United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge
pending and ready for resolution are (1) Defendant's
motion to compel Plaintiff to respond to discovery requests
which was filed by Defendant Wright Medical Technology, Inc.
(“WMT”) on August 28, 2019 (ECF No. 21), and (2)
Defendant's motion to dismiss as a sanction for failure
to provide discovery. (ECF No. 34).
first motion claimed that it had not received Plaintiff's
responses to: 1) the first request for production of
documents; 2) the first interrogatories; and 3) a HIPAA
authorization signed by Plaintiff. The motion sought an order
directing Plaintiff to provide responses to the discovery
requests. The second motion argues that Plaintiff's
failure to provide the requested discovery responses amounts
to a failure to prosecute and is a basis for dismissal. (ECF
multi-district product liability action was remanded from the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia in June, 2018. (ECF No. 4). Counsel for Defendant
Robert Hopkins moved for the pro hac admission of
co-counsel Dana Ash and Anne Gruner on July 16. (ECF Nos. 7,
8, and 9). Counsel for Plaintiff Jonathan Beiser moved for
the pro hac appearance of Charles R. Houssiere III
on August 6. (ECF No. 12). The court convened a scheduling
telephone conference with counsel on August 29 and, based on
their discussions, issued a scheduling order with a discovery
period of a little over a year. (ECF No. 16). While
Plaintiff's initial complaint named both Wright Medical
Technology, Inc. and Wright Medical Group, Inc. as
defendants, on September 26, 2018, Plaintiff filed an amended
complaint, naming only Wright Medical Technology, Inc. as a
defendant. (ECF No. 17). Accordingly, the clerk will be
directed to amend the docket to reflect that Wright Medical
Group, Inc. is no longer a defendant.
pro hac counsel Charles Houssiere, III filed a
motion to withdraw as counsel on August 6, 2019. (ECF No.
19). Defendant filed a joint motion with Plaintiff to extend
the discovery period (ECF No. 20) and a motion to compel
Plaintiff to respond to discovery requests (ECF No. 21) on
August 28, 2019. The joint motion to extend the discovery
period stated that Plaintiff had not responded to discovery
requests and argued that an extension of the discovery period
was needed 1) to allow Plaintiff to determine if he intended
to pursue this case and, if so, 2) to find counsel, and 3) to
enable the parties to complete discovery. The motion was
granted and fact discovery was extended to December 2, 2019.
(ECF No. 23). Having received no response in opposition, the
court granted Mr. Houssiere's motion to withdraw as
unopposed on August 29, 2019. (ECF No. 22).
remaining attorney, Jonathan Beiser, moved to withdraw on
September 17, 2019, stating that he participated in this case
only as local counsel and that his practice does not handle
products liability cases. (ECF No. 24). Plaintiff filed an
opposition on September 30, 2019 (ECF No. 27) and Mr. Beiser
filed a reply on October 9, 2019 (ECF No. 28). The court
granted Mr. Beiser's motion to withdraw on October 11,
2019 and advised Plaintiff that the case would proceed with
himself acting as his own attorney (pro se) until
new counsel enters an appearance on his behalf. (ECF Nos. 29,
filed correspondence requesting the court to rule on its
motion to compel on October 15, 2019. (ECF No. 31). The
court, recognizing Plaintiff's pro se status,
provided Plaintiff until November 8 to respond to the
discovery requests. (ECF No. 32).
filed a motion for an extension of time to respond to
discovery requests on November 6, 2019. (ECF No. 33). WMT
filed a motion to dismiss on November 13, 2019, arguing that
Plaintiff's failure to provide the requested discovery
responses amounts to a failure to prosecute and is a basis
for dismissal. (ECF No. 34). The Clerk issued a notice to
Plaintiff on November 13 advising him of his right to file a
response to WMT's motion to dismiss within seventeen (17)
days. (ECF No. 35).
filed a motion to extend the discovery period on November 20,
2019 (ECF No. 36) which the court granted on November 21,
extending the discovery period to April 2, 2020. (ECF No.
motion seeking an extension of time to respond to discovery
requests was granted on November 22 and Plaintiff was
provided a final extension - until December 23, 2019, to
respond to discovery requests. (ECF No. 38).
filed correspondence on December 31, 2019, requesting the
court to rule on its motion to dismiss, reporting that to
date Plaintiff has not responded to the discovery requests,
to the pending motion to compel, or to the pending motion to
dismiss. (ECF No. 39).
is obligated to respond to written discovery requests in a