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Wilden v. Laury Transportation, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

May 23, 2017

JAMIE L. WILDEN, et al., Plaintiffs
v.
LAURY TRANSPORTATION, LLC,, Defendants

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Colin Lindsay, Magistrate Judge United States District Court.

         Before the Court is a motion to compel filed by Richard M. Breen, G. Adam Redden, and the Richard Breen Law Offices, P.S.C., (together, “Breen”). (DN 202.) Jamie L. Wilden, as legal guardian of Janice Wilden, and Jacob Yeager, as legal guardian of V.Y., (together, the “Plaintiffs”) oppose the motion. (DN 204.) The Court will grant Breen's motion to compel.

         Background

         The procedural history of this case is complicated. The Court will detail only what is necessary for understanding the parties' discovery dispute.

         On June 24, 2013, Janice Wilden and her child, V.Y., were involved in a car wreck with a Great Dane trailer. (DN 182, #3651.) Janice Wilden was severely injured, and V.Y.'s injuries are unknown. (Id.)

         On June 27, 2013, Tanya Wilden[1] retained Breen to represent her daughter, Janice. (DN 204-2.) That same day, Jacob Yeager retained Breen to represent his child, V. Y. (DN 204-3.) The Plaintiffs agreed to pay Breen one third of any recovery. (DNs 204-2 & 204-3.)

         In early July 2013, [2] Tanya Wilden fired Breen. (DN 204-4.)

         On July 5, 2013, Breen filed a complaint in Jefferson Circuit Court. (DN 204-5.) On July 9, Breen amended the complaint, and Breen amended again on July 19. (DNs 204-6 & 204-7.)

         Jacob Yeager fired Breen in a letter dated August 13, 2013. (DN 208-8.) Jacob Yeager wrote, “I strongly feel that your representation for me, my son [V.Y.] and Janice Wilden has been misleading to me and that my lack of knowledge for the legal system has been taken advantage of by you and your office.” (DN 208-8 (brackets added).)

         On August 13, 2013, the case was removed to this Court. (DN 1.) On August 29, 2013, Breen filed a notice of an attorney lien. (DN 9.) On September 3, 2013, the Court entered an order substituting Allen Gruner for Breen as the Plaintiffs' attorney in this action. (DN 10.)

         The case progressed. In August 2015, the Plaintiffs settled with Defendants Dwight Weisner, Victory Road Transportation, LLC, and Laury Transportation, Inc. (See DN 92; see also, Progressive Southeastern Ins. Co. v. Victory Road Transp., LLC, 3:15-cv-107-DJH-CHL.) The Plaintiffs also dismissed claims against Defendant Piggyback Leasing, Inc. (See id.) The remaining defendant, Great Dane Limited Partnership, prevailed on summary judgment. (DN 182.) The Court dismissed the action. (DN 183.)

         On October 12, 2016, the Court reinstated this case for the limited purpose of adjudicating the attorney lien asserted by Breen. (DN 192.) Breen seeks to recover a fee in the amount of $291, 666.66 and costs of $4, 112.75. (DN 101.) Now, Breen moves to compel the Plaintiffs to produce documents in response to Breen's Requests for Production. (DN 202-1, #3783 - 84.)[3] Breen also moves to compel the Plaintiffs to sign their Responses to Breen's Interrogatories. (Id., #3789 - 90.)

         Legal Standards

         Rule 26 governs the scope of discovery. It says:

         Rule 26. Duty to Disclose; General Provisions Governing Discovery

         (b) Discovery Scope and Limits.

(1) Scope in General. Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of 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). “Information is discoverable under revised Rule 26(b)(1) if it is relevant to any party's claim or defense and is proportional to the needs of the case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1) advisory committee's note to 2015 amendment.

         Rule 33 governs interrogatories. It says:

Rule 33. Interrogatories to Parties

         (b) Answers ...


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