United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
LEAD GHR ENTERPRISES, INC. formerly d/b/a GOLDEN HILLS RESORT, Plaintiff,
AMERICAN STATES INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER.
Haag Engineering Co. (“Haag”) has filed a Motion
to Quash Deposition Subpoena [Dkt. No. 1] (the “Motion
to Quash”) under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45,
seeking to quash or modify a subpoena (the
“Subpoena”) issued by Plaintiff Lead GHR
Enterprises, Inc. (“Lead GHR”) in connection with
the case Lead GHR Enterprises, Inc., formerly d/b/a
Golden Hills Resort v. American States Insurance
Company, Civil Action No. 16-5026, pending in the United
States District Court for the District of South Dakota,
Western Division (the “South Dakota Lawsuit”).
The Subpoena commands the deposition of a corporate
representative of Haag under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
30(b)(6). See Dkt. No. 1-1 at 12-17. Haag
“requests the Court enter an order quashing Lead
GHR's subpoena or, alternatively, modifying the subpoena
to permit discovery of information relevant to the underlying
dispute.” Dkt. No. 1 at 1.
Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn has referred the Motion to Quash to
the undersigned United States magistrate judge for hearing,
if necessary, and determination under 28 U.S.C. §
636(b). See Dkt. No. 2.
GHR filed a response, see Dkt. No. 5, and Haag filed
a reply, see Dkt. No. 6.
Subpoena was properly issued by the United States District
Court for the District of South Dakota, Western Division
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45(a), as the court
where the South Dakota Lawsuit is pending. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 45(a)(2) (“Issuing Court. A subpoena must
issue from the court where the action is pending.”).
Subpoena commands Haag “that pursuant to Rule 45 and
Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
Plaintiff Lead GHR Enterprises Inc., will take the deposition
of Haag Engineering Co., upon oral examination before an
officer authorized to administer oath on December 4, 2017 at
9:00 a.m. in the offices of STEVEN C. LAIRD, 1119
Pennsylvania Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104, or at another time
and place that is agreeable to all parties.” Dkt. No.
1-1 at 12.
the Subpoena requires compliance in Fort Worth, Haag properly
filed its Motion to Quash in this Court, which, as required
by Rule 45(d)(3), is the court in the district where
compliance with the Subpoena is required. See Fed.
R. Civ. P. 45(d)(3)(A); accord CSS, Inc. v.
Herrington, No. 3:17-mc-71-N-BN, 2017 WL 4750707 (N.D.
Tex. Oct. 20, 2017).
Subpoena further advises that “[t]he topics upon which
inquiry will be made are set forth in Exhibit A of this
subpoena, ” which provides:
used herein, the tem'. “Lead GHR” refers to
Plaintiff Lead GHR Enterprises, as well as its agents,
employees, representatives, principals and managers.
“Lead GHR” shall also refer to any parent,
subsidiary, or related corporation.
used herein the tem]. “Defendant” or
“American States” shall mean Defendant American
States Insurance Company, and any parent, subsidiary, or
used herein, the term “You” and
“Your” shall mean Haag Engineering Co.
used herein, the term “Damage(s)” shall mean the
damages claimed by Plaintiff as a result of the Event, as
used herein the term “Event” shall mean the wall
collapse that occurred on October 10, 2010.
used herein, the term “Retaining Wall” shall mean
the collapsed wall that is the subject of this lawsuit.
used herein, the term “Building” and/or
“Hotel” shall mean the building formerly known as
the Golden Hills Resort.
used herein, the term “Document” includes all
information in written, recorded, graphic, or electronic
form, including writings, drawings, graphs, charts,
photographs, tapes, recordings, e-mails, computer records,
computer, computer diaries, motion picture or videotapes.
1. With respect to the Retaining Wall and Building:
a. The Haag employee or employees who inspected the Retaining
Wall and Building after the October 10, 2010 collapse;
b. All information communicated to Haag about Lead GHR or the
Retaining Wall and Building prior to the inspection done on
October 29, 2010;
c. All information communicated to Haag about Lead GHR or the
Retaining Wall and Building after the inspection done on
October 29, 2010;
d. All information communicated by Haag about Lead GHR or the
Retaining Wall and Building at any time.
2. With respect to the Event:
a. Any measurements, notes, memoranda, reports, drafts,
emails, correspondence, calculations, photographs, videos, or
graphs prepared or created by Haag employees in conjunction
with the inspection done on October 29, 2010.
b. Any conclusions drawn by Haag employees about the Event,
and the basis for each such conclusion.
3. Haag employees, David Teasdale and Tim Strasser.
a. Any continuing education required by Haag for David
Teasdale and Tim Strasser.
b. Any information related to performance reviews or
promotions/reprimands for David Teasdale and Tim Strasser
from 2008 to 2012.
4. The documentation retention policies and practices of
5. Your relationship with Defendant and Liberty Mutual
Insurance Company (“Liberty”), and its
subsidiaries, in the State of South Dakota.
a. Number of claims in which Defendant or Liberty retained
Haag in South Dakota since 2009.
b. The percentage of claims in South Dakota since 2009 in
which, on behalf of Defendant or Liberty, Haag issued an
c. Your knowledge or understanding of South Dakota state
licensing requirements for Engineers.
6. Your professional relationship with Defendant and Liberty
a. Any workshops, training materials, speeches, or
advertising provided by you directly to Defendant or Liberty
from 2008 to 2011.
b. Any solicitations or discounts offered by Haag to
Defendant or Liberty from 2008 to 2012.
c. Any instances, since 2008, in which a moratorium was
placed on Haag from performing engineering services on behalf
of Defendant or Liberty, and the circumstances surrounding
d. Any instances, since 2008, in which Defendant or Liberty
has alleged that Haag or its employees have committed fraud,
negligence, or professional malpractice.
7. Your professional relationship with other insurance
carriers, such as State Farm Insurance Company and All State
a. Any instances, from 2005 to 2010, in which a moratorium
was placed on Haag from performing engineering services on
behalf of any insurance company, and the circumstances
surrounding such moratorium. b. Any instances, from 2005 to
2010, in which any insurance company which has retained
Haag's professional services has alleged that Haag or its
employees have committed fraud, negligence, or professional
Dkt. No. 1-1 at 15-17. Lead GHR has since withdrawn Topics
3(b) and 4. See Dkt. No. 5 at 9-10.
explains that its Motion to Quash “relates to Lead
GHR's subpoena served on Haag in connection with an
insurance dispute currently pending before the United States
District Court for the District of South Dakota, ” in
which “Lead GHR has asserted several first-party claims
against Defendant American States Insurance Company
(‘American States') based on American States'
alleged failure to pay full policy benefits under a property
insurance policy” and “Lead GHR contends American
States did not pay for all damage caused by a defective
retaining wall located near a hotel it owns.” Dkt. No.
1 at 1-2 (footnote omitted). Haag further explains that
it is a forensic engineering and consulting firm which
provides failure, extent of damage, and repair analysis to a
wide variety of clients. While Haag consults on projects
located throughout the ...