United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee
K. LEE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Verrina Massey (“Plaintiff”) claims that she was
injured after slipping in a liquid spilled in an aisle of
store owned by Defendant Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.
(“Defendant”) and that Defendant should be held
liable for the medical expenses, lost wages, and other
damages she allegedly incurred as a result of the slip and
fall. Currently before the Court is Defendant's motion to
compel Plaintiff to respond to discovery requests concerning
Plaintiff's possible reliance on a third-party litigation
funding company, and her social media accounts [Doc. 34].
Plaintiff filed a response [Docs. 36 & 46], and Defendant
filed a reply along with additional materials [Docs. 44 &
45]. The Court held an extensive hearing on the motion on
June 28, 2019. For the reasons stated in the hearing, the
motion [Doc. 34] will be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED
scope of discovery under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure is
Parties 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, considering the
importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount
in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).
issue in the motion are Defendant's Interrogatories #17
& #24, and Requests for Production (“RFP”)
#12 & #13.
Interrogatory #17, Defendant asks whether any recovery in
this case “is or will be subject to a lien and/or
subrogation interest of any litigation funding or financing
companies, ” and if so, the name of the compan(ies) and
the amount of the lien or subrogation interest [Doc. 35 at
Page ID # 115]. As detailed more fully during the extensive
hearing, the Court finds that whether the medical care
Plaintiff allegedly received as a result of the fall at issue
is provided on a lien basis pursuant to an agreement
involving a litigation funding company is appropriately
discoverable in this case. During the hearing,
Plaintiff's counsel represented Plaintiff was not
involved in any such litigation funding. Defendant indicated
it was satisfied with the information provided, thus
rendering any further dispute regarding this interrogatory
INTERROGATORY #24, RFP #12 & #13
#24, and RFP #12 & #13 all concern Plaintiff's social
media and other online accounts:
Interrogatory #24: Please state whether you
maintain any social media or Internet-based accounts and, if
so, list each and every platform you use, including, but not
limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google,
MySpace, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, blogs, or wikis. For
each platform, please list your account username(s), the
email address associated with each account, and approximate
date each account was created.
RFP #12: For each social media or
Internet-based account identified in response to
Interrogatory No. 24, download and produce your data activity
from the date of the incident to present. [Goes on to explain
how to do this for Facebook].
RFP #13: Please provide copies of any
contributions or posts you have made to any online forum,
website, or social media site identified in response to
Interrogatory No. 24 since the ...