Case Law

Kansas Court Rejects Proportionality Arguments and Boilerplate Objections

Kansas

Duffy v. Lawrence Mem. Hosp., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176848 (D. Kan. Dec. 21, 2016) In this False Claims Act case, the plaintiff moved the court to compel the defendant to produce additional discovery, supplemental to over 500,000 documents it had already produced, because it deemed responses “inadequate” and “improper.” The plaintiff also argued that the defendant relied on boilerplate objections in its discovery responses. The defendant argued that the proportionality standards of FRCP 26(b)(1) limited the discovery it had to produce, and, while the defendant did not address proportionality in its initial responses, it submitted a detailed proportionality analysis in response to the plaintiff’s motion. The court stated that “moving the proportionality provisions to FRCP 26 does not place on the party seeking discovery the burden of addressing all proportionality concerns,” and that the burden is on the responding party to show that the desired discovery is not relevant. The court granted all but one of the requested discovery items, explaining that the defendant had not met its burden under Rule 34 with its boilerplate objections. The court also rejected the defendant’s proportionality analysis, stating that it appeared “aimed more at telling Defendant’s views of the merits of this action than at addressing whether Plaintiff’s discovery requests are proportionate to the needs of the case.”

Keywords: Rule 26(b)(1), Rule 34, Proportionality, Interrogatory