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Cook Inlet Energy, LLC v. Cudd Pressure Control, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Alaska

June 27, 2014

Cook Inlet Energy, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
Cudd Pressure Control, Inc. and RPC, Inc., Defendants. Cudd Pressure Control, Inc., Counter-Claimant,
v.
Cook Inlet Energy, LLC, Counter-Defendant.

ORDER AND OPINION [Re: Motion at docket 33]

JOHN W. SEDWICK, Senior District Judge.

I. MOTION PRESENTED

At docket 33, plaintiff Cook Inlet Energy, LLC ("CIE") moves pursuant to Rule 37 to compel defendant Cudd Pressure Control, Inc. ("Cudd") to produce documents with a supporting memo at docket 34. A certificate of good faith is at docket 35. Cudd opposes at docket 39. CIE replies at docket 49. Neither party requests oral argument.

II. BACKGROUND

CIE operates an offshore oil platform in Alaska known as the Osprey Platform ("Osprey"). In 2011, CIE contracted with Cudd for the provision of certain equipment and services for the Osprey. Cudd did provide equipment and perform services on the Osprey, but the parties differ sharply on the adequacy of Cudd's performance. CIE alleges that the equipment Cudd brought to the Osprey was inadequate and that the personnel Cudd employed lacked the ability to satisfactorily perform the services required. CIE alleges that these deficiencies caused it to experience damages consisting of extra costs and delay. For its part, Cudd alleges that it performed as required by the contract and that CIE has wrongfully refused to pay for Cudd's work.

In its First Amended Complaint, CIE seeks a declaration that CIE owes no more to Cudd. It also pleads claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and negligent misrepresentation. Beyond the declaration, CIE seeks an award of damages exceeding $75, 000. Defendants' deny that CIE is entitled to any relief. Cudd's counterclaim pleads claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment (quantum meruit). Cudd asks the court to award it damages in excess of $1, 888, 766.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Documents at Issue

CIE asks the court to require Cudd to produce two things:

1. The April 26, 2012 document authored by James Wurst and sent to Bobby Bray analyzing "slow trip times" and/or "down time" while Cudd was present and working on the CIE Osprey Platform.
2. Unredacted copies of those portions of Cudd's monthly Problem Account Reports and Doubtful Accounts Analysis that relate directly to Cudd's work for, and billings to, CIE, that are directly at issue in this case.[1]

The parties disagree with respect to two aspects of the documents sought. First, they disagree as whether the materials fall within the scope of discovery defined by Rule 26(b)(1). Second, assuming the documents fall within the ambit of Rule 26(b)(1), they disagree as to whether the materials are protected by the work-product doctrine.

B. Rule 26(b)(1)

The scope of discovery laid out in Rule 26(b)(1) extends to "any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense...." Rule 26(b)(1) adds that for information to be relevant, it "need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears ...


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