United States District Court, D. Connecticut
MARSHALL JONES, Administrator of the Estate of Ashley Ferguson, MARSHALL JONES, AALIYAH JONES, PPA Marshall Jones, and MICHAEL JONES, PPA Marshall Jones, Plaintiffs,
NICHOLAS MARCU, MGR FREIGHT SYSTEM, INC., PLAN BETA, LLC, and TOTAL QUALITY LOGISTICS, LLC, Defendants.
RULING AND ORDER ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE
A. Bolden United States District Judge
November 13, 2018, Defendant MGR Freight System, Inc.
(“MGR Freight”) moved for a protective order to
prevent Marshall Jones, Administrator of the Estate of Ashley
Ferguson, Marshall Jones, Aaliyah Jones, PPA Marshall Jones,
and Michael Jones, PPA Michael Jones (collectively
“Plaintiffs”) from conducting a deposition of MGR
Freight's Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”),
Radomir Dobrosinovic. Motion for Protective Order, dated Nov.
13, 2018 (“Mot.”), ECF No. 50.
deposition is currently scheduled to be held on November 19,
2018 at MGR Freight's corporate headquarters in
Countryside, Illinois. Memorandum of Law in Support of Mot.,
dated Nov. 13, 2018 (“MGR Mem.”), ECF No. 50-1,
at 1, 3.
following reasons, MGR Freight's motion is
GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Facts Relevant to this Dispute
action seeks recovery of damages related to a motor vehicle
accident on December 1, 2016 on I-95 in Old Lyme,
Connecticut. A tractor trailer driven by another Defendant,
Nicolae Marcu, allegedly struck and killed Ashley Ferguson
Jones. Plaintiffs sued MGR Freight and the other named
Defendants in this action for wrongful death, loss of
consortium, and bystander emotional distress.
Freight is alleged to have owned the tractor trailer.
Documents produced during discovery, however, have raised
questions about ownership of the tractor trailer at the time
of the accident: whether MGR Freight, or some related entity
controlled by MGR Freight's CEO, Radomir Dobrosinovic,
owns the tractor trailer. Similarly, documents produced have
raised questions as to whether Mr. Marcu was-as he
contends-an independent contractor or an employee.
November 8, 2018, Plaintiffs noticed a deposition duces tecum
of Mr. Dobrosinovic for November 19, 2018. See
Re-Notice of Deposition Duces Tecum, annexed as Ex. A. to
Mot., ECF No. 50-3. The deposition sought, inter alia, a
“complete inventory of all assets” owned by MGR
Freight and by fourteen other entities: MGR Express, Inc.,
MGR Freight, Inc., MGR Expedited, Inc., MGR Expedited1, LLC,
MGR Freight, LLC, MGR Lease, LLC, MGR Auto Lease, LLC, MGR
Truck Rental, LLC, MGR Truck Sale, Inc., MGR Logistics, Inc.,
MGR 016, LLC, MGR 017, LLC, MGR Truck Repair, Inc., and
Plainfield 014, LLC. Id. ¶ 15.
November 13, 2018, MGR Freight moved for a protective order
to prevent the deposition of Mr. Dobrosinovic. Mot. The Court
held a telephone conference on the motion on November 14,
2018, and set an expedited briefing schedule for
Plaintiffs' opposition. Minute Entry, dated Nov. 14,
2018, ECF No. 54; Notice, dated Nov. 14, 2018, ECF No. 53.
Plaintiffs filed an opposition the following day. First
Objection to Mot., dated Nov. 15, 2018 (“Pls.'
Opp.”), ECF No. 55.
November 16, 2018, the Court held a hearing by telephone on
the motion. Minute Entry, dated Nov. 16, 2018, ECF No. 57.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
party moves for a protective order related to discovery in a
civil action, “[t]he court may, on good cause, issue an
order to protect a party or person from annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense,
” including “specifying terms, including time and
place or the allocation of expenses, for the disclosure of
discovery” and ...