United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division
ORDER AND OPINION
Richard Mark Gergel United States District Court Judge.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion to
compel production of documents (Dkt. No. 25) and
Plaintiffs' motion to compel deposition (Dkt. No. 26).
For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and
denies in part Plaintiffs' motion to compel production of
documents, and grants Plaintiffs' motion to compel
allege that on April 8, 2016, Michael Mills and Shirley
Mills' 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray caught fire while
parked in their garage. The fire spread to their residence at
1885 Omni Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, which
was ultimately destroyed by the fire. Plaintiffs assert
design or manufacturing defects in the vehicle caused the
have filed two motions to compel discovery. In their motion
to compel production of documents, Plaintiffs seek the
Court's ruling on various objections Defendant stands
upon in withholding requested documents. In their motion to
compel deposition, Plaintiffs assert that Defendant's
counsel made improper leading speaking objections during the
deposition of Defendant's Rule 30(b)(6) representative,
and that Defendant produced approximately 600 pages of
documents during breaks in the deposition that should have
been produced before the deposition. Plaintiffs ask the Court
to order Defendant's Rule 30(b)(6) representative to be
available for an additional two days of deposition.
Plaintiffs also seek costs and attorneys' fees for
additional deposition days.
26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states:
Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of
discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery
regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of
the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake
in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties'
relative access to relevant information, the parties'
resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the
issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed
discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within
this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to
courts have "wide latitude in controlling discovery and
[their] rulings will not be overturned absent a showing of
clear abuse of discretion." Ardrey v. United Parcel
Serv., 798 F.2d 679, 683 (4th Cir. 1986); Middleton
v. Nissan Motor Co., Civ. No. 10-2529, 2012 WL 3612572,
at *2 (D.S.C. Aug. 21, 2012).
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides in part,
[(b)](6) Notice or Subpoena Directed to an
Organization. In its notice or subpoena, a party may
name as the deponent a public or private corporation, a
partnership, an association, a governmental agency, or other
entity and must describe with reasonable particularity the
matters for examination. The named organization must then
designate one or more officers, directors, or managing
agents, or designate other persons who consent to testify on
its behalf; and it may set out the matters on which each
person designated will testify. A subpoena must advise a
nonparty organization of its duty to make this designation.
The persons designated must testify about information known
or reasonably available to the organization. This paragraph
(6) does not preclude a deposition by any other procedure
allowed by these rules.
. . .
(c) Examination and Cross-Examination; Record of the
Examination; Objections; Written Questions.
. . .
Objections. An objection at the time of the
examination-whether to evidence, to a party's conduct, to
the officer's qualifications, to the manner of taking the
deposition, or to any other aspect of the deposition-must be
noted on the record, but the examination still proceeds; the
testimony is taken subject to any objection. An objection
must be stated concisely in a nonargumentative and
nonsuggestive manner. A person may instruct a deponent not to
answer only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to
enforce a limitation ordered by the court, or to present a
motion under Rule 30(d)(3).
this Court has local rules governing conduct during
depositions that forbid leading objections. Local Civil Rule
Motion to Compel ...