United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO COMPEL
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
April 28, 2017, the Court held a post-discovery telephonic
status conference with the parties in this case, GEOMC Co.,
Ltd. (“GEOMC” or “Plaintiff”) and
Calmare Therapeutics, Incorporated (“CTI” or
“Defendant”). In advance of this conference, the
parties filed submissions in connection with a disagreement
regarding whether GEOMC should be required to produce its
Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Young H. Lim,
for a deposition. On May 12, 2017, CTI filed a motion to
compel Ms. Lim's deposition, and GEOMC filed its
opposition on May 19, 2017. For the reasons outlined below,
CTI's motion to compel is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN
PART, and CTI's motion for sanctions is DENIED.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
to the filings submitted by the parties, CTI initially
noticed both Ms. Lim, GEOMC's CEO, and Seung B. Oh,
GEOMC's Executive Vice President, as corporate designees
for GEOMC under Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Lim 30(b)(6) Not., Def. Ex. A, ECF No. 164-1; Oh
30(b)(6) Not., Def. Ex. G, ECF No. 164-7. Both 30(b)(6)
deposition notices were dated November 20, 2015. GEOMC claims
that it objected to Ms. Lim's 30(b)(6) deposition as
“duplicative and burdensome” and offered to
“consider making Ms. Lim available to address
additional topics” in the event that Mr. Oh's
30(b)(6) deposition was insufficient. Pl. Mem. in Opp. at 2,
ECF No. 166.
separate deposition notice dated March 23, 2017, CTI sought
to depose Ms. Lim individually, not as a Rule 30(b)(6)
corporate designee. Lim Dep. Not., Def. Ex. B, ECF No. 164-2.
Although the Court's Scheduling Order specified that
discovery should close by April 14, 2017, see
Scheduling Order, ECF No. 151, CTI arranged for the
deposition of Ms. Lim to take place on April 26, 2017. On
April 24, 2017, GEOMC informed CTI that it would not produce
Ms. Lim. CTI Notice, ECF No. 154.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “the
court must limit the frequency or extent of discovery
otherwise allowed by these rules or by local rule if it
determines that: (i) the discovery sought is unreasonably
cumulative or duplicative….” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(2)(C). Furthermore, under Rule 26(c)(1), “[t]he
court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party
or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense, including… (A) forbidding the
disclosure or discovery; [or] (B) specifying terms, including
time and place or the allocation of expenses, for the
disclosure or discovery….” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(c)(1). “[R]edundant depositions should be avoided,
and senior executives should be deposed only if they possess
unique personal knowledge related to the relevant issues in
the case.” Diesel Props S.r.L. v. Greystone Bus.
Credit II LLC, No. 07 CIV. 9580 (HB), 2008 WL 5099957,
at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 3, 2008) (citing Consol. Rail Corp.
v. Primary Indus. Corp., 1993 WL 364471, at *1 (S.D.N.Y.
Sep. 10, 1993)).
seeks an order compelling the in-person deposition of Ms. Lim
in the United States, as well as the imposition of sanctions
on GEOMC for their failure to produce Ms. Lim. CTI insists
that Ms. Lim, as CEO of GEOMC, has relevant information that
has not already been provided by the Rule 30(b)(6) deposition
of Mr. Oh. CTI further argues that GEOMC has waived its right
to object to the deposition of Ms. Lim because it failed to
file a motion for protective order after receiving notice of
Ms. Lim's deposition. GEOMC, on the other hand, objects
to the deposition of Ms. Lim, arguing that Ms. Lim's
testimony is duplicative of Mr. Oh's testimony.
initially sought to depose Ms. Lim as an additional 30(b)(6)
witness, see Def. Ex. A, but later adjusted the
deposition notice to depose her as an individual employee of
the company, see Def. Ex. B. “‘The
testimony provided by a corporate representative at a [Rule]
30(b)(6) deposition binds the corporation. This is quite
unlike a deposition of an employee of the corporation, which
is little more than that individual employee's view of
the case and is not binding on the corporation.'”
Cipriani v. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc., No.
3:12-CV-910 (JBA), 2012 WL 5869818, at *2 (D. Conn. Nov. 19,
2012) (quoting New Jersey v. Sprint Corp., No. 03-
2071-JWL, 2010 WL 610671, at *1 (D. Kan. Feb. 19, 2010)).
argues that CTI has already obtained all of the necessary
information through its Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of Mr. Oh,
claiming that CTI cannot identify any relevant areas about
which Ms. Lim has unique personal knowledge. However, CTI
points out that, unlike the deposition of Mr. Oh, the
deposition of Ms. Lim would not be a Rule 30(b)(6)
deposition, thus the deposition of Ms. Lim could result in
additional relevant information not discussed with Mr. Oh.
See Id. Accordingly, the Court is not convinced that
Ms. Lim's testimony would be entirely duplicative of Mr.
Oh's testimony, and Ms. Lim's deposition should not
be precluded on this basis.
motion to compel is granted in part. GEOMC is ordered to work
with CTI to arrange the deposition of Ms. Lim within twenty
(20) days of the date of this Order.