Case 1:07-cv-00132-JJF Document 23 Filed 07/O2/2008 Page1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
THE STANDARD FIRE INSURANCE :
v. ; Civil Action No. 07-132-JJF
F & S BOATWORKS, INC., E
Currently before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for
Protective Order (D.I. I6). For the reasons discussed,
Plaintiff’s Motion will be denied.
This action in admiralty was filed by Plaintiff on March 2,
2007 seeking damages as a result of a fire aboard a sportfishing
vessel manufactured by Defendant. Under the parties' Stipulation
Extending Discovery and Continuing Pretrial Conference (D.I. 22),
which was ordered by the Court on May I5, 2008, Defendant’s
expert reports were to be produced by May 30, 2008, and any
supplemental expert reports from Plaintiff were to be produced by
June l3, 2008.
By their motion, which was filed on January 25, 2008,
Plaintiff moves the Court for a Protective Order regarding
Defendant’s noticing the depositions of (1) James A. Cote (“Mr.
Cote"); (2) E. Charles Game (“Mr. Game"), and (3) persons
designated by Plaintiff pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6) to
testify on the matters listed in Defendant’s January 4, 2008
Case 1:07-cv-00132-JJF Document 23 Filed 07/O2/2008 Page 2 of 3
Notice of Deposition. Plaintiff contends that Mr. Cote and Mr.
Game are retained experts, that their reports were not yet due,
and discovery was still ongoing. Accordingly, Plaintiff
contends, deposition of these experts prior to the issuance of
their reports, would be premature. Regarding the 30(b)(6)
deposition, Plaintiff contends that Defendant is seeking to
obtain information explaining the relevance of facts already
provided by Plaintiff, and to obtain and explore expert reasoning
and opinions by questioning a 30(b)(6) representative. Plaintiff
further contends that Defendant is seeking information protected
by attorney—client privilege.
Defendant responds that Plaintiff has not provided any
details regarding its claim, which has handicapped Defendant’s
ability to assess the case, and that Defendant has noticed the
depositions of Mr. Cote, Mr. Game and Plaintiff’s Rule 30(b)(6)
designee(s) to ascertain the factual basis of Plaintiff’s
allegations. Defendant contends that it is entitled to discover
all facts upon which Plaintiff bases its allegations, even if
those facts were developed through Plaintiff’s pre-lawsuit
A prerequisite to the issuance of a protective order
governing discovery is a showing of “good cause," which exists
when disclosure will result in a clearly defined and serious
injury to the party seeking the protective order. Pansy v.
Borough of Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d 772, 786 (3d Cir. 1994);
Case 1:07-cv-00132-JJF Document 23 Filed 07/O2/2008 Page 3 of 3
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c). The Court finds that, at this late stage of
the litigation, the basis for Plaintiff’s motion is largely moot,
the parties having exchanged, if any, expert reports by June 13,
2008. However, to the extent that these issues are still
outstanding, the Court will deny Plaintiff’s Motion for a
Protective Order, finding that Plaintiff has failed to establish
“good cause" for the requested Order, and that Defendant’s Notice
of Deposition requests are reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence.
For the reasons discussed, it is hereby ordered that
Plaintiff’s Motion for Protective Order (D.1. 16) is DENIED.
July 2, 2008 `il/éiqun gx _
DATE UN D ATES ISTRICT JUDG