United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER RE: MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER
SARAH A. L. MERRIAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
November 3, 2017, Dr. Stephen A. Eige filed a Motion for
Protective Order, seeking an order delaying his deposition
until after the resolution of two motions to remand to state
court. [Doc. #87]. Defendants/Third Party Plaintiffs Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., Wal-Mart Associates, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores
East, Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores East I, L.P. (collectively,
“Wal-Mart”) have filed an objection to Dr.
Eige's Motion for Protective Order, and Dr. Eige filed a
reply. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
DENIES Dr. Eige's Motion for Protective
filed this action on July 23, 2015, in Connecticut Superior
Court, alleging that she was injured in an accident at a
Wal-Mart store. See Doc. #1 at 2. On August 11, 2015, Wal-Mart
removed the case to the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut. Id. at 4.
6, 2016, Wal-Mart filed a Third Party Complaint against
Middlesex Health System, Inc., d/b/a Middlesex Hospital
(“Middlesex Hospital”) alleging that on the date
of the alleged accident at the Wal-Mart store, plaintiff fell
off a hospital bed or gurney while receiving care at
Middlesex Hospital. See Doc. #21 at 2. Wal-Mart alleges that
Middlesex Hospital's negligence caused or contributed to
plaintiff's injuries, and requests that Middlesex
Hospital be held proportionally liable for any damages
awarded to plaintiff. See Id. at 3-4.
Hospital and plaintiff have both filed motions to remand to
state court, which remain pending. See Doc. ##64, 67.
Plaintiff has also filed a medical malpractice claim against
multiple defendants, including Middlesex Hospital and Dr.
Eige, in Connecticut Superior Court. See Doc. #87 at 1.
2017, Wal-Mart noticed the depositions of fact witnesses to
the alleged fall at Middlesex Hospital, including Dr. Eige.
See Doc. #80 at 2. Wal-Mart initially noticed Dr. Eige's
deposition on July 5, 2017, for a deposition to occur on
September 6, 2017. Id. At the request of counsel for
Middlesex Hospital, and based on representations by counsel
for Dr. Eige that he was unavailable, the September 6, 2017,
deposition was postponed. See Id. at 22-23. Counsel
for Wal-Mart sent e-mails seeking other potential deposition
dates on September 1, 18, and 27, 2017. Id. at 2-3.
October 11, 2017, Wal-Mart re-noticed the deposition of Dr.
Eige for Thursday, November 9, 2017. See Doc. #79 at 5. On
that same date, Wal-Mart also filed a Motion to Compel Dr.
Eige's deposition. See Id. On November 2, 2017,
having received no objection to Wal-Mart's motion, the
Court granted Wal-Mart's Motion to Compel Dr. Eige's
deposition. See Doc. #86. On November 3, 2017, Dr. Eige
filed, for the first time, a Motion for Protective Order.
26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure sets forth
the scope and limitations of permissible discovery:
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 be discoverable.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). “[T]he scope of discovery
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b) is very broad, ‘encompass[ing]
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.'” Maresco v. Evans Chemetics, Div.
of W.R. Grace & Co., 964 F.2d 106, 114 (2d Cir. 1992)
(quoting Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S.
340, 351, (1978)). “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).
to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“[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[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(c)(1). “Rule 26(c) confers broad discretion on the
trial court to decide when a protective order is appropriate
and what degree of protection is required.” Seattle
Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 36 (1984).
“That said, a court may issue a protective order only
after the moving party demonstrates good cause.”
Joseph L. v. Conn. Dept of Children & Families, 225
F.R.D. 400, 402 (D. Conn. 2005); see also Dove v. Atl.
Capital Corp., 963 F.2d 15, 19 (2d Cir. 1992).
establish good cause under Rule 26(c), courts require a
particular and specific demonstration of fact, as
distinguished from stereotyped and conclusory
statements.” Jerolimo v. Physicians for Women,
P.C., 238 F.R.D. 354, 356 (D. Conn. 2006) (internal
quotation marks and citations omitted). Good cause exists
when allowing the discovery sought will result in a
“clearly defined and serious injury to the party
seeking the protective order.” Bernstein v.
Mafcote, Inc., 43 F.Supp.3d 109, 113 (D. Conn.
2014)(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
“Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific
examples or articulated reasoning, are insufficient for a
good cause showing.” Id. (internal quotation
marks and citations omitted).
26(c)(1) requires any motion for protective order to
“include a certification that the movant has in good
faith conferred or attempted to confer with other affected
parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without court