United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on (1) Plaintiffs’ Motion to
Compel the Reconvened Deposition of Dalius Rachlevicius and
to Extend the Time Limitation of Rule 30(d)(1), Fed.R.Civ.P.
[DE 46], filed by Plaintiffs Stephen Dyniewski and Angela
Dyniewski on July 15, 2016; (2) Defendants’ Motion to
Preclude Further Deposition of Dalius Rachlevicius [DE 49],
filed by Defendants AG Lines, Inc. and Dalius Rachlevicius on
July 15, 2016; and (3) Defendants’ Motion for Leave to
File Surreply [DE 55], filed by Defendants on July 27, 2016.
21, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a response to Defendants’
Motion to Preclude; Defendants have not filed a reply, and
the time to do so has passed. On July 22, 2016, Defendants
filed a response to Plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel, and
Plaintiffs filed a reply on July 25, 2016. On July 27, 2016,
Plaintiffs filed a response to the Motion for Leave to File
Surreply; Defendants did not file a reply, and the time to do
so has passed.
case arises from a tractor-trailer collision that occurred in
Valparaiso, Indiana, on May 6, 2015. On July 2, 2015,
Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint in state
court, alleging that Defendant Dalius Rachlevicius, the
driver of the tractor-trailer who worked for Defendant AG
Lines, Inc., collided with Plaintiff Stephen
Dyniewski’s vehicle, causing Dyniewski to suffer
serious and debilitating injuries. Plaintiffs assert claims
for personal injuries and seek both compensatory and punitive
damages. Defendants removed the case to this Court on August
8, 2016, counsel for Plaintiffs began the deposition of
Rachlevicius at 3:43 p.m. Rachlevicius, a native Lithuanian
speaker, has limited ability to read, understand, and speak
the English language. As a result, Rachlevicius requested and
utilized a Lithuanian interpreter during the deposition. The
deposition stopped three hours later at 6:42 p.m. that same
date because the court reporter, Lithuanian interpreter, and
videographer could not stay any longer.
conclusion of the first three hours of the deposition,
counsel for Plaintiffs suspended the deposition, reserving
the right to reconvene the deposition at a later date.
Counsel for Defendants objected to any further deposition of
Rachlevicius on the basis that Defendants have admitted that
they were responsible for causing the motor vehicle accident
that is the subject of this lawsuit. Counsel for Defendants
asserted that the only issue remaining for trial is damages.
Counsel for Plaintiffs made a record in response to the
objection that affirmative defenses are pending, the partial
motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability is
pending, and there is a claim for punitive damages.
record, counsel had a discussion concerning the possibility
of Defendants stipulating as to their liability as a means of
satisfying Plaintiffs’ perceived need to reconvene the
deposition. Defendants agreed to prepare a stipulation.
10, 2016, counsel for Plaintiffs sent a fax to counsel for
Defendants, requesting dates to reconvene the deposition. On
June 15, 2016, counsel for Defendants sent a letter to
counsel for Plaintiffs reiterating the objection to
presenting Rachlevicius for a reconvened deposition,
asserting the deposition “would not involve any matter
relevant to any issue remaining for trial in this
matter.” Counsel for Defendants further stated:
Rather than continue to incur needless expense conducting
discovery on issues that have been fully resolved (i.e.
responsibility for causing the collision) the parties should
focus their efforts on entering into a stipulation that
addresses the withdrawal of Plaintiffs’ punitive
damages claim and establishes conclusively that the
Defendants are responsible for causing the collision at issue
in this case.
(Docket entry 40-2). Defendants enclosed Defendants’
Proposed Joint Stipulation as to Liability.
further discussion, on June 20, 2016, counsel for Plaintiffs
served a Rule 30 deposition notice to reconvene the
deposition on July 26, 2016.
12, 2016, counsel for Defendants contacted counsel for
Plaintiffs. During the conference, counsel for Defendants
indicated that he would file a motion to quash the reconvened
deposition of Rachlevicius if counsel for Plaintiffs did not
agree to withdraw the notice of deposition. Counsel discussed
their relative positions regarding the deposition. The
teleconference ended with counsel for Plaintiffs agreeing to
follow up with counsel for Defendants on or before July 15,
2016, after having had an opportunity to discuss the Proposed
Joint Stipulation as to Liability with the partners in the
for Plaintiffs did not contact counsel for Defendants.
Instead, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion to Compel on
July 15, 2016. Counsel for Defendants ...