United States District Court, District of Columbia
VERONICA RAYNOR, Individually and the Personal Representative of the Estate of Reuel Griffin, Plaintiff,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
RUDOLPH CONTRERAS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Production of Documents
Prior to 2010
March 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel the
District of Columbia (the “District”) to, among
other things, produce emails for thirteen custodians for the
years 2009 and 2010. See Pl.'s Mot. Compel
Discovery, ECF No. 84. Prior to Plaintiff's motion,
Defendants had produced documents for those custodians from
2011 to January 2012. The additional documents that Plaintiff
seeks are relevant, Plaintiff argues, because part of her
theory in this case is that the District's policy,
custom, or practices concerning payment for healthcare
services to certain persons in the District's custody
caused the decedent to suffer injuries resulting from the
denial or delay of necessary medical treatment or testing.
Plaintiff believes that these denials and delays arose as a
result of the District's alleged improper reliance on
Medicaid coverage despite a statute excluding Medicaid
coverage for individuals who are inmates in public
institutions or patients in an institution for mental
diseases. And while the decedent's break in Medicaid
coverage did not appear to occur until late-2010, Plaintiff
argues that she “should have the full extent of the
city's practice -even if it didn't affect [the
decedent], if it affected other patients at St.
Elizabeths” because she needs to know the “period
of time that the District had in place or had a practice of
not having funding in place to pay for medical care.”
Status Conference Tr. at 11:8-14, ECF No. 113.
14, 2017, the Court held a status conference at which the
parties addressed Plaintiff's motion. See Status
Conference Tr., ECF no. 115. At that hearing, the District
represented to the Court that Plaintiff's own expert had
opined that “the issue regarding Medicaid and payment
for outside services did not come to become an issue until
sometime in 2010. So there is no mention of 2009.”
Status Conference Tr. at 4:24-5:2, ECF No. 115. Plaintiff on
the other hand argued that the expert “did not say that
there was no evidence before 2010.” Status Conference
Tr. at 8:1-2, ECF No. 115. Based on the parties
representations and the record concerning the 2010 issue, the
Court was satisfied that the District should produce emails
going back to 2010 and thus ordered it to produce them.
Status Conference Tr. at 8:22- 23, ECF No. 115. However,
given the apparent dispute about the expert's testimony
on the 2009 issue, but without briefing on it, the Court took
the 2009 issue under advisement and gave Plaintiff and the
District permission to supplement their briefs. Status Conference
Tr., at 8:23- 9:1, 28:8-11, ECF No. 115; see also
Min. Order, Jul. 14, 2017 (granting in part and denying in
part Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery).
the District filed a supplemental brief identifying the
relevant portions of Plaintiff's expert's testimony.
The District emphasized that the Plaintiff's expert
testified that “until somewhere around 2010  patients
from St. Elizabeths that were referred out to outside
hospitals, facilities, were reimbursed by Medicaid” and
that there were no issues with respect to payments.
Defs.' Suppl. Filing at 1-2, ECF No. 110. Plaintiff
responded to this filing, but did not supply any evidence to
suggest that the Medicaid payment issue had ever arisen prior
consideration of all the briefing, the parties
representations, and the entire record in this case, the
Court is persuaded that, under Rule 26(b)(2)(C)(iii) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the burden of the
Plaintiff's proposed discovery outweighs any likely
benefit. Plaintiff has not shown that requiring the District
to search for documents for all custodians before 2010 is
likely to result in discovery of useful information. All of
the evidence presented to the Court suggests that the
decedent's Medicaid issues did not arise until at least
2010 and Plaintiff has given this Court no reason to suspect
that the issues might have arisen any earlier. Nor has the
Plaintiff given the Court any reason to suspect that any
Medicaid payment issues for any patient ever arose before
2010. On the other hand, the burden of requiring
the District to search for, review, and produce a year's
worth of emails for approximately a dozen custodians appears
significant. Accordingly, the Court finds that
Plaintiff's requested discovery is not
“proportional to the needs of the case” and thus
the Court will not require the District to produce documents
prior to 2010. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).
foregoing reasons, Plaintiff's motion to compel discovery
of emails prior to 2010 (ECF No. 84) is hereby
 The Court also held a status
conference on August 16, 2017 and heard from the parties on
the 2009 issue, but again took the issue under advisement.
See Status Conference Tr., at 11:21- 22, ECF No.
 In support of her motion for the 2009
documents, Plaintiff relies on a single entry in the
decedent's medical chart. That entry states:
“Referred to Orthopic surgery for evaluation. Waiting
for medical insurance.” Pl.'s Mot., Ex. 1 at 5, ECF
No. 84-2. This entry, however, is simply too vague and
inconclusive to carry the day.
 For example, when the Court ordered
the production of the 2010 emails, the District represented
that it would have to review and produce approximately 5, 000
unique emails, which would take approximately 2 months.
See Status Conference Tr. at 3:23-4:13, ECF No. 113.
The Court has no reason to suspect that the production volume
for 2009 emails would be lower in any significant respect
than the production volume for 2010.
 Previously, this Court ordered that
the District review and produce responsive emails from 2009
through 2012 for a custodian that all parties agreed was
central to the medical coverage issue-Ms. Claudia Schlosberg.
See Status Conference Tr. at 26:10-27:18, ECF No.
115. If, upon reviewing those documents from 2009, Plaintiff
identifies evidence indicating that the Medicaid coverage