Defendant Ordered to Comply with Server and Metadata Requests
In Vosburgh v. Fraley and Schilling, Inc., No. 3:13-CV-060 (Dist. Court, E.D. Tennessee, Dec. 4, 2013), plaintiff Vosburgh already deposed two key persons when defendant Fraley produced additional emails in discovery. In response, Vosburgh requested the court allow re-depositions of the two concerned people, and asked that fees and expenses be covered for the depositions. Fraley largely agreed with the requests, only asking the depositions take place where the two people lived.
As a compromise, the court allowed the depositions to occur in one location, using videoconference, and the defendants pay fees and expenses. Not all costs were covered, but the compromise prevented any sanctions and set a quick timeframe for finishing the supplemental depositions needed due to the missing emails.
In addition to the needed supplemental depositions, the plaintiff also requested more information from defendants regarding the server. The goal for this request was to determine if the plaintiff performance record had been modified. The case centers on allegations that the plaintiff was terminated in violation of USERRA, so performance records are significant to evaluating the termination. Plaintiff also requests performance records of other employees, because defendants allege plaintiff was the “least reliable driver.”
While the court narrowly tailored the plaintiff eDiscovery requests, it recognized the importance of the server and metadata from the personnel management system. The court also validated the significance other driver records would have in evaluating the relative abilities of the plaintiff. Accordingly, Fraley was ordered to turn over the server information, needed metadata and electronic documents related to the plaintiff requests.