United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. NYE, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
before the Court is Plaintiff Tommy “Shane”
Boden's Motion to Compel. Dkt. 29. Having reviewed the
record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal
arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the
interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court
finds that the decisional process would not be significantly
aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the Motion
without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(1)(B).
For the reasons stated below, the Court GRANTS Boden's
August 27, 2018, Boden filed his Amended Complaint,
alleging that Defendant Nutrien AG Solutions, Inc.
(“Nutrien”) wrongfully terminated his employment.
According to Boden's Amended Complaint, Nutrien
wrongfully terminated his employment because of his
disability linked to a back injury, his age, and because he
had filed a workers' compensation claim. Boden further
alleges that he exhausted his administrative remedies for his
claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments
Act (for his back injury) and Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (for his age) by properly submitting a Charge
of Discrimination with the Idaho Humans Right Commission
(“IHRC”) and the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (“EEOC”) and subsequently receiving a
Notice of Right to Sue from each entity. Nutrien denies
Boden's underlying allegations, claiming that it fired
Boden because of his unsatisfactory sales performance.
deposition on July 17, 2019, Boden, for the first time,
asserted that Nutrien attempted to tamper with his sales
performance by preventing him from using his commercial
driver's license (“CDL”) on account of his
diabetes, even though he had a federal medical exemption that
would otherwise allow him to use it. After his deposition,
Boden propounded discovery requests upon Nutrien, seeking
information relating to his CDL and use of it under a medical
exemption. Nutrien objected to the request because it
believes the information is irrelevant and inadmissible since
Boden did not allege discrimination based on his diabetes in
his Charge of Discrimination. Accordingly, Nutrien argues
that Boden has not exhausted his administrative remedies with
respect to alleged discrimination based upon his diabetes and
thus the Court does not have jurisdiction to hear this
September 25, 2019, after an informal discovery dispute
conference, Boden filed the instant Motion to Compel.
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.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b). Further, “information within this scope of
discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” Id. Rule 26(b) lists some
considerations a court may utilize in determining the
proportional needs of the case, such as “the importance
of the issues at stake” and “whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit.” Id. Additionally, “for
discovery purposes, relevancy is construed broadly, ”
yet a court “need not condone the use of discovery to
engage in fishing expeditions.” O Bar Cattle Co. v.
Owyhee Feeders, Inc., No. CV 08-149-S-EJL-CWD, 2009 WL
10678025, at *7 (D. Idaho Aug. 4, 2009). A court has broad
discretion in deciding whether to compel discovery.
Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. General Motors
Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2002).
is a motion to compel, the Court does not need to address
Nutrien's admissibility concerns regarding the
information that Boden is seeking. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b). As
such, the Court declines to determine whether this
information is admissible or not. The Court's duty under
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure at this juncture is to
determine whether Boden's requests are within the scope
of discovery- that is, whether they are relevant and
proportional to the needs of the case.
Jurisdiction and Relevancy
Court will first address the relevancy of Boden's
requests and Nutrien's arguments regarding jurisdiction.
Specifically, Boden requests the following:
Request for Production No. 42: Please
produce all communications to and from Plaintiff, including
but not limited to email communications, which discuss
Plaintiff's commercial driver's license (CDL) federal