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Caudill Seed and Warehouse Co. Inc. v. Jarrow Formulas, Inc.

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

February 27, 2019

CAUDILL SEED AND WAREHOUSE COMPANY, INC. PLAINTIFF
v.
JARROW FORMULAS, INC. DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, SENIOR JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         This case is before the Court on Defendant Jarrow Formulas, Inc.'s Motion for Leave to Take a Two-Hour Rule 30(b)(6) Deposition of Plaintiff and to Compel Production of an Unredacted Email Between Plaintiff and Its Vendor. DNs 276, 279.[1] Plaintiff Caudill Seed and Warehouse Company, Inc. responded in opposition. DN 282. Jarrow replied. DN 297. Therefore, this matter is ripe for review. Finding that Jarrow is entitled to conduct an additional deposition and that Caudill should be required to provide an unredacted copy of a produced email to the magistrate for review, the Court will grant the motion.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

          At the outset of discovery in this case, Jarrow Formulas served a number of requests for admission (RFA). DN 276-3. Two were targeted at determining the specific processes Caudill had used in producing its broccoli seed product:

21. Admit that prior to May 1, 2011, Caudill Seed had not treated broccoli seed using supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide at a pressure of 500 bar and a temperature of 185°F for 2 1/2 hours.
23. Admit that prior to May 1, 2011, Caudill Seed had not combined (i) broccoli seed treated using supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide at a pressure of 500 bar and a temperature of 185°F for 2 1/2 hours with (ii) broccoli seed treated using supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide at a pressure of 300 bar and a temperature of 140°F.

DN 276-3 at 5-6. Caudill responded to each that “Plaintiff is without sufficient knowledge to admit or deny this allegation and therefore, at this time, must deny it.” Ibid.

         The Court subsequently ordered the parties to supplement discovery responses. DN 166. Caudill supplemented some of its responses, but did not supplement RFAs 21 or 23. Jarrow moved to compel those responses. DN 192. The Court granted the motion, specifically ordering Caudill to file supplemental responses to RFAs 21 and 23. DN 253 at 13. Caudill then filed supplemental responses, stating:

[RFA 21:] Caudill Seed believes it has treated broccoli seed using supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide at a pressure of 500 bar and a temperature of 185[° F] for 2 1/2 hours. However, Ashurst was in charge of research and development and is one of the few individuals who possess the requisite information. Caudill has timely requested the information from its vendors, and is currently waiting for a response to verify this information. Caudill will supplement its document production with all such non-privileged materials received. In view of the foregoing, this Request is DENIED subject to continued review by Caudill in the course of this proceeding.
[RFA 23:] Caudill Seed believes it has combined (i) broccoli seed treated using supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide at a pressure of 500 bar and a temperature of 185° F for 2 1/2 hours with (ii) broccoli seed treated using supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide at a pressure of 300 bar and a temperature of 140° F. However, Ashurst was in charge of research and development and is one of the few individuals who possess the requisite information. Caudill has timely requested the information from its vendors, and is currently waiting for a response to verify this information. Caudill will supplement its document production with all such non-privileged materials received. In view of the foregoing, this Request is DENIED subject to continued review by Caudill in the course of this proceeding.

DN 276-7 at 11-12.

         Jarrow then moved for sanctions based on Caudill's failure to comply with the Court's order to supplement their discovery responses. DN 259. The Court, noting that Caudill “had enough time” to verify its denials, found that Caudill had failed to fully comply with the magistrate judge's order. DN 271 at 14. The Court then ordered that the RFAs would be deemed unequivocally denied unless Caudill unequivocally admitted them. Id. at 14-15. Caudill made no supplementation, so the Court deems RFAs 21 and 23 unequivocally denied. Afterward, Caudill produced the documents it had requested from one of its vendors, NATECO2. DN 278-1 (sealed). The document details the specific temperature and pressures used to treat broccoli seed at NATECO2's laboratory in Germany. One page of the document contains a redaction undertaken by Caudill unilaterally.

         III. ...


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