Vaughn v. LA Fitness International: Shifting Costs to Seek Fairness in Discovery


On August 16, 2012, United States District Judge Michael Baylson granted in part and denied in part plaintiffs’ motion to compel in Vaughn v. LA Fitness, a putative class action brought against LA Fitness International, LLC (“LA Fitness”) for breach of contract, violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act. Vaughn v. LA Fitness International, LLC, Civil Action No. 11-2644 (E.D. Pa. August 16, 2012). This decision was no ordinary ruling on a motion to compel, however, as the court granted plaintiffs’ request for additional discovery, but ordered plaintiffs to pay the internal costs specified by LA Fitness of searching for and providing the requested information. As noted by the court, this decision appears to be the first documented case specifically addressing the allocation of costs as part of a discovery dispute prior to class certification. Vaughn, August 16, 2012 Memorandum, 10.

In deciding to shift the costs of the relevant discovery to plaintiffs, Judge Baylson advised that “[d]iscovery need not be perfect, but discovery must be fair.” Id. at 4. Judge Baylson focused on the economic aspects of discovery in a putative class action, noting that “the concept of treating a civil action as a class action dramatically changes the strategies and economic considerations of the parties and their counsel.” Id. at 5. Indeed, a class action “dramatically increases the economic pressure on the defendant.” Id.

Please see full Alert below for further information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Reed Smith | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.