Court Orders New Search Parameters for Document Preservation
New Orleans Reg'l Physician Hosp. Org., Inc. v. United States, 2015 WL 5000512 (Fed. Cl. Aug. 21, 2015) In this breach of contract case, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant refused to provide promised reimbursements due to contract modifications and directives that were unilaterally taken without the plaintiff’s agreement. During discovery, the plaintiff sought a motion to compel, claiming the defendant’s document productions were deficient and the defendant should therefore be required to redo the searches with more rigorous search protocols. The defendant opposed, arguing that the plaintiff did not confer in good faith prior to filing the motion. The court found that the defendant did not put into place a systematic, reliable plan to find and produce all relevant documents, and the plaintiff’s request for the implementation of new search parameters was granted. As such, the motion to compel discovery was not granted until the defendant has the opportunity to produce documents in line with the new search parameters. In regards to the plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees, the court felt that the final decision to award fees would depend upon the ruling on the motion to compel and therefore denied, with the possibility for the plaintiff to request fees in the future.