District Court Judge in Peurto Rico Orders Party to Re-Produce Billing Records in Excel Format, as Requested

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In civil RICO case, the plaintiff requested billing records in Excel format. The defendants produced the records in PDF. When plaintifff filed a motion to compel, the defendants argued that the parties had never agreed upon a specific format, and that the billing software permitted only PDF. Compelling the defendants to re-produce the billing data in Excel format, the Court noted as follows:

 

“The response to a request for the production of electronically stored information may state an objection to a requested form, and if the responding party objects to a requested form … the party must state the form or forms it intends to use. If the responding party fails to make a timely objection, or fails to state the reason for an objection, he may be held to have waived any or all of his objections. Here, [the plaintiff] requested the billing records from defendants in Excel format…. the parties agreed that defendants would answer PRMEG’s first discovery request on or before January 11, 2016. Defendants missed this deadline by one day. In their untimely response, [the defedants] did not object to the Excel file format. This is enough to waive all future objections…. Accordingly, the Court grants [the plaintiff’s] request to compel [the defendants] to produce the billing information for services provided by PRMEG at the Hospital Episcopal San Lucas in Ponce, including at El Tuque Emergency Room, in Excel format. If, for example, the billing software cannot provide the information in Excel format, then the Court orders [the defendants] to convert the information to Excel format at their expense.

 

“In their best interests” the Court added, “the parties may want to communicate regarding the scope of the data required.”

 

Puerto Rico Medical Emergency Group v. Iglesia Episcopal Puertorrique, No.14-1616, 2016 WL 4004576 (D.P.R. July 26, 2016).

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