Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sadofsky v. Fiesta Products

August 6, 2008

FREDERICK SADOFSKY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FIESTA PRODUCTS, LLC, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. E. Thomas Boyle

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court is the plaintiff's motion to compel, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, the production of certain discovery, including documents and interrogatory responses, that were requested from defendant. Defendant objects to plaintiff's discovery requests on a variety of grounds. For the following reasons, plaintiff's motion is granted in part and denied in part.*fn1

FACTS

Plaintiff, Frederick Sadofsky ("Sadofsky" or "Plaintiff"), alleges that prior to January 2004, he invented a silicone rolling pin. (Am Compl. ¶ 13.) Sadofsky further alleges that he and Defendant, Fiesta Products, LLC ("Fiesta" or "Defendant"), an entity that sells kitchenware products, (id. ¶ 11), entered into an agreement, dated February 17, 2004, by which Sadofsky assigned "his rights, title, and interest to the silicone rolling pin to Fiesta," in exchange for Fiesta's promise to pay Sadofsky a two percent (2%) royalty on all sales of the silicone rolling pin. (Id. ¶ 22.) On April 22, 2004, Sadofsky, along with Edward Bloom ("Bloom") and Greg Dua ("Dua"), who are both officers of Fiesta, (id. ¶¶ 9-10), jointly filed a patent application for the silicone rolling pin with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. (Def. Mem. of Law, Ex. C at 2.) The patent application states that Sadofsky, Dua and Bloom are the inventors of the silicone rolling pin and that the three individuals assigned the patent to Fiesta. (Id.) On May 30, 2006, the silicone rolling pin was issued Patent No. 7,052,450 B2. (Id.)

Fiesta subsequently began selling the silicone rolling pin in 2005, for which it made certain royalty payments to Sadofsky, as per the parties' agreement. (Am. Compl. ¶¶ 26-30.) Sadofsky alleges, however, that Fiesta stopped making royalty payments in 2006, despite continuing to sell the silicone rolling pin. (Id. ¶¶ 31-33.) On December 8, 2006, Sadofsky filed his Complaint in the within action. He subsequently filed an Amended Complaint on March 19, 2007, alleging a total of seven causes of action against Fiesta. The essence of Sadofsky's first four claims is that Fiesta breached the royalty agreement between the parties. (Id.) Sadofsky seeks to recover the royalty payments allegedly due him, as well as the following: (1) an accounting concerning the sales of the silicone rolling pin from January 1, 2005 to the present; (2) the appointment of a temporary receiver to oversee Fiesta' business operations pending the trial of the within action; and, (3) a declaratory judgment that Sadofsky is entitled to two percent (2%) royalty payments from Fiesta for sales of the silicone rolling pin since 2005, and continuing for as long as Fiesta, its agents or its assignees, sell the silicone rolling pin.*fn2 (Id. ¶ 111.)

Fiesta asserts a counterclaim herein, alleging that Sadofsky accepted royalty payments for sales of a french pin, a baker's pin, a pastry roller, and a tapered pastry roller, none of which are covered by United States Patent No. 7,052,450 B2 or the parties' agreement. (Ans. ¶¶ 1-6.) Fiesta seeks to recover the royalty payments allegedly made to Sadofsky for these products. (Id. ¶¶ 7-8.)

THE PRESENT MOTION

Before the Court is the plaintiff's motion to compel responses to certain interrogatories and document requests. Sadofsky asserts that he served Fiesta with his First Request for the Production of Documents on June 14, 2007 and that although Fiesta has responded to portions of this request, it has not responded to Document Requests Nos. 12, 13, 14 and 18. (Aff. of Robert Dougherty, dated Apr. 21, 2008 ("Dougherty Aff."), ¶¶ 3, 6.) The disputed requests from the First Request for the Production of Documents are as follows: (1) Requests Nos. 12, 13 and 14 seek all correspondence, faxes, emails or other documents between Fiesta, Dua or Bloom and any distributors, licensees, wholesalers or retailers concerning the rolling pins and (2) Request No. 18 seeks all of Fiesta's corporate tax returns from 2004 to the present. (Id., Ex. A at 2-3.) Fiesta objected to these requests on the basis of relevance and that they are vague, ambiguous, overly broad, unduly burdensome and/or call for the production of confidential information. (Aff. of John W. Egan, dated May 2, 2008 ("Egan Aff."), Ex. A at 7-8, 10-11.)

Sadofsky further asserts that he served Fiesta with his Second Request for the Production of Documents on June 27, 2007 and that although Fiesta has answered portions of this request, it has not responded to Document Requests Nos. 2, 4 and 12. (Dougherty Aff. ¶¶ 4, 6.) The disputed requests from the Second Request for the Production of Documents are as follows: (1) Request No. 2 seeks Federal Form 1065 for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006; (2) Request No. 4 seeks all 1099 forms filed by Fiesta for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006; and (3) Request No. 12 seeks all invoice and rental agreements for trade shows for the years 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 to date. (Id., Ex. B at 1-2.) Fiesta objected to these requests on the basis of relevance and/or that they call for the production of confidential information. (Egan Aff., Ex. B at 3-5, 8-9.)

Sadofsky also asserts that he served Fiesta with his Third Request for the Production of Documents on December 18, 2007 and that although Fiesta has responded to portions of this request, it has not responded to Document Requests Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13 and 14. (Dougherty Aff. ¶¶ 5-6.) The disputed requests from the Third Request for the Production of Documents are as follows:

Request No.1 seeks Fiesta's Certificate of Incorporation, By-Laws, shareholder lists, meeting minutes, any documents showing the names and addresses of Fiesta's corporate officers and any operating agreement concerning Fiesta. (Id., Ex. C at 1.) Fiesta asserts that it has provided Sadofsky with the identity and addresses of its officers and objects to the remainder of the request on the basis of relevance and that it requests business-sensitive information. (Egan Aff., Ex. C at 3.)

Request No. 2 seeks all documents concerning any ownership or shareholder interest in Fiesta by Bailey & Taylor Corporation. (Dougherty Aff., Ex. C at 1.) Fiesta objected to this request on the basis of relevance and that it requests business-sensitive information. (Egan Aff., Ex. C at 4.)

Request No. 3 seeks all documents concerning any ownership or shareholder interest in Fiesta by Dua Group Corporation. (Dougherty Aff., Ex. C at 2.) Fiesta objected to this request on the basis of relevance and that it requests business-sensitive information. (Egan Aff., Ex. C at 4.)

Request No. 4 seeks all documents concerning the preparation by Fiesta of various silicone rolling pin prototypes. (Dougherty Aff., Ex. C at 2.)

Fiesta objected to this request on the basis of relevance and that it requests proprietary information. (Egan Aff., Ex. C at 4-5.) Additionally, Fiesta asserts that it has provided Sadofsky with all of the documentary support for its patent application that was provided to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. (Egan Aff. ¶ 18.)

Request No. 5 seeks all documents concerning Fiesta's contention in its Answer that the February 17, 2004 agreement between the parties may not exist. (Dougherty Aff., Ex. C at 2.) Fiesta objected to this request on the grounds that it did not make any such allegation. (Egan Aff., Ex. C at 5.)

Request No. 8 seeks all documents concerning Fiesta's assertion that Sadofsky's first, second, third and fourth causes of action are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrines of estoppel, release, laches, waiver or unclean hands. (Dougherty Aff., Ex. C at 2.) Fiesta objected to this request on the grounds that it seeks privileged information. (Egan Aff., Ex. C at 6-7.)

Request No. 13 seeks all documents provided to Fiesta by Sadofsky concerning the designs of the silicone rolling pins. (Dougherty Aff., Ex. C at 3.) Fiesta maintains that it has responded to this request. (Egan Aff., Ex. H at 4.)

Request No. 14 seeks all documents prepared by Fiesta, Dua or Bloom, or any related entity or individual, concerning the designs and concepts of the silicone rolling pins. (Dougherty Aff., Ex. C at 3.) Fiesta objected to this request on the basis of relevance and that it is vague, overbroad and unduly burdensome. (Egan Aff., Ex. C at 9.)

With respect to the interrogatories at issue in this motion, Sadofsky asserts that he served Fiesta with his First Set of Interrogatories on December 18, 2007. (Dougherty Aff. ¶ 8.) The interrogatories request written answers that state, for the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007: (1) the annual sales for several types of the silicone rolling pin and (2) the name, address and contact information for each customer who purchased silicone rolling pins. (Id., Ex. D at 7-11.) On March 10, 2008, the Court issued a Protective Order governing the production and handling of confidential information and documents in this action. Fiesta asserts that, after the Protective Order was issued, it produced relevant documents in response to Sadofsky's First Set of Interrogatories, which were identified by Bates number and organized according to each of the silicone rolling pin types and the years requested by Sadofsky. (Egan Aff. ¶¶ 6-9.) Sadofsky maintains, however, that although Fiesta responded to his First Set of Interrogatories, none of the interrogatories were actually answered. (Dougherty Aff. ¶¶ 8-10.)

Additionally, by letter dated March 26, 2008, Sadosfky requested that Fiesta produce all documents concerning the sales of all non-silicone rolling pin products from 2004 to the present. (Egan Aff., Ex. G at 1.) Fiesta asserts, however, that Sadofsky has not served it with a request for the production of these documents. (Egan Aff. ¶ 11.) Fiesta further asserts that even if the request were to be deemed within the scope of the existing document requests, the request is irrelevant and beyond the scope of this action. (Egan Aff., Ex. H at 5.)

By letter dated March 10, 2007, Sadofsky requested compliance with the alleged outstanding discovery demands. (Dougherty Aff. ¶ 11 and Ex. F.) Fiesta responded by letter dated April 4, 2008, asserting that it has fully responded to plaintiff's discovery requests and reiterating its objections to the disputed demands. (Dougherty Aff., Ex. G.) On April 16, 2008, counsel for the parties engaged in a telephone conversation in which Sadofsky's counsel informed Fiesta that he would be moving to compel responses to the outstanding discovery requests. (Egan Aff. ¶ 14.) Sadofsky thereafter filed the within motion to compel, requesting that the Court order Fiesta to respond to all of the disputed document requests and interrogatories discussed supra and award him his attorney's fees and costs incurred in connection with the motion.

DISCUSSION

I. Plaintiff's First Set of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.