Case Summary: Kraft Foods N. Am.; Discovery request for documents over a 7 year period not overly broad
Posted by rjbiii on September 11, 2007
Court ruled that a discovery request seeking documents from January 1, 1999 to [April 7, 2006] did not represent an overly broad temporal scope. Although the “last discriminatory act” for the purposes of the action at bar would have occurred in April 2004, information from the two-years and three-months prior to the April 2002 liability period may be relevant to demonstrate the pattern and practice of discriminatory conduct alleged by Plaintiffs. Moreover, defendants provided no evidence that production of documents for this twenty-seven month period would impose any burden on defendants.
Court ruled “not overly broad” in departmental or organizational scope discovery requests seeking documents relating to “sales representatives” and “region managers” in the Kraft Sales Organization over the objection of the responding party. Responding party had argued that because no plaintiffs had ever held the position of regional manager, individuals in those positions were not similarly situated to Plaintiffs, making the documents irrelevant to the matter at hand. The court disagreed, finding that the requests were not overly broad on their face; that defendant’s lack of assertion to demonstrate that discovery would impose a burden; and that although the title of “region manager” no longer exists, responding party should produce documents of the position regardless of its new title.
Court ruled discovery requests seeking documents for the “Kansas City Region” were not overly broad in geographic scope, because the motives behind employment decisions made by managers at the regional level were relevant to the matter at hand. Because the some of the wrongdoing was alleged to have occurred at a regional level within defendant’s organizational structure, the court found defining the geographic scope of the requests as the Kansas City region is reasonable. Johnson v. Kraft Foods N. Am., Inc., 238 F.R.D. 648 (D. Kan 2006).