United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER ON MOTION TO COMPEL
A. Bolden United States District Judge
William Metcalf, brings claims against the Defendant, Yale
University (“Yale”), alleging violations of the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29
U.S.C. § 623, and the Connecticut Fair Employment
Practices Act (“CFEPA”), Conn. Gen. Stat. §
46a-60(a). Before Mr. Metcalf's termination on August 29,
2014, he was employed by Yale University and the Yale
University Art Gallery.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to compel
discovery. ECF No. 33. Mr. Metcalf's motion requests the
production of all documents relating to certain cases or
matters of “Yale University Reports of Complaints of
Sexual Misconduct for the period August 29, 2012 through and
including August 29, 2014.” Pl.'s Br. at 1, ECF No.
33. Yale objects to the production of these documents on
various grounds. Def.'s Br., ECF No. 36. The Court held
oral argument on this motion on February 10, 2017. ECF No.
40. For the reasons that follow, Mr. Metcalf's motion to
compel is GRANTED in part and
DENIED in part.
as discussed during the oral argument, Yale shall produce the
documents requested by Mr. Metcalf, but only documents
maintained by Yale's Title IX office and that are related
to the following cases, as listed in the Affidavit of Jason
Killheffer (“Killheffer Affidavit”): in paragraph
16, the cases numbered 2, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 23, and
26; and in paragraph 17, the cases numbered 1, 2, 3, 6, 7.
See Killheffer Aff. ¶¶ 16-17, ECF No. 37.
Production under this Order shall also be subject to the
following limitations to protect the privacy of the
individuals involved in each complaint: (1) any information
produced in relation to Mr. Metcalf's motion to compel
must have names or other identifiers of the parties redacted,
instead, each party should be assigned anonymous numbers
instead of being referred to by name; (2) this discovery
shall be limited to “Attorneys Eyes Only, ” with
no disclosure permitted to any other person, including Mr.
Metcalf; (3) Mr. Metcalf's counsel shall make no effort
to identify or interview any of the parties involved. The
parties shall also confer to draft a Protective Order
outlining these requirements and further providing that if
any of the parties wish to include documents produced under
this Order as part of any future filing submitted to the
Court, the documents should be filed under seal. In light of
these safeguards, the Court does not believe that in
camera review of the relevant documents is necessary.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Metcalf alleges that he was previously employed for more than
twelve years as a Curator of Coins and Medals at the Yale
University Art Gallery and as an Adjunct Professor in the
Classics Department at Yale University. Compl. ¶ 1, ECF
No. 1. His employment at Yale was allegedly terminated on
August 29, 2014. Id. At the time of his termination,
Mr. Metcalf was 66 years old. Id. ¶ 25. He
alleges that, through his termination, Yale violated the ADEA
and CFEPA. Id. ¶ 1.
August 29, 2014, Mr. Metcalf alleges that two Yale employees
presented him with a letter that summarily terminated his
employment. Compl. ¶¶ 17-18. The letter described
reasons for terminating Mr. Metcalf, reasons that he alleges
are “falsehood, exaggerations, and
mischaracterizations.” Id. ¶ 19.
Specifically, the letter cited “an inadvertent
mistake” on his part, where he “mistakenly
enter[ed] a wrong bathroom and then immediately turn[ed]
around and le[ft], ” as well as Mr. Metcalf's
alleged use “of offensive language and profanity”
Metcalf alleges that he eventually learned that, in
terminating him, Yale may have discriminated against him on
the basis of his age. Compl. ¶ 23. Mr. Metcalf allegedly
learned that a Yale Art Gallery employee who had allegedly
been the decision-maker in his termination, Jock Reynolds,
had informed a third party that “Mr. Metcalf would be
much happier retired, ” that “[Mr. Metcalf] is
getting old. He is declining physically and mentally, ”
and that he was a “curmudgeon.” Id.
¶¶ 23-24. Mr. Metcalf alleges that numerous younger
professors and staff at Yale have “used language such
as Mr. Metcalf was accused of using” or have
“made the mistake of entering an incorrect bathroom,
” but have not been disciplined or terminated.
Id. ¶ 26.
Motion to Compel
Metcalf's motion to compel concerns Plaintiff's
Request #11 of his First Set of Requests to Produce
(“Request 11”). Pl.'s Br. at 1. Specifically,
Request 11 asks Yale to:
Please produce (subject to protective order) all documents
relating to the unredacted cases or matters as identified in
the attached Exhibit 1, consisting of redacted Yale
University Reports of Complaints of Sexual Misconduct for the
period August 29, 2012 through and including August 29, 2014.
Id. Yale argues, first, that Exhibit 1, which
Request 11 refers to, purports to list fourteen different
cases that Mr. Metcalf extracted from Yale's Report of
Complaints of Sexual Misconduct, but that the list is
“duplicative” and contains two sets of the
“same seven cases, ” including Mr. Metcalf's
own case, which is listed twice. Def.'s Br. at 1-2. Yale
also notes that Mr. Metcalf has “now added to his
request a total of 26 cases, ” some of which were also
originally listed in Exhibit 1, which means that Mr. Metcalf
is now requesting to review files for “29 separate
cases.” Id. at 2. Yale opposes the disclosure
of these documents on various grounds, including that the
documents are highly sensitive and relate to persons who are
not parties to this action. Id.
argument, ECF No. 40, Mr. Metcalf notified the Court that he
is only seeking the production of documents related to the
following cases, as listed in the Killheffer Affidavit: in
paragraph 16, the cases numbered 2, 4, 8, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21,
23, and 26; and in paragraph 17, the cases numbered 1, 2, 3,
6, 7. See Killheffer Aff. ¶¶ 16-17. Mr.
Metcalf also agreed that the production could be limited to
the documents maintained by Yale's Title IX office, so
that Yale would not need to conduct an electronic search to
produce the documents.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1), the 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The Court
has broad discretion in deciding a motion to compel
discovery. Grand Cent. P'ship. Inc. v. Cuomo,
166 F.3d 473, 488 (2d Cir. 1999) (“We will not disturb
a district court's ruling on a motion to compel discovery
unless there is a clear showing of abuse of
discretion.” (internal quotation marks omitted)).
Furthermore, the “party resisting discovery bears the
burden of showing why discovery should be denied.”
Cole v. Towers Perrin Forster & Crosby, 256
F.R.D. 79, 80 (D. Conn. 2009).
argues that Mr. Metcalf's motion to compel should be
denied for various reasons. First, the documents Mr. Metcalf
requests allegedly do not concern similarly situated
employees that can serve as potential comparators for his
employment discrimination claims. Def.'s Br. at 7-11.
Second, the information sought in Request 11 may be protected
from disclosure by the Federal Educational and Privacy Rights
Act (“FERPA”), 20 ...