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In re Toxic Exposure Cases

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

May 7, 2019

In re: TOXIC EXPOSURE CASES (diesel fume exhaust and other alleged toxins) against UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY Plaintiff,
v.
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY Defendant.

          ORDER

          Cheryl R. Zwart, United States Magistrate Judge.

         As to the discovery disputes between Plaintiffs and Union Pacific, the parties jointly stipulate as follows:

         1. The seven above-captioned cases are members of a larger group of cases the Court has joined to a consolidated case management schedule.

         2. On April 18, 2019, Union Pacific's counsel sent a letter to the Court that discussed ongoing problems with Union Pacific's attempts to obtain timely discovery responses from opposing counsel (“Plaintiffs' Counsel”) in the seven above-captioned cases. The letter set forth alleged defects with Plaintiffs' Counsel's discovery responses in each of the seven cases. (Id.).

         3. On April 23, 2019, Plaintiffs' Counsel sent a letter to the Court detailing its position regarding discovery. The correspondence asserted that Plaintiffs' Counsel sent discovery responses in each of the seven cases regarding a portion of his outstanding discovery obligations.

         4. On April 23, Union Pacific's counsel sent a letter advising the Court of Plaintiffs' Counsel's supplementation of discovery in each case. The letter asserted that, for each case, Plaintiffs' Counsel's supplementary discovery responses still failed to correlate the production with a specific request to which the production was responsive.

         5. On April 25, the Court entered an Order in each of the seven above-captioned cases. (Doc. # 15). The Order noted Plaintiffs' Counsel's failure to timely respond to discovery requests and failure to attend to the Court's prior warnings and instructions. (Id.). The Order then granted leave for Union Pacific to file a motion to compel and request for sanctions in each of the seven above-captioned cases. (Id.).[1]

         6. Paragraphs 7 through 13 below describe the status of discovery in each of the above-captioned cases.

         O'Neill v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 8:18cv385

         7. Union Pacific received initial discovery responses in the above matter. On February 25, 2019, Union Pacific subsequently received email communication informally providing discovery materials supplementing Plaintiff's discovery responses. However, the email did not explain to which case the response was directed. On March 12, 2019, Union Pacific followed up with Plaintiffs' Counsel requesting formal supplemental responses. On March 26, 2019, Union Pacific again received email communication with informal supplemental materials. On March 28, Union Pacific followed up with Plaintiffs' Counsel again requesting formal individual supplemental discovery responses. Though Plaintiffs' Counsel has provided supplementary documentation specific to this case, Plaintiffs' counsel still failed to specify the request to which the production was responsive.

         Garza v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 8:18cv391

         9.[2] Union Pacific received initial discovery responses in the above matter. On February 25, 2019, Union Pacific subsequently received email communication informally providing discovery materials supplementing Plaintiff's discovery responses. However, the email did not explain to which case the response was directed. On March 12, 2019, Union Pacific followed up with Plaintiffs' Counsel requesting formal supplemental responses. On March 26, 2019, Union Pacific again received email communication with informal supplemental materials. On March 28, 2019, Union Pacific followed up with Plaintiffs' Counsel again requesting formal individual supplemental discovery responses. Though Plaintiffs' Counsel has provided supplementary documentation specific to this case, Plaintiffs' counsel still failed to specify the request to which the production was responsive.

         Groff v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 8:18cv415

         10. Union Pacific received initial discovery responses in the above matter. On February 25, 2019, Union Pacific subsequently received email communication informally providing discovery materials supplementing Plaintiff's discovery responses. However, the email did not explain to which case the response was directed. On March 12, 2019, Union Pacific followed up with Plaintiffs' Counsel requesting formal supplemental responses. On March 26, 2019, Union Pacific again received email communication with informal supplemental materials. On March 28, 2019, Union Pacific followed up with Plaintiffs' Counsel again requesting formal individual supplemental discovery responses. Though ...


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