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Tucker v. American International Group, Inc.

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Brief Fact Summary.

Plaintiff moved to compel discovery of computer records from Marsh, a nonparty insurance broker, in an action to recover damages from her former employer’s insurers.

Synopsis of Rule of Law.

The court may limit discovery when it is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative; can be obtained form a more convenient, less burdensome or less expensive source; or when the burden or expense outweighs the likely benefit.

Points of Law - Legal Principles in this Case for Law Students.

Within this Circuit, courts have held nonparty status to be a significant factor in determining whether discovery is unduly burdensome.

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Facts.

Plaintiff brought an action against her former employer’s insurers. She sought to discover computer records from Marsh, a nonparty insurance broker. Marsh objected to the requested discovery. Plaintiff filed a motion to compel discovery.

Issue.

Did the discovery sought by Plaintiff’s motion exceed the bounds of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)?

Held.

Yes. The court denied Plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery.

Discussion.

The court held that the discovery request should be denied for the following reasons:

  • the discovery request was overbroad
  • the existence of emails sought in Plaintiff’s discovery request was speculative
  • plaintiff had already obtained extensive discovery on her claims from other sources
  • balancing the interests of the parties, the substantial burden and expense of the discovery was outweighed its likely benefits.

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