United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
THE SANITARY BOARD OF THE CITY OF CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA, Plaintiff,
COLONIAL SURETY COMPANY, et al., Defendants.
L. TINSLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
this Court are the motion to compel (ECF No. 56) and
supplemental motion to compel (ECF No. 83) filed by
Fourth-Party Defendant Burgess & Niple, Inc.
(“B&N”). B&N seeks to compel Fourth-Party
Plaintiffs Tri-State Pipeline, Inc. and Eric D. Taylor
(collectively, “Tri-State”) to respond to a
series of requests for admission, interrogatories, and
requests for production it served upon Tri-State on February
15, 2019. (ECF Nos. 56-1, 56.2.) Tri-State timely responded
to the requests for admission on March 21, 2019 (ECF No. 48),
but it did not respond to the other discovery requests until
March 29, 2019 (ECF No. 53).
Requests for Admission
Requests Nos. 8 & 9
requests ask Tri-State to admit that it wrote a letter to
B&N dated February 26, 2018, and provided a
“Project Claims” document to B&N on that
date. (ECF No. 56-1 at 4-5.) Tri-State admitted that the
letter was written and the project claims were submitted, but
on February 23, 2018. (ECF No. 56-3 at 5.) Due to the
discrepancy with the date, B&N requested that Tri-State
produce its copy of the letter at issue. (ECF No. 56 at 4.)
B&N represents that Tri-State did so on May 6, 2019. (ECF
No. 64 at 3.) Accordingly, B&N's motion to compel is
DENIED AS MOOT with respect to these
Requests Nos. 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33,
35, 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 59, 61, 63,
65, 67-69, 71, 77, 79, 81, 83, 85, 87, 89, 91, 93, 95, 97,
99, 101, 103, 105, 107, & 109
requests in large part ask Tri-State to admit that it
submitted various notices of claims as part of the letter
mentioned in Requests Nos. 8 and 9. (ECF No. 56-1 at 5- 21.)
Tri-State agreed to supplement its responses “in an
ongoing effort to address B&N's discovery requests
fully and in good faith.” (ECF No. 61 at 4.)
Accordingly, to the extent it has not already done so,
Tri-State is ORDERED to supplement its
responses to these requests. B&N's motion to compel
is GRANTED with respect to these requests.
Interrogatory No. 2
interrogatory requests that Tri-State both identify
individuals with knowledge of the facts alleged in the
fourth-party complaint in this case and summarize their
knowledge. (ECF No. 56-2 at 4.) Although Tri-State supplied
names of individuals, it refused to give summaries of their
knowledge because it had not yet interviewed them and because
some of them were employed by other parties to this action.
(ECF No. 61 at 4.)
a fairly standard interrogatory that is often propounded
early in the discovery process and seeks relevant,
discoverable information. See, e.g., Beckman v.
T.K. Stanley, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-133, 2012 WL 1085803, at
*1, *7 (N.D. W.Va. Mar. 30, 2012) (ordering party to respond
to similar request for list of witnesses and “[t]he
substance of the facts known by each said witness”);
Kelly v. FedEx Ground Package Sys., Inc., No.
3:10-cv-01265, 2011 WL 1584764, at *4 (S.D. W.Va. Apr. 26,
2011) (ordering party to respond to interrogatory requesting
“the identity of any person who has knowledge of the
alleged incident . . . as well as the substance of the
knowledge”). Further, at this point in the discovery
process, Tri-State is likely equipped to respond fully to the
interrogatory. Tri-State is ORDERED to do
so, and B&N's motion to compel is
GRANTED with respect to this interrogatory.
Interrogatory No. 13
interrogatory asks Tri-State if it has previously been
involved in projects “governed by the EJCDC General
Conditions” and to list those projects. (ECF No. 56-2
at 7.) Tri-State objected to the interrogatory as unduly
burdensome, oppressive, and irrelevant. (ECF No. 56-5 at 10.)
However, Tri-State's objections were untimely served on
B&N and are boilerplate and unsubstantiated. Fed.R.Civ.P.
33(b)(4) (“The grounds for objecting to an
interrogatory must be stated with specificity.”);
see Richardson v. Ford Motor Co., No. 3:13-cv-06529,
2014 WL 6471499, at *2 (S.D. W.Va. Nov. 18, 2014)
(“Conclusory and unsubstantiated allegations are simply
insufficient to support an objection based on grounds of
annoyance, burdensomeness, oppression, or expense.”).
As such, Tri-State's objections are waived. Fed.R.Civ.P.
33(b)(4) (“Any ground not stated in a timely objection
is waived . . . .”); see Frontier-Kemper
Constructors, Inc. v. Elk Run Coal Co., 246 F.R.D. 522,
528-29 (S.D. W.Va. 2007). More importantly, the information
this interrogatory requests is relevant to B&N's
defense to Tri-State's negligence claim against it that
Tri-State “did not act in accordance with the EJCDC
standards governing [the] contract.” (ECF No. 56 at 6.)
Accordingly, Tri-State is ORDERED to respond
to this interrogatory in full, and B&N's motion to
compel is GRANTED with respect to this
Requests for ...