Discovery: Requests for Production

Fore v. Transportation Ins. Co. [11/21/08] 2008 MTWCC 49 Where Petitioner requests Respondent to produce 800,000 pages of EPA documents contained on 10 compact disks, and Respondent argues the request is improper because the information is not peculiarly in its possession and the information is public record obtainable under the Freedom of Information Act, the Court fails to appreciate how requiring Petitioner to request compact disks from the EPA that are in Respondent’s possession would be more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive as required under Mont. R. Civ. P 26(b)(1). Respondent may charge Petitioner a reasonable amount to recoup its cost in copying the disks. A reasonable charge is the same amount as is commonly charged by businesses which offer compact disk copying services to the public.
Richter v. Transcontinental [10/15/02] 2002 MTWCC 47 A party must produce records requested in requests for production to which no objection is noted.
Burnside Lund v. St. Paul [12/06/01] 2001 MTWCC 62 The Court will not order discovery for discovery's sake. Where the claimant has already obtained documents from the employer in another action against the employer, the Court will not order that the documents be produced a second time.
Burnside Lund v. St. Paul [12/06/01] 2001 MTWCC 62 Employer has an obligation to cooperate with an insurer and the insurer cannot slough a discovery request for information and documents of the employer by merely alleging it is not a real party in interest. The insurer must demand the information from the employer and furnish it if possible. If the employer is uncooperative, then it will be joined as a party and the Court's discovery rules enforced directly against it.
Householder v. Republic Indemnity [5/03/01] 2001 MTWCC 18 Where the party knows of the existence of documents, its request for those documents should be sufficiently specific to identify them. A vague, all encompassing request for production which does not give reasonable notice that the documents are included in the request is insufficient and failure to identify and produce the documents is not sanctionable.
Fisch v. State Fund [9/13/00] 2000 MTWCC 55 Where individual claimants receiving domiciliary care have a constitutionally protected privacy interest in medical information, insurer ordered to produce information about rates paid to domiciliary care providers with identifiers of recipients redacted.
State Compensation Insurance Fund v. Montana Sign, Skinner Enterprises, Lifestyle Homes and Andy Skinner [11/24/99]1999 MTWCC 74, 74A In a case involving whether claimant was injured in the course and scope of an employment covered by a policy with State Fund, requests for production seeking documents concerning the construction project at issue and which companies were responsible for it, are appropriate.
Mark Fjelstad v. Fireman's Fund [10/15/99] 1999 MTWCC 62 Claimant sought to compel answers to interrogatories about relationship between insurer and physician who performed independent medical examination, including number of IMEs particular physician had performed for insurer within last six years and total yearly compensation to physician, and to compel production of documents relating to same. While claimant is entitled to ask the Court to evaluate this physician's credibility in light of the frequency of his IMEs for this insurer, that point can be made without broad or unduly burdensome discovery. Respondent ordered to identify the total annual number of independent medical examinations the doctor has conducted at the request of the insurer over the last three year period, and the amount of compensation paid to the doctor by the insurer for such work. If that information is not readily available, the insurer may respond with an estimate for both. The request for any additional information, and for documents, is overly broad and burdensome.
Baugus v. State Fund [4/23/97] 1997 MTWCC 21 Where a district court ruling makes a WCC proceeding essentially an extension of a criminal case charging petitioner with felony theft of workers' compensation benefits, and financial records seized pursuant to an overbroad search warrant have been suppressed in district court, the WCC need not decide whether Montana law permits illegally seized evidence to be admitted in a civil case. The evidence must be suppressed in this proceeding as in the parent proceeding in district court.
Estate of James Jacques v. Borden, Inc. [4/22/97] 1997 MTWCC 20 Respondent's motion to compel production of medical records of claimant's twin sister, to support an argument claimant suffered from a hereditary, rather than work-related, mental condition, is denied. A party can only be compelled to produce those documents and items which are in his/her possession or under his/her control. That limitation is basic and elementary and needs no citation. A party's medical records are within his or her control. The medical records of third parties are not.
Sears v. Travelers Ins. [1/13/97] 1997 MTWCC 2 Petitioner's generic agreement to produce records in the future is insufficient. Claimant's request that doctors forward medical records is not sufficient if time has lapsed and the records have not been produced. Where petitioner has undertaken to obtain the records, he has an obligation to further contact the doctors to determine when the records will be forthcoming, whether there is anything he can do to expedite their release, and if not forthcoming, determine why not.
Tuma v. Connecticut Indemnity Co. [10/16/96] 1996 MTWCC 66 Claimant ordered to produce medical records related to treatment for alcoholism and/or drug addiction where he claimed the records were privileged, but did not argue they were not possibly relevant to litigation of his claim. Although section 53-24-206, MCA, relates to confidentiality of such records, "[a] claimant for Workers' Compensation benefits waives any privilege of confidentiality in health care information which is relevant to the subject matter involved in his claim." Bowen v. Super Value Stores, 229 Mont. 84, 94, 745 P.2d 330, 337 (1987).
Tuma v. Connecticut Indemnity Co. [10/16/96] 1996 MTWCC 66 The fact that medical records are not presently in a claimant's possession does not relieve him of the obligation to obtain the records or provide a release that will enable the insurer to obtain the records.