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Safespan Platform Systems, Inc., Lambros Apostolopoulos v. Ez Access

March 12, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Hugh B. Scott


Before the Court is defendants' (hereinafter collectively referred to as "Bridgeplatforms") second motion for preclusion as a discovery sanction involving plaintiffs failure to adequately disclose materials regarding plaintiffs' lost profits claim (Docket No. 209), withdrawing their earlier motion to compel that production (Docket No. 180). Bridgeplatforms asserts that this motion supersedes their pending motion to compel (Docket No. 180; Docket No. 209, Bridgeplatforms Atty. Affirm. ¶¶ 2, 3), but relies upon supporting papers for that motion (see Docket No. 209, Bridgeplatforms Atty. Affirm. ¶ 2) and reasserts some of the relief sought in that motion (id.), including compelling some production (the original documents of "Exhibit H"). When this latest motion was filed, pending after argument (see text minute entry Feb. 23, 2012) were Bridgeplatforms' Objections (Docket No. 179) to this Court's original Report & Recommendation of December 30, 2011 (Docket No. 178, now Decision & Order), recommending denial of their first motion to preclude regarding lost profits materials (Docket No. 160). In that decision, this Court recommended denying Bridgeplatforms' motion to preclude evidence but alternatively ordered plaintiffs produce discovery on their claim of lost profits (Docket No. 178, Report & Rec. of Dec. 30, 2011, at 7-9). Judge Arcara deemed this Report & Recommendation to be a Decision & Order (Docket No. 213) and affirmed it on appeal (Docket No. 212, Order of Mar. 8, 2012); cf. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

Meanwhile, also pending is plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment on patent infringement (Docket No. 182; see Docket Nos. 190 (briefing schedule), 208 (argument set for March 16, 2012)).

Bridgeplatforms' earlier motion to compel (Docket No. 180) is terminated, save so much of the relief in that motion that is now renewed in the second motion to preclude (Docket No. 209).

This second motion to preclude seeks

* to preclude proof of lost profits, for failing to produce additional sought materials establishing that claim and providing defense for that claim;

* to declare "Schedule B" not to be privileged;

* to compel production of the original documents constituting "Exhibit H" (Docket No. 209, Bridgeplatforms Atty. Affirm. ¶¶ 2, 12; Docket No. 181, Ex. H); and

* reasonable motion costs and fees (Docket No. 209, Notice of Motion).

Note, Bridgeplatforms does not seek as an alternative relief production of the newly identified materials supporting plaintiffs' lost profit claims. Bridgeplatforms also has not sought additional time to complete this discovery (cf. Docket No. 178, Decision & Order, fact discovery completed by March 30, 2012, expert reports by June 29, 2012, all expert discovery completed by October 15, 2012).

The first motion to preclude (Docket No. 160) sought relief in the alternative, either preclusion of plaintiffs' lost profit evidence or an Order compelling its production. The Objections (Docket No. 179) focused upon the recommendation to deny preclusion and the extension of the discovery deadline (to facilitate the alternative of compelling production of the lost profits materials) (see id. at 1, 4-9; see also Docket No. 212, Order of Mar. 8, 2012, at 7, 8). Bridgeplatforms' latest motion argues that plaintiffs have not produced materials regarding lost profits, identifying new categories of those materials that were not produced subject to the December 30, 2011, Report, such as material purchases and other costs, labor costs, and bid quotations, categories Bridgeplatforms learned after plaintiffs produced some lost profits documents on February 24 and 27, 2012 (see Docket No. 209, Notice of Motion at 1; id., Bridgeplatforms Atty. Affirm. ¶¶ 3, 5). They also seek a declaration that "Schedule B" (id., Bridgeplatforms Atty. Affirm. Ex. D*fn1 ), a listing of projects, pricing, and notation of documents that support the schedule that was inadvertently produced to Bridgeplatforms that plaintiffs deemed privileged (id. ¶¶ 8, 9). As for "Schedule B", Bridgeplatforms argues that it has similar information that was produced by plaintiffs in another schedule (id. ¶ 10, Ex. E).

Given Judge Arcara's ruling on the Objections to denial of the first motion to preclude (Docket No. 212), the result of Bridgeplatforms' second motion to preclude should be the same as the first. The only difference between the two motions to preclude is the types of materials not produced by plaintiffs and whether it was not initially produced (the first motion) or not produced pursuant to the alternative relief granted in this Court's Report (the second motion); all the items sought presumably go to their lost profits claim that Bridgeplatforms seeks to be precluded as a discovery sanction.

In light of Judge Arcara's affirmance of the earlier decision denying preclusion, granting a motion to compel production, and extending the discovery period, so much of defendants' second motion (Docket No. 209) to preclude is denied, for the reasons stated in the earlier decision of this Court (see Docket No. 178).

As for declaring "Schedule B" not privileged, since plaintiffs have not responded to this motion, their response is due March 23, 2012; and reply to this motion is due by April 4, 2012, and this motion will be ...

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