This is an opinion of Judge Herndon of the Southern District of Illinois sanctioning the defendant pharmaceutical company for a long litany of discovery abuses. The order is significant because the pharmaceutical company filed a writ of mandamus to the Seventh Circuit. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the monetary sanctions but reversed a portion of the district judge’s order requiring certain depositions to be moved from the Netherlands to the United States. The Seventh Circuit explained (on January 24, 2014) in an opinion by Judge Posner as follows:
“This is one of those rare “safety valve” cases for mandamus because of the risk of international complications arising from a U.S. judge’s having ordered foreigners to be brought to the United States to be deposed, when there is no legal authority for such an order; because alternative sanctions are readily available; and because the particular sanction punishes innocents—the inventors whom the order requires Boehringer to fly to the United States to be deposed, rather than their being deposed in nearby Amsterdam as the parties had agreed. We therefore direct that the order be rescinded; in all other respects the petition for a writ of mandamus is denied. ”
Judge Hamilton filed a lengthy dissent, arguing that the district court’s proposed remedy (moving the depositions from Amsterdam to the United States) was properly tailored to remedy the misconduct. Judge Hamilton argued that the district judge had authority to move the depositions.
Edward X. Clinton, Jr.