O'connor v. Boeing North American, Inc.

185 F.R.D. 272 (C.D. Cal. 1999)


D researched, developed, manufactured, and tested various missile and rocket engines, as well as propellants, lasers and nuclear reactors at four facilities located in the greater Simi Valley and San Fernando Valley. Ps, class representatives, sued D alleging that the activities of D at those facilities involved the use and release of trichloroethene (TCE) and hexavalent chromium, as well as the use, storage, generation and disposal of certain radioactive materials. Ps allege that they were personally exposed to and/or that their properties were contaminated by certain radioactive and/or chemical substances which were released from one or more of the facilities and which were dispersed through the contamination area by means of air currents, surface water runoff and/or subsurface groundwater. Ps alleged that exposure to these substances has placed them at an increased risk of developing cancer or some other serious illness or disease. D maintains that Ps have not been exposed to any substances released from the facilities that place them at an increased risk of illness or disease and that Ps' properties are not contaminated by any releases. The plaintiffs served interrogatories and D filed multiple objections, including relevancy and definitional objections to the interrogatories; however, without waiving their objections, D generally responded to the interrogatories under Rule 33(d), stating that the answers to these interrogatories may be derived or ascertained from D's business records previously produced to Ps. Ps claim D has not complied with Rule 33(d), and, when answering narratively, have not completely and responsively answered. D served interrogatories to the class representatives, and Ps responded with general answers claiming that they or their properties had been contaminated by waste from D. Both parties filed motions to compel answers or for the production of documents.