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Manzo v. Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York

January 9, 2015

CHARLES MANZO, Plaintiff,
v.
STANLEY BLACK & DECKER INC., BLACK & DECKER (U.S.) INC., and WOLFE MACHINERY CO., Defendants.

ORDER

STEVEN I. LOCKE., United States Magistrate Judge

Presently before the Court in this personal injury case is Defendant Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.’s (“Black & Decker” or “Defendant”) motion to compel a complete response to an interrogatory seeking identification of a non-testifying expert-photographer and individuals present when certain photographs were taken. Docket Entry [42]. The moving papers are careful to state that Defendant seeks the identities of these individuals for the purpose of questioning, as distinguished from compelling one or more depositions. For the reasons set forth below, the motion to compel production of this information is granted.

Relevant facts

The relevant facts for the purposes of Black & Decker’s motion, taken from the Amended Complaint, are as follows. Plaintiff Charles Manzo is a resident of Suffolk County. Defendants are in the business of designing, manufacturing, distributing and/or selling power tools, including radial arm saws bearing the trademark “DeWalt.” At some point during the time period relevant to his claims, Plaintiff’s employer purchased a DeWalt radial arm saw. On or about July 12, 2010, while operating this saw during the course of him employment, Manzo injured his hand such that portions of his index and middle fingers were amputated. Based on these events Plaintiff brings claims against Defendants for negligence, breach of warranty, and products liability.[1]

Black & Decker’s motion to compel

During the course of discovery, Plaintiff served his initial disclosures, including a set of photographs. After receiving these photographs, Black & Decker served Plaintiff with its Second Set of Interrogatories, containing the following single interrogatory at issue in this motion:[2]

1. With respect to the four photographs attached hereto as Exhibit A (which photographs were produced as part of Plaintiff’s Initial Disclosure) set forth the following for each photograph:
a. Date the photograph was taken;
b. Identity of the photograph[er];
c. Place photograph was taken;
d. Names of all persons present at the time the photograph was taken.

In response, Plaintiff provided the dates of the photographs and the respective locations for each. Photographs 1, 2, and 3 were taken on September 19, 2011, and photograph 4 was taken on August 25, 2011. Defendant Black & Decker however, had not been able to inspect the saw until June 18, 2014, almost a year after this lawsuit was filed on July 12, 2013, and this inspection took place at different location from where Plaintiff’s photographs had been taken, the saw having been taken apart and reassembled. There were also two other photographs taken by OSHA shortly after the accident which Defendant apparently has copies of, characterizing them as “poorly taken.” Further, according to the moving papers, shortly after the OSHA photographs were taken changes were made to the saw guard prior to the photographs at issue here.

Plaintiff objected to providing the identities of the photographer(s) and persons present “to the extent that the subject requests can be interpreted to impermissibly call for the identification of consulting experts not designated to offer expert testimony at trial.” Black & Decker now seeks to compel ...


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