In Tucker v. BMW of North America, LLC, No. C20-5050 (Western District of Washington, Tacoma) the court granted plaintiff’s motion for rule 37 sanctions against BMW. The court held that BMW had unilaterally narrowed the scope of discovery and had not complied with orders to produce documents. This is a minor sanction as the Defendant lost no right to defend itself in the litigation.
“Rule 37(b) allows for sanctions for not obeying a discovery order. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2). It is well established in the Ninth Circuit that this rule “provides a wide range of sanctions for a party’s failure to comply with court discovery orders.” United States v. Sumitomo Marine & Fire Ins. Co., 617 F.2d 1365, 1369 (9th Cir. 1980). While Defendant did engage in some discovery, it unilaterally narrowed the scope of discovery and the Court’s order. Defendant failed to comply with the Court’s November 1 order, which has resulted in Plaintiff having to move to extend the time to complete discovery twice, Dkts. 71, 84, the instant motion for sanctions, Dkt. 86, and a stipulated extension of the trial date, Dkt. 94. Sanctions are therefore warranted, though not to the extent of Plaintiff’s request.
Defendant is hereby ORDERED to pay the fees and costs Plaintiff’s counsel incurred in bringing the motions for extension of time and this motion for contempt and sanctions. If necessary, Plaintiff shall submit a motion for such fees within 14 days of this order. Alternatively, and preferably, the parties shall notify the Court that the sanction has been paid.”