United States District Court, D. Maine
KRISTEN L. LAPLANTE, Plaintiff
PEERLESS INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant
RECOMMENDED DECISION ON MOTION TO DISMISS
C. NIVISON, U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
uninsured motorist action, Defendant seeks dismissal of
Plaintiff’s complaint based on Plaintiff’s
repeated failure to respond to Defendant’s discovery
requests. (ECF No. 20.) Plaintiff acknowledges her failure to
satisfy her obligations under the applicable rules, but
contends dismissal is not warranted.
review of the parties’ submissions, I recommend the
Court deny the motion to dismiss.
first asserted her claim against Defendant in an action filed
in state court on June 27, 2014. After Defendant removed the
case to this Court (case no. 1:14-cv-00301-JDL), Defendant
served upon Plaintiff interrogatories and a request for
documents. Plaintiff, however, never responded to the
discovery requests. When Defendant scheduled
Plaintiff’s deposition for the second time,
Plaintiff’s counsel reported that he did not believe
Plaintiff would appear for the deposition. After some
communication between counsel, the parties filed a
stipulation of dismissal without prejudice.
August 26, 2015, Plaintiff commenced this action. (ECF No.
1.) Defendant again served upon Plaintiff interrogatories and
a request for documents. Because Plaintiff did not respond to
the requests, Defendant sought the Court’s
intervention. Following a telephonic conference on January 7,
2016, the Court ordered Plaintiff to provide Defendant with a
signed medical authorization to permit Defendant to obtain
the pertinent medical records, and to serve responses to
Defendant’s discovery requests by January 29, 2016.
(ECF No. 17.) Although Plaintiff provided the medical
authorizations, she did not provide responses to the
outstanding discovery requests.
Plaintiff did not provide responses to the discovery
requests, Defendant again requested relief from the Court.
After a telephonic conference, the Court authorized Defendant
to file a motion to compel or for sanctions.
moves for dismissal as a sanction for Plaintiff’s
failure to comply with the Court’s discovery order.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, which authorizes the
Court to impose sanctions for a party’s non-compliance,
states in relevant part:
(A) For Not Obeying a Discovery Order. If a
party… fails to obey an order to provide or permit
discovery, …the court …may issue further just
orders. They may include the following:
(i) directing that the matters embraced in the order or other
designated facts be taken as established for purposes of the
action, as the prevailing party claims;
(ii) prohibiting the disobedient party from supporting or
opposing designated claims or defenses, or from introducing
designated matters in evidence;
(iii) striking pleadings in whole or in part;
(iv) staying further proceedings until the order ...