiffs.
*1 AND NOW, this 2nd day of February, 2005, upon consideration of Plaintiffs Expedited Motion to Modify Case Management Order and Establish Certain Discovery Deadlines (Doc. 305), Defendants Response, Plaintiffs Reply, and Defendants Sur-Reply, it is hereby ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. It is further ORDERED that the Parties Motions for Leave to File Replies (Doc. 314-15) are GRANTED.
On December 23, 2004, Medco filed a notice with the Court of its failure to comply with the Court's December 15 deadline. Despite being in direct violation of this Court's December 3, 2004 Amended Case Management Order, and informing the Court a week after the deadline that it would be unable to complete document production, Medco failed to inform the Court when it would be complete and what documents needed to be produced. In addition, Medco still has not provided usable electronic claims data four (4) months after it was requested and a month after this Court's prior Order required it.
On January 7, 2005, Medco claimed that its electronic document production was complete, with three exceptions: (1) documents that were withheld as privileged but that may not be privileged; (2) thirteen additional boxes; and (3) corrupted data that Medco was restoring. Plaintiffs claim that as of January 7, 2005, Medco's electronic document production is incomplete because several disks are defective. With respect to the electronic claims data, on January 5, 2005, Plaintiffs sent Medco a letter and a fifty-two (52) page attachment identifying three categories of major technical defects: (1) hard drive disk errors; (2) files containing questionable or missing data; and (3) and other technical file related issues. Medco argues that it has not been made aware of any defects in electronic document production. Clearly, this is disingenuous. As discussed above, Plaintiffs have informed Medco of the technical problems with both the electronic document production and the electronic claims data caused, at least in part, by Medco.
As such, Medco must correct any technical problems arising under the electronic document production, including: (1) documents that were withheld as privileged but that may not be privileged; (2) the thirteen additional boxes; and (3) corrupted data that Medco was restoring. As for the electronic claims data, Medco shall: (1) correct any hard drive disk errors; (2) explain any files containing questionable or missing data; (3) and resolve other technical file related issues. In addition, Plaintiffs shall promptly inform Medco, in writing, of any technical defects, and Medco shall also correct them as they arise.
This Court finds that Defendants have been dilatory in their disclosure of these defective files, costing Plaintiffs unnecessary time and expense. Consequently, the Court admonishes Medco for its discovery practices, and reminds Medco of its obligation to this Court to contact it when discovery issues arise,
not a week after it fails to meet a deadline. As stated in this Court's Protocol and Procedures, [d]iscovery shall be completed promptly and diligently. Deadlines will be enforced and neither unnecessary discovery nor obstructions will be tolerated. Any further violations of this Court's orders may result in sanctions. As a result of Medco's conduct and its resulting prejudice to Plaintiffs, this Court will grant several extensions to the discovery schedule and will establish additional safeguards to protect against further dilatory discovery production.
*2 Plaintiff's seek the appointment of a special master or neutral consultant. Such an appointment will not expedite the resolution of the technology issues. This training period would further delay the discovery process and add yet another layer to the resolution of any electronic discovery disputes. Magistrate Judge Scuderi is highly capable of resolving any specialized technical discovery disputes. If the Parties require a neutral technical consultant, they may retain such a consultant at their own expense. The bottom line is that the Parties must cooperate to streamline the data transfer process; any further obstructions will not be tolerated. The complexity of this case does not excuse the enforcement of discovery deadlines, nor does it relieve this Court of its authority to facilitate, as much as possible, the speedy, just, and inexpensive disposition of the action.
Fact discovery closed on November 29, 2004, and this Court has generously extended discovery deadlines during the course of this litigation, at great expense to both Parties. Plaintiffs have not demonstrated a need for the five (5) additional depositions sought in their Motion. Thus, the additional five depositions sought by the Plaintiffs will not be permitted.
For the reasons stated above, the Court finds that there is good cause under FED. R. CIV. P. 16(b)(3) to amend the Case Management Order as follows:
1. Medco shall complete its electronic document production, free of any technical errors or defects, and provide the requisite LFP files, by February 14, 2005.
2. Medco shall also produce and identify to Plaintiffs a complete and accurate technical specifications guide and index explaining all electronic claims data produced by Medco by February 14, 2005.
3. The Parties shall meet and confer about the progress of settlement negotiations during March and April of 2005.
4. On April 1, 2005, the Parties shall submit a joint status report to United States Magistrate Judge Peter B. Scuderi for his review, and shall include: (i) a detailed explanation of any outstanding issues regarding the document and claims data production; (ii) description of any anticipated discovery related motions; and (iii) disclosure of any other discovery related matters warranting the Court s attention at the time.
5. Non-damages related expert reports shall be simultaneously exchanged on August 11, 2005.
6. Supplemental and/or rebuttal non-damages related expert reports shall be simultaneously exchanged by September 12, 2005.
7. Damages-related expert reports shall be simultaneously exchanged by September 12, 2005.
8. Supplemental and/or rebuttal damages related expert reports shall be simultaneously exchanged by October 10, 2005.
9. All expert depositions shall be completed by November 2, 2005.
10. Dispositive motions shall be submitted by November 28, 2005.
11. Responses to dispositive motions shall be submitted by December 28, 2005.
*3 12. Replies to responses to dispositive motions shall be submitted by January 9, 2006.
13. Expert-related motions shall be submitted by February 7, 2006.
14. Evidentiary hearings, if necessary, on expert-related motions shall take place in early to mid February 2006.
15. The Parties shall submit their pre-trial memoranda by March 15, 2006.
16. On April 18, 2006, at 2:00 PM, the Parties shall appear before the Court for a Final Pre-Trial Conference. The Parties shall be prepared for trial at this time.
End of Document.