Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Wells v. Lamplight Farms Incorporated

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

March 12, 2014

CORY C. WELLS as Administrator of the Estate of N.K.W., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
LAMPLIGHT FARMS INCORPORATED, et al, Defendants.

ORDER

LEONARD T. STRAND, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

This case is before me on two motions: (1) a motion (Doc. No. 33) filed by defendant Lamplight Farms Incorporated (Lamplight) to quash or modify a subpoena and (2) a motion (Doc. No. 45) for protective order filed by Lamplight and defendant W.C. Bradley Co. (Bradley), and joined by defendants Rexam Closures and Containers, Inc. (Rexam), and Berry Plastics Corporation (Berry). Plaintiffs have filed resistances (Doc. Nos. 32 and 47) with regard to both motions and the movants have filed replies (Doc. Nos. 41 and 57).

On March 5, 2014, I conducted a telephonic hearing on Lamplight's motion to quash or modify a subpoena. Attorneys A. Laurie Koller, Suzan Boden and Timothy Bottaro appeared for plaintiffs. Attorneys Richard Sapp and Ryan Koopmans appeared for defendants Lamplight, Bradley and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart), and for the non-party subpoena recipient, Product Safety Resources, Inc. (PROSAR). While the hearing was limited to issues arising from the motion to quash or modify the subpoena, some discussion about Lamplight's separate motion for protective order also ensued. Having reviewed the parties' written submissions concerning the motion for protective order, I find no need for additional oral arguments concerning that motion. See Local Rule 7(c). Both motions are fully submitted.

II. BACKGROUND

This case arises from the tragic death of N.K.W., the twenty-two month old daughter of plaintiffs Cory C. Wells and Bonnie J. Wells. Plaintiffs allege that on August 2, 2011, Cory J. Wells, N.K.W. and others were on a camping excursion in Dickinson County, Iowa, when N.K.W. ingested a product called "Tiki Citronella Torch Fuel with Lemongrass Oil" (the Citronella Torch Fuel). They further allege that N.K.W. died later that day.

Plaintiffs filed this action on July 30, 2013. The defendants include (a) Lamplight, which is alleged to have manufactured and distributed the Citronella Torch Fuel, (b) Rexam, which is alleged to have manufactured the child-resistant closure used by Lamplight for the Citronella Torch Fuel container, (c) Berry, which is alleged to be the successor-in-interest to Rexam (d) Bradley, which is alleged to have assisted Lamplight in the design, manufacture and distribution of the Citronella Torch Fuel, and (e) Wal-Mart, which is alleged to be the retailer from whom plaintiff Cory C. Wells purchased the Citronella Torch Fuel at issue. Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Wells purchased the Citronella Torch Fuel at a Wal-Mart Store in Spencer, Iowa, on or about August 1, 2011.

Plaintiffs assert two primary theories of liability. First, they allege that the child-resistant closure included with the Citronella Torch Fuel purchased by Mr. Wells was defective, thus allowing N.K.W. to open the container. Second, they contend that the container itself, when combined with the color and appearance of the enclosed fluid, resembled a bottle of apple juice. They contend that the container should have been opaque, not transparent, to avoid creating a dangerous "look alike" problem for young children such as N.K.W. The defendants have denied liability and contend that Mr. Wells was at least partially at fault. Trial is scheduled to begin June 15, 2015.

III. THE MOTION TO QUASH OR MODIFY A SUBPOENA

A. Introduction and Applicable Standards

On or about December 18, 2013, plaintiffs served a document production subpoena (Subpoena) on PROSAR at PROSAR's place of business in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lamplight and PROSAR are parties to a written contract under which, generally, PROSAR provides health and safety services to Lamplight and fields call-in reports of possible ingestions of any Lamplight products. PROSAR often provides preliminary advice and guidance to the callers, who include consumers and their health care providers. PROSAR provides similar services to other companies.

The Subpoena demanded that PROSAR produce eighteen categories of documents:

1. Copies of all Adverse Event Reports, of whatever kind, which were sent to Lamplight Farms, Incorporated, during the period January 1, 2002 to August 30, 2011.
2. Copies of all Adverse Event Reports, of whatever kind, that concern Lamplight Farms, Incorporated's products, which were sent to W.C. Bradley Company, during the period January 1, 2002 to August 30, 2011.
3. Copies of all reports of product complaints, received from any source whatsoever, which were sent to Lamplight Farms, Incorporated, during the period January 1, 2002 to August 30, 2011.
4. Copies of all reports of product complaints, received from any source whatsoever, that concern Lamplight Farms, Incorporated's products, which were sent to W.C. Bradley Company, during the period January 1, 2002 to August 30, 2011.
5. Copies of all reports of failures of child resistant closures, of any kind, which were sent to Lamplight Farms, Incorporated, during the period January 1, 2002 to August 30, 2011.
6. Copies of all reports of failures of child resistant closures, of any kind, which were sent to W.C. Bradley Company, during the period January 1, 2002 to August 30, 2011.
7. Copies of all reports dated from January 1, 2002 to August 30, 2011, which refer to Lamplight Farms, Incorporated's products, which were sent to any governmental entity and to Lamplight Farms, Incorporated.
8. Copies of all reports dated from January 1, 2002 to August 30, 2011, which refer to Lamplight Farms, Incorporated's products, which were sent to any ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.