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Matusick v. Erie County Water Authority

February 22, 2010

SCOTT MATUSICK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ERIE COUNTY WATER AUTHORITY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hugh B. Scott United States Magistrate Judge

Hon. Hugh B. Scott

Decision & Order

Before the Court is the plaintiff's motion to compel discovery and to disqualify counsel. (Docket No. 40).

The plaintiff, Scott M. Matusick ("Matusick"), commenced this action in New York State Supreme Court*fn1 alleging that while he was employed by the Erie County Water Authority ("ECWA") in 2004 he was assaulted, discriminated and harassed by his superiors at the ECWA because of his association with Anita Starks, an African-American woman. Named as defendants in this action, in addition to the ECWA, are: Robert Mendez, the Director of the ECWA ("Mendez"); Gary Bluman, an ECWA Foreman ("Bluman"); John Kuryak, ECWA Distribution Engineer ("Kuryak"); James P. Lisinski, ECWA Coordinator of Employee Relations ("Lisinski"); David F. Jaros, ECWA Senior Distribution Engineer ("Jaros"); Karla Thomas, Director of Human Resources ("Thomas"); Helen Cullinan Szvoren, Director of Human Resources ("Szvoren"); Matthew J. Baudo, secretary to the ECWA ("Baudo"); Robert Guggemos, ECWA Distribution Engineer ("Guggemos"); and Joseph Marzec ("Marzec").*fn2 (Complaint at ¶¶2-14).

In the instant motion, the plaintiff seeks to compel disclosure of certain documents, and the personal phone numbers and addresses of ECWA workers so that plaintiff's counsel can contact them outside of the place of their employment. The plaintiff also seeks to disqualify counsel for the defendants based upon allegations that defendants' counsel has interfered with plaintiff's counsel's efforts to communicate with non-party ECWA employees. (Docket No. 40).

Additional Discovery

The plaintiff seeks to compel disclosure of the following documents:

1. Work orders relating to five service calls between November 15, 2004 and February 5, 2006. (Docket No. 40-2 at page 2; Docket No. 40, Exhibit A, Request No. 1).

2. Documents relating to computer malfunction during the 2004 and 2005 claendar years. These appear to be the documents referred to by defendant Baudo during his testimony in an administrative hearing stemming from the charges which eventually led to Matusick's termination by the ECWA and at a prior depositin. (Docket No. 40, Exhibit A, Request No. 3).

3. Documents relating to an incident on September 18, 2008, in which Starks claims that an ECWA truck followed her "inappropriately" (Docket No. Nos. 40-2 at page 4; 58 at ¶12).

4. Audio tapes of telephone calls made by Matusick on July 2-8, 2004 relating to the alleged incidents with Bluman and Finn. (Docket No. 40-2 at page 4-5).

5. The ECWA "blue book" containing the home addresses and phone numbers of all ECWA employees so that plaintiff's counsel can contact them outside of work hours.

6. All ECWA policies concerning racial discrimination, harassment or retaliation provided to employees between 1997 and 2005; and all manuals, policies, notices and directives relating to discipline, demotion, transfer, discharge, compensation fringe benefits; job description of dispatcher, training programs, seniority and promotion. (Docket No. 40-2 at page 6; Docket No. 40, Exhibit F, Request No. 10-13).

The defendants point to the fact that the discovery period in this case closed on January 31, 2009 and that the instant motion to compel was filed more than four months after the close of discovery. The defendants also point to the fact that plaintiff's counsel made no attempt to resolved these issues prior to filing the instant motion, and that the ...


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