After Close of Discovery Motion for Release of Pathology Materials Granted

NORTH CAROLINA — Defendant John Crane filed a motion for an order governing the release of pathology materials following the close of discovery. Although pathology materials had been requested from the plaintiff’s counsel nearly a year and a half prior to the discovery end date, they were not produced until eight days after that deadline had passed. John Crane then learned that there were additional pathology materials in the possession of Duke University Hospital System (DHUS). John Crane requested the additional slides in April 2017, to which the plaintiff’s counsel objected. In July 2017, DHUS informed John Crane that it would not voluntarily release the additional pathology materials, even if DHUS’ conditions for release were met. John Crane then filed a motion for leave to file the motion for order governing the release of pathology materials. The plaintiff opposed the motion for leave but not the substantive motion. DHUS filed a motion for protective order governing the release of the pathology materials, which was unopposed.

After reviewing the facts concerning John Crane’s pursuit of the materials, the court found that good cause existed for the modification of the discovery deadline because John Crane did not learn of the additional materials until after the discovery deadline had passed, and exhibited diligence in timely requesting the materials. The court therefore granted both of John Crane’s motions. The court then granted DHUS’ motion for protective order in order for DHUS to comply with extensive federal regulations.

Read the full decision here.