United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
VENTUREDYNE, LTD., d/b/a SCIENTIFIC DUST COLLECTORS, Plaintiff,
CARBONYX, INC., d/b/a CARBONYX CARBON TECHNOLOGIES, and UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, Defendants, UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, Cross Claimant,
CARBONYX, INC., Cross Defendant, CARBONYX, INC., Counter Claimant,
UNITED STATES STEEL CORPORATION, Counter Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
E. MARTIN MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to
Compel Production of Documents against Carbonyx Inc. [DE 48],
filed by Plaintiff Venturedyne, Ltd.
(“Venturedyne”) on July 12, 2016. Venturedyne
asks the Court to order Defendant Carbonyx, Inc.
(“Carbonyx”) to produce electronically stored
information requested in Venturedyne's Revised Requests
for Production of Documents. On July 26, 2016, Carbonyx filed
a response [DE 51], and on August 2, 2016, Carbonyx filed a
reply [DE 52].
8, 2015, Venturedyne served its First Request for Production
of Documents to Carbonyx. On September 19, 2015, Carbonyx
objected to the requests on relevancy grounds and did not
turn over any documents.
October 1, 2015, Venturedyne sent Carbonyx a letter
responding to Carbonyx's objections. On October 6, 2015,
counsel for Venturedyne and Carbonyx spoke over the phone.
Because Carbonyx's primary objection was that the
document requests were too broad, counsel for Venturedyne and
Carbonyx discussed using keywords to search Carbonyx's
electronically stored information. On November 9, 2015,
Carbonyx turned over sample emails related to this case to
help determine what keywords would be appropriate.
January 20, 2016, Venturedyne sent Carbonyx a Revised Request
for Production of Documents. On February 25, 2016,
Venturedyne's counsel sent Carbonyx's counsel a list
of 126 keywords. Venturedyne's counsel proposed these
keywords as a method by which Carbonyx could satisfy its
burden to produce material responsive to the Revised Request.
March 10, 2016, Carbonyx's counsel sent an email to
Venturedyne striking 20 search terms from the list of 126,
leaving 105 terms. On April 28, 2016, Venturedyne's
counsel responded by voluntarily removing 28 additional
terms, leaving 78 terms. Venturedyne also objected to 7 of
the 20 terms deleted by Carbonyx. In all, neither party
objected to 78 of the original 126 search terms until
Carbonyx responded to this Motion to Compel.
counsel sent Carbonyx's counsel follow-up emails on May
6, May 24, June 3, June 13, and June 30, 2016. Carbonyx's
counsel did not respond to any of these five emails. On July
12, 2016, Venturedyne filed this Motion.
may seek an order to compel discovery when an opposing party
fails to respond to discovery requests or provides evasive or
incomplete responses. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a).
“Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
non-priviledged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the
case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). Relevant evidence
includes “any matter that bears on, or that reasonably
could lead to other matter that could bear on, any issue that
is or may be in the case.” Oppenheimer Fund, Inc.
v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978).
assist in producing responsive electronically stored
information, parties frequently use keyword searches. Keyword
searches “have long been recognized as appropriate and
helpful for ESI search and retrieval, ” but
“there are well-known limitations and risks associated
with them.” Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe,
Inc., 250 F.R.D. 251, 260 (D. Md. 2008). “Chief
among [those limitations] is that such a search necessarily
results in false positives (irrelevant documents flagged
because they contain a search term) and false negatives
(relevant documents not flagged since they do not
contain a search term).” Makowski v. Smith Amundsen
LLC, No. 08-C-6912, 2012 WL 1634832, at *1 (N.D. Ill.
May 9, 2012). As a result, “[e]lectronic discovery
requires cooperation between opposing counsel and
transparency in all aspects of preservation and production of
ESI.” William A. Gross Constr. Assocs., Inc. v. Am.
Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co., 256 F.R.D. 134, 136 (S.D.N.Y.
objecting to the discovery request bears the burden of
showing why the request is improper, McGrath v. Everest
Nat'l Ins. Co., 625 F.Supp.2d 660, 670 (N.D. Ind.
2008), and the Court has broad discretion when deciding
discovery matters. Thermal Design, Inc. v. Am. Soc'y
of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning
Eng'rs, Inc., 755 F.3d 832, 837 (7th Cir. 2014);
Rennie v. Dalton, 3 F.3d 1100, 1110 (7th Cir. 1993).
Complaint alleges that Venturedyne, doing business as
Scientific Dust Collectors, contracted with Carbonyx
“to supply dust collection systems” and various
services to support Carbonyx's contract with U.S. Steel.
The equipment was to be used as part of U.S. Steel's Coke
Improvements Project. Venturedyne alleges that ...