CIVIL PROCEDURE

Discovery • Interrogatories • Sanctions

Donahue v. Ebert, PICS Case No. 14-0268 (C.P. Monroe Jan. 8, 2014) Williamson, J. (3 pages).

Plaintiff was not entitled to sanctions where additional defendant responded to interrogatory that he had no documents other than those already provided to plaintiff. Motion for sanctions denied.

Plaintiff served interrogatories on additional defendant, requesting identification and copies of all records, reports, memos, notes, documents and contracts regarding work that defendant performed at the site at which plaintiff fell. Additional defendant objected to the interrogatory as overly broad, but also answered that it had no written contract with defendant.

The court of common pleas directed additional defendant to answer the interrogatory. Plaintiff moved for sanctions, alleging an answer was not provided. Additional defendant responded that it answered the interrogatory and provided every document in its possession, including time sheets comprising several boxes of records, and that it has no other documents.The court denied plaintiff’s motion for sanctions.

Plaintiff believed there should be other documents, including contracts, plans, specifications and drawings. Additional defendant denied it had any. The court could not make someone produce something they said they did not have and could take no further action. Plaintiff might inquire as to why there were no documents, what might have happened to them, or who else might have them at deposition and or trial.