A U.S. Magistrate Judge recently ruled in favor of a plaintiff seeking discovery to aid his prosecution of a personal injury case. The plaintiff had sought to obtain certain information from the defendant Home Depot, including a response to an interrogatory posed to the defendant concerning prior customer claims for injuries that the stores allegedly caused by or involving pallets. The Court held a telephonic hearing on April 18, 2018 that ran over an hour after reviewing submissions by the plaintiff and the defendant. Over the course of the hearing, the plaintiff’s counsel agreed to narrow the scope of the interrogatory that was a focus of the hearing, and the Court ordered the defendant to respond to the interrogatory as modified.
The plaintiff, via his counsel, filed a Motion to Compel on May 31, 2018, bringing to the Court’s attention that the defendant had not supplemented its discovery responses to include information concerning previous nationwide claims and lawsuits regarding injuries sustained by the defendant’s customers pertaining to slips, trips and falls involving pallets. The plaintiff was frustrated because a few weeks earlier during the April 18 hearing the request had been modified to facilitate compliance with it. The defendant had been allowed to respond with information stored in the defendant’s searchable database and, with respect to claims that had ripened into litigation, the defendant could respond by providing only names of the parties to the filed cases, the case numbers, and the districts in which the cases proceeded.