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William Anthony, et al v. the Atlantic Group

August 20, 2012

WILLIAM ANTHONY, ET AL, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE ATLANTIC GROUP, INC. D/B/A DZ ATLANTIC, DEFENDANT.
CHARLES ADAMS, ET AL, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE ATLANTIC GROUP, INC. D/B/A DZ ATLANTIC, DEFENDANT.



OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the court on Plaintiffs' Amended Motion to Compel Discovery Documents [Dkt. No. 115, Civil Action No. 8:09-cv-02383-JMC and Dkt. No. 65, Civil Action No. 8:09-cv-02942-JMC] pursuant to Rule 37(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons stated herein, Plaintiff's motion is granted.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The Atlantic Group, Inc. doing business as DZ Atlantic ("DZ Atlantic") provides support services for various companies within the power generation industry. As part of those support services, DZ Atlantic provides skilled craft and trade workers to perform maintenance and modification work at nuclear and fossil electricity generating plants operated by companies like Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC ("Duke Energy").

Plaintiffs are former employees of DZ Atlantic. As part of their compensation as employees of DZ Atlantic, each plaintiff claimed eligibility for certain per diem amounts which were paid based on the plaintiff's residency relative to the location of the plaintiff's assigned workplace. Plaintiffs claim that they were wrongfully terminated after DZ Atlantic determined that Plaintiffs had claimed per diem amounts to which DZ Atlantic believed Plaintiffs were not entitled due to alleged discrepancies in Plaintiffs' residency information.

LEGAL STANDARD

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that a party may "obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense- including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons who know of any discoverable matters." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). "Relevant information need not be admissible at trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Id. To be relevant, the discovery sought simply must be "any matter that bears on, or that reasonably could lead to other matter that could bear on, any issue that is or may be in the case." Oppenhiemer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978). If a party fails to answer an interrogatory submitted pursuant to Rule 33 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or fails to produce a requested document, "a party seeking discovery may move for an order compelling an answer, designation, production, or inspection." Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(3).

DISCUSSION

Plaintiffs filed the instant motion seeking to compel DZ Atlantic to produce copies of contracts between DZ Atlantic and Duke Energy for the years 2008 through 2011. Plaintiffs contend that the documents are relevant to the issue of per diem eligibility. Specifically, Plaintiffs claim that Duke Energy employee, Don Trapp, provided deposition testimony concerning the terms and conditions for per diem eligibility of DZ Atlantic's employees which was contained in the contracts between Duke Energy and DZ Atlantic. Plaintiffs contend that the information in the contracts will provide evidence regarding the falsity of statements and representations made by DZ Atlantic's supervisors and information about whether those statements were made with negligence or with knowledge of their falsity. Plaintiffs further contend that the contracts will provide evidence concerning the applicable ...


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