United States District Court, W.D. New York
DECISION & ORDER
W. PAYSON United States Magistrate Judge
January 25, 2012, Dwayne Freeman (“Freeman”)
filed suit against Rochester Psychiatric Center
(“RPC”), his employer,  under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq.
(Docket # 1). Freeman's complaint alleges that he was
subjected to race and gender-based discrimination and
retaliation beginning on June 8, 2010, approximately ten
years after he was hired by RPC. (Id.). Currently
pending before this Court is Freeman's motion to compel.
(Docket # 161). Also pending is his motion seeking an
extension of time to file a motion for leave to amend his
complaint. (Docket # 171).
seeks to compel further responses to several of his
interrogatories propounded on March 31, 2015, which RPC
responded to on June 1, 2015. (Docket ## 99, 116, 161).
According to Freeman, he attempted to confer with counsel for
RPC in mid-August 2015 regarding his position that the
responses were inadequate. (Docket ## 129; 161 at ¶ 2).
RPC supplemented its interrogatory responses on October 29,
2015. (Docket # 142-1).
objects to the supplemental responses, maintaining that
several of the responses continue to be inadequate. (Docket #
161). According to Freeman, RPC's responses to
Interrogatory Nos. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 21, and 22 are
inadequate because they refer to approximately fifty pages of
produced documents, rather than answering the questions
posed, and fail to identify the particular pages within the
production from which the answers may be determined.
(Id.). Freeman also objects to RPC's failure to
answer Interrogatory No. 23, first propounded in Docket # 129
on August 13, 2015. (Id. at ¶¶ 12-14).
Finally, Freeman maintains that several pages of the
documents that were produced by RPC are
illegible. (Docket # 161 at ¶ 19).
opposition to the motion, RPC supplemented several of its
interrogatory answers to address Freeman's concerns, but
refused to supplement its responses to Interrogatories 9 and
10. (Docket # 165). Additionally, RPC objected to and did not
provide a response to Interrogatory 23. (Id. at
¶ 12). Finally, RPC reproduced its document production
in an attempt to provide Freeman more legible copies of the
documents. (Id. at ¶ 13). I have reviewed the
documents produced and their quality is somewhat improved,
although some of the documents still do not appear to be
entirely legible. To the extent Freeman remains unable to
read any of the documents, he should identify those by Bates
number to counsel for RPC; if counsel cannot provide more
legible copies, RPC must make arrangements for Freeman to
inspect the originals of those documents.
August 2, 2016, Freeman filed a declaration stating that he
intended to reply to RPC's opposition by August 19, 2016.
(Docket # 168). No such reply was apparently filed.
indicated above, Freeman objects to RPC's responses to
Interrogatories 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 21, and 22 on the
grounds that they simply refer him to a “mass of
business documents” without answering the
interrogatories. (Docket # 161 at ¶¶ 3-4). Freeman
maintains that RPC should be required, at the very least, to
identify the specific pages of the document production within
which the answers may be discerned. (Id. at ¶
supplemented its responses to Interrogatories 1, 2, 7, 8, 20,
21, and 22 by referencing in response to each interrogatory a
few specific pages within its document production. (Docket #
165 at ¶¶ 3-6, 9-11). A review of the referenced
pages, which amount to no more than six pages for each
interrogatory, confirms that they contain information
relating generally to Interrogatories 1, 2, 7, and 8.
Further, RPC has provided narrative answers to
Interrogatories 1 and 8. (Docket # 142-1 at 2, 3). RPC did
not supplement its answers to Interrogatories 2 and 7 to
provide narrative responses, however, and the document
production pages referenced in the supplemental answers do
not provide clear answers to these interrogatories. See
XChange Telecom Corp. v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., 2015 WL
773752, *5 (N.D.N.Y. 2015) (“Rule 33 production is
suited to those discovery requests requiring a compilation or
analysis . . . [and] is well-suited to reply to inquiries of
an intensely objective nature; . . . Rule 33 is not
appropriate where interrogatories pose questions of fact or
mixed questions of law and fact [which] require the exercise
of particular knowledge and judgment on the part of the
responding party”) (internal quotations omitted).
Accordingly, RPC is directed to supplement its responses to
Interrogatories 2 and 7.
respect to Interrogatories 20, 21, and 22, the specific pages
identified by RPC in its supplemental response do not appear
to contain the answer to Freeman's questions.
Additionally, RPC has objected to Interrogatory 23 on the
grounds that it is vague and speculative. (Docket # 165 at
¶ 12). These interrogatories, although not the model of
clarity, read together and in the context of the other
interrogatories, clearly seek information relating to
statements contained in the administrative report produced by
RPC at Docket ## 40 and 49. For instance, Interrogatories 21,
22, and 23 seek the identities and job titles of the
“several employees with supervisory
responsibility” to whom Ms. Hancoski reported the
incident, the identity of those employees' supervisors,
and the dates and times that Ms. Hancoski made the reports.
(Docket ## 142-1 at 8; 161 at ¶ 13). RPC is directed to
supplement its responses with responsive information within
its possession, custody and/or control.
20 appears to seek information relating to the statement in
the same report that several witnesses reported that they
were targeted by Freeman as a result of their interview with
the investigator about allegations that Freeman sexually
harassed a co-worker. (Docket ## 49 at 4; 141-2 at 7). Read
in context with the previous interrogatory, Freeman is asking
whether RPC has information demonstrating that Freeman
“targeted” the witnesses after they spoke to
RPC's investigator. RPC is directed to supplement its
response with responsive information within its possession,
custody and/or control.
refused to supplement its responses to Interrogatories 9 and
10, maintaining that it has fully responded to those
questions. (Docket # 165 at ¶¶ 7-8). Those
interrogatories clearly relate to the last paragraph of the
fourth page of RPC's January 6, 2011, written response to
the New York State Division of Human Rights
(“NYSDHR”) (see Docket # 142-1 at 3-4,
15). Although RPC's supplemental response to
Interrogatory 9 provides the names of “Charge Nurses,
” it does not identify the particular charge nurse who
reported to Cynthia Crowell Ms. Hancoski's allegation of
sexual harassment by Freeman as set forth in RPC's
response to the NYSDHR. RPC must supplement its response to
10 asked RPC to identify the “‘supervisor' or
Nurse Administrator [who] ‘never reported it to her
superiors.'” (Docket # 142-1 at 4). In response,
RPC maintains that the interrogatory mischaracterizes the
facts, contending that “there was no incident of a
supervisor who failed to report plaintiff's
allegations” and referred Freeman to its NYSDHR
response for further information. (Id.).
Freeman's request plainly references the last paragraph
of the fourth page of RPC's NYSDHR response. (See
Id. at 15). Specifically, RPC stated, “Ms.
Hancoski has reported this incident previously to coworkers
and to her supervisor but the supervisor never reported it to
her superiors.” (Id.). Freeman has requested
the identity of the supervisor referenced in this statement.
Accordingly, RPC is directed to supplement its answer to
Interrogatory 10 to provide responsive information within its
possession, custody and/or control.
Freeman's motion to compel is granted in part and denied
in part. Specifically, that portion of Freeman's motion
to compel seeking further responses to Interrogatories 1 and
8 is denied and the portion seeking further ...