United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
C. Nielson, Jr., District Judge
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
M. WARNER, CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case has been referred to Chief Magistrate Judge Paul M.
Warner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). Before the court are (1) Defendants United
Parcel Service, Inc. (“UPS”) and United Parcel
Service General Services Co.'s (collectively,
“Defendants”) motion for protective
order and (2) Plaintiffs Ademola Adetula and
Homer Strickland's (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”) short form discovery
motion. 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).
Defendants' Motion for Protective Order
seek a protective order precluding Plaintiffs from deposing
five high-level UPS executives and precluding Plaintiffs from
conducting five other depositions until such time as
Defendants' counsel and the deponents are available.
Plaintiffs oppose Defendants' motion.
to Rule 26(c)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“[t]he court may, for good cause, issue an order to
protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment,
oppression, or undue burden or expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
Depositions of UPS Executives
determining whether a protective order should be issued to
preclude the deposition of a high-level executive, the court
must consider whether the deponent in question possesses any
unique, personal knowledge that is relevant to the claims and
defenses in the action. See, e.g., Thomas v.
Int'l Bus. Machs., 48 F.3d 478, 483 (10th Cir.
1995); Magnusson v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC, No.
2:14-CV-00161, 2015 WL 4092755, at *2 (D. Utah July 6, 2015),
adhered to on reconsideration, No.
2:14-CV-00161, 2015 WL 5054315 (D. Utah Aug. 26, 2015);
Estate of Turnbow v. Ogden City, No. 1:07CV114, 2008
WL 2004328, at *2 (D. Utah May 9, 2008).
five UPS executives in question are: UPS Chief Executive
Officer and Chairman of the Board, David Abney
(“Abney”); UPS Vice President of Human Capital,
Joe Doole (“Doole”); UPS Vice President of Human
Resources, Global Talent Strategy, Justine Turpin
(“Turpin”); UPS Chief Diversity & Inclusion
Officer, Eduardo Martinez (“Martinez”); and
retired Vice President of Operations for UPS Global Business
Services, Elias Hakim (“Hakim”).
court concludes that Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate
that Abney has any unique, personal knowledge about the
claims and defenses in this action. Plaintiffs point only to
isolated and unilateral contacts they had with Abney, none of
which demonstrates that Abney has any unique, personal
knowledge relevant to this action. Furthermore, as Defendants
have noted, not a single document produced in discovery was
authored by Abney. Under those circumstances, the court
grants the portion of Defendants' motion related to
Doole, Turpin, and Martinez, Plaintiffs have failed to
demonstrate that they have any unique, personal knowledge
about the claims and defenses in this action. Plaintiffs
arguments concerning those UPS executives are not only
conclusory in nature, but the evidence cited by Plaintiffs
does not establish that any of those UPS executives have
unique, personal knowledge that is relevant to this action.
Accordingly, the portion of Defendants motion related to
Doole, Turpin, and Martinez is granted.
respect to whether Hakim has unique, personal knowledge about
the claims and defenses in this action, which Defendants
admit is “a closer call” than the other UPS
executives, the court concludes that Plaintiffs have
demonstrated that he does. Even if Hakim was not the
decisionmaker for any of the promotions sought by Plaintiffs,
it appears that he had some involvement with promotion
decisions in the Salt Lake City location in which Plaintiffs
work. Accordingly, the portion of Defendants' motion
related to Hakim is denied. The court hereby extends the fact
discovery deadline to thirty days after the date of this
order, limited to the purpose of allowing Plaintiffs to