Magistrate Judge Hugh Scott
Blundon and Griffith crashed their motorcycles after Dunlop tires—made by Goodyear Dunlop—suddenly deflated. In personal injury suits against Goodyear Dunlop—removed to district court—Blundon and Griffith sought to inspect its plant in North Tonawanda pursuant to FRCP 37(a)(3)(B)(iv). The court granted motions by the plaintiffs in Blundon v. Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America and Griffith v. Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America to compel inspection of the North Tonawanda factory. Although the court denied Goodyear Dunlop’s motion in each case for a protective order against inspection without conditions, the court granted Goodyear Dunlop’s motion to require Blundon and Griffith to produce the subject tires and rims for non-invasive, non-destructive testing and examination. It also granted Goodyear Dunlop’s motion for a protective order against disclosure of confidential and proprietary documents. Plaintiffs showed the North Tonawanda plant’s inspection was relevant, given their defective product claim, and necessary to explore their claim that defects in the plant or its operation may have caused the tires’ alleged defect—the lack of adhesive dip on polyester carcass cords.