United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
District Judge Jill N. Parrish
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
M. WARNER, Chief United States Magistrate Judge
Judge Jill N. Parrish referred this case to Chief Magistrate
Judge Paul M. Warner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). Before the court are Defendants Wright
Medical Group, Inc. and Wright Medical Technology, Inc.'s
(collectively, “Defendants”) short form discovery
motion,  and Plaintiffs Dale Burningham and Lana
Burningham's (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) two
short form discovery motions. The court has carefully reviewed
the written memoranda submitted by the parties. Pursuant to
Civil Rule 7-1(f) of the Rules of Practice for the United
States District Court for the District of Utah, the court has
concluded that oral argument is not necessary and will decide
the motions on the basis of the written memoranda.
See DUCivR 7-1(f).
addressing the above-referenced motions, the court sets forth
the following general legal standards governing discovery.
Rule 26(b)(1) provides:
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged
matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense
and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). “The district court has broad
discretion over the control of discovery, and [the Tenth
Circuit] will not set aside discovery rulings absent an abuse
of that discretion.” Sec. & Exch. Comm'n v.
Merrill Scott & Assocs., Ltd., 600 F.3d 1262, 1271
(10th Cir. 2010)
and citations omitted).
Defendants' Short Form Discovery Motion
seek a protective order forbidding the discovery sought in
Plaintiffs' subpoena to a third party, MicroPort
Orthopedics, Inc. (“MicroPort”). Defendants
contend that MicroPort acquired Defendant Wright Medical
Technology, Inc.'s (“WMT”) OrthoRecon
division in January 2014, which included the product lines of
the components Plaintiff received. Defendants also contend
that MicroPort's acquisition post-dates all of
Plaintiffs' allegations in this case and that
MicroPort's conduct is not implicated in this action. For
those reasons, Defendants contend that the discovery sought
by Plaintiffs' third-party subpoena to MicroPort is not
relevant and disproportionate.
response, Plaintiffs argue that the discovery they seek is
relevant and generally admissible. Plaintiffs also contend
that Defendants have produced similar discovery in other
matters but have refused to produce the same discovery in
following reasons, the court agrees with Defendants'
arguments and concludes that Plaintiffs' arguments are
without merit. First, the court has determined that
Plaintiffs' allegations concerning Defendants'
production of similar information in other matters are
entirely unpersuasive. Whether Defendants have or have not
produced similar information in other matters has no bearing
on the court's determination about whether Defendants
should produce the discovery sought by Plaintiffs in this
action. Instead, the court must focus on the claims and
defenses in this action when determining relevance for
purposes of discovery.
Plaintiffs, through their third-party subpoena to MicroPort,
are attempting to obtain information about conduct that is
not implicated in this action and that post-dates any of
Plaintiffs' allegations. The court concludes that such
information is neither proportional to the needs of this