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Kalantar v. Lufthansa German Airlines

April 11, 2007

KAMYAR KALANTAR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LUFTHANSA GERMAN AIRLINES ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John M. Facciola United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

This case is before me for resolution of all discovery disputes. I herein resolve Defendants' Motion to Compel and for Additional Limited Discovery ("Mem.").

BACKGROUND

On March 23, 2001, plaintiff, Dr. Kalantar, brought this action against Lufthansa German Airlines and two of its employees, asserting multiple theories of liability. On September 16, 2005, Judge Kennedy granted in part and denied in part defendants' motion for summary judgment. Remaining in the case are plaintiff's common law tort claims of 1) false arrest, 2) defamation, 3) malicious prosecution, and 4) civil conspiracy.

The gravamen of plaintiff's complaint is that on March 25, 2000, defendants improperly prevented him from boarding a Lufthansa flight after a dispute over whether or not he should undergo a more thorough luggage search. Plaintiff further claims that defamatory statements were made against him and that he was arrested and detained without justification.

DISCUSSION

I. Interrogatories

A. Interrogatory No. 3

In Interrogatory No. 3, defendants seek the following:

State the identities, names and addresses of all persons who have personal knowledge of facts material to this case, and indicate which of those persons were eye witnesses to all or part of the incident and give the location of each witness at the time of the occurrence.

Mem., Exhibit A at 4.

In response, plaintiff identified several people by name but also listed "FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) officers." According to plaintiff, these unnamed FAA officers will testify that the FAA regulations governing the search of certain luggage are confidential and that Lufthansa employees violated federal law by disclosing their contents. Mem. at 3.

Plaintiff does not speak to the asserted deficiency of his answers except to say that his responses to defendants' interrogatories "consisted of almost forty-five pages of material, thus it is highly unlikely that any question asked by the defendants were [sic] not previously answered." Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Compel and for Additional Limited Discovery and for Additional Limited Discovery [sic] and Counter Motion to Compel ("Opp.") at 8. Plaintiff's response that somewhere in his responses there must be an answer is, to put it mildly, insufficient. He will therefore be ordered to answer the question completely and specifically by identifying, by name, the FAA officials he intends to call, their addresses, whether any of them witnessed the events in question, and where they were when they made those observations.

B. Interrogatory No. 7

In his lawsuit, plaintiff seeks lost wages in the amount of $5,000,000. In Interrogatory No. 7, defendants seek the following:

By whom were you employed and what were your duties and wages at the time of the occurrence, on what dates following said occurrence did you return to work, and what were your duties and for whom did you return to work, and at what wages, give the dates that you were unable to work, if any, and explain why.

Mem., Exhibit A at 5.

In his response, plaintiff states:

[A]lthough Dr. Kalantar was unable to work as efficiently as possible as he used to prior to [the] 3/25/00 incident, and hence had to experience a major financial loss in the first several months after the incident, his another [sic] major loss was his intellectual and professional career, since he was unable to take his PhD comprehensive examination ...


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