Plaintiffs Ordered to Produce Documentation Relating to Trucking Accident Under FRCP 26
Nkansah et. al. v. Martinez et. al., Case No. 15-646 (M.D. La., Nov. 7, 2016) is a lawsuit stemming from a trucking accident in which Plaintiffs alleged personal injury and mental anguish of Plaintiff Nkansah, one of the truck drivers, as well as damage to the truck and loss of income, loss of business opportunities and diminution of value. Defendants made discovery requests, seeking documents relating to the loss of income and value claims as well as correspondence, emails, notes, logs and other documentation regarding the subject accident. Plaintiff Nkansah testified at a deposition that his employer, Plaintiff ATL, maintains driver logs that identify the hours when each driver sleeps. When the documents were not produced, Defendants filed a Motion to Compel, seeking fees and costs for filing same. Plaintiffs argued that Nkansah had difficulties after the accident and that ATL, being a small business without an accounting system, also could not provide documents timely.
The court highlighted the discovery rules regarding documentation under FRCP 26, which provide that relevant information is discoverable unless it is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative or can be obtained from some other source, or is outside the scope of FRCP 26. The court found that Plaintiffs did not object to the request for production of documentation of the accident, including correspondence, emails, text messages, logs and telephone messages. It also found that the information sought, although broadly worded, was relevant and discoverable, and it ordered Plaintiffs to produce the information within seven days. However, the court ordered that the parties would bear their own costs.