United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division
BILLY SCHUMANN, DUSTIN ABRAHAM, LAUREN TIDWELL, JEANIE HAKENEWERT, STEPHANIE ALANA MARIE BENJAMIN, CHRISTOPHER M. BOURN, DEREK WHITE, LAHOMA J. NACHTRAB, RICHARDO ROSADO, LANNETTE GIBSON, DANIEL PENTON, DENISE ARMINIO, OFELIA BIAGAN, SHEILA SMITH, CELINE VIDAURRI, CHRISTINA VINAS, RICARDO ROSADO, PATRICK C. HARRELL, RACHEL GOODE, JAMIESON WISHMAN, PAUL CALOIAN, STEVEN TODD LITTLE, JESSICA LINCOLN and CHRISTOPHER JALACKI, Plaintiffs,
COLLIER ANESTHESIA, P.A., WOLFORD COLLEGE, LLC, THOMAS L. COOK and LYNDA M. WATERHOUSE, Defendants.
MIRANDO United States Magistrate Judge.
matter comes before the Court upon review of Defendant
Wolford College, LLC's (“Wolford”) Motion for
Sanctions for Failure to Comply with Discovery Order (Doc.
285) filed on March 8, 2017. Wolford seeks sanctions for
Plaintiffs' alleged violation of the Court's March
28, 2014 Order. Doc. 285 at 1. Specifically, Wolford seeks as
sanctions: (1) to dismiss and strike certain opt-in
plaintiffs' notices of consent to join because of their
alleged failure to comply with the Court's discovery
order; (2) to dismiss all Plaintiffs except five individuals
from this action if they do not produce complete discovery
responses within seven (7) days; and (3) to award
attorney's fees and costs for bringing this motion and
Wolford's earlier motions to compel. Id.
Plaintiffs oppose the requested relief. Doc. 289.
29, 2012, Plaintiffs Billy Schumann and Dustin Abraham,
former students in the nurse anesthesia master's program
(Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (“SRNA”))
at Wolford, filed a Complaint (Doc. 1) against Defendants
Collier Anesthesia, P.A. (“CAPA”), Wolford,
Thomas L. Cook (“Cook”), and Lynda M. Waterhouse
(“Waterhouse”), on their own behalf and on behalf
of other similarly situated individuals, for minimum wage and
overtime compensation relief under the Fair Labor Standards
Act (“FLSA”). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants
hired them as interns, but did not provide them with any
monetary compensation. Doc. 1 ¶¶ 14-15.
a for-profit medical group with approximately 15
anesthesiologist (physician) shareholders, which contracts
with facilities to provide anesthesia services. Doc. 202 at
2. Physician shareholders of CAPA (along with Waterhouse, who
is an officer and Executive Director of CAPA) wholly own
Wolford. Id. Wolford is a for-profit single purpose
college that educates registered nurses in the field of nurse
anesthesia. Id. Cook was the President of CAPA and
Chairman/Chancellor of Wolford. Id.
case was conditionally certified as a collective action on
February 21, 2013, and the 90-day opt-in period ended on July
15, 2013. Doc. 91. Prior to the notice period, fourteen (14)
individuals had opted in. Doc. 202 at 3. Throughout the
90-day period, nine additional former nursing students opted
in, resulting in a total of 25 potential class members
involved in this suit. Id. Discovery closed in this
case on January 31, 2014. Doc. 130.
January 2014, Wolford filed a Motion to Compel Discovery and
Production of Documents (Doc. 142) and a Supplemental Motion
to Compel Discovery and Production of Documents from
Post-Notice Opt-Ins (Doc. 151). Wolford's motions sought
to compel Plaintiffs to produce documents in response to
Wolford's Requests Nos. 8, 9, 18, and 19. Doc. 202 at
3-5. Wolford's Requests Nos. 8, 9, 18, and 19 state:
REQUEST NO. 8: All documents reflecting Plaintiff's
income, compensation, pay, wages, and earnings since August
1, 2009, including Plaintiff's W-2 forms, payroll
statements, earnings statements, paychecks, and federal and
state income tax returns for the years 2009, 2010, 2011, and
REQUEST NO. 9:All documents related to Plaintiff's
employment as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist,
including, but not limited to, job descriptions, job duties,
job responsibilities, evaluations, performance-related
documents, and all pay, wage and compensation and benefit
REQUESTS NOS. 18, 19: All professional certifications and
licenses obtained by Plaintiff, including but not limited to
nursing certifications and licenses and all documents
relating to applications for such certifications and licenses
and to Plaintiff's qualifications for certification or
142 at 3-4; 151 at 4-7; 202 at 3-5. Plaintiffs objected to
the requests and opposed Wolford's motions to compel.
Docs. 147, 163.
March 26, 2014, the Court held a hearing on, among other
motions, Wolford's motions to compel (Docs. 142, 151) and
subsequently issued a discovery order granting them in part
on March 28, 2014 (“Discovery Order”). Docs. 195,
202. The Discovery Order directed Plaintiffs to produce
documents in response to Requests Nos. 8, 9, 18, and 19 as
modified by Wolford at the hearing, but limited the
production to the time period of June 29, 2009 to June 29,
2012. Doc. 202 at 7-8. Plaintiffs' production of
documents was due April 18, 2014. Id. On April 18,
2014, Plaintiffs filed a motion for extension of time to
comply with the Discovery Order, seeking to extend their
deadline of April 18, 2014 to May 2, 2014. Doc. 214. On April
21, 2014, the Court granted in part Plaintiffs' motion
for extension and extended their deadline to produce
documents to April 28, 2014. Doc. 216.
23, 2014, Senior United States District Judge John E. Steele
granted Defendants' motions for summary judgment (Docs.
174, 181) and denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial
Summary Judgment (Doc. 173). Doc. 226 at 15-16. Judge Steele
entered judgment in favor of Defendants and directed the
Clerk of Court to terminate all deadlines as moot and close
the file. Id. at 16. Accordingly, the Clerk of Court
entered Judgment in a Civil Case in favor of Defendants. Doc.
227. On June 20, 2014, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal,
notifying that they appealed the Opinion and Order (Doc. 226)
and Judgment (Doc. 227). Doc. 235.
September 11, 2015, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
issued an opinion vacating the entry of summary judgment for
Defendants and remanding this case for further proceedings
consistent with the opinion. Doc. 245. As a result, on
October 16, 2015, Judge Steele vacated the Opinion and Order
(Doc. 226) and Judgment (Doc. 227) and allowed the parties to
file supplemental cross-motions for summary judgment
consistent with the Eleventh Circuit's opinion within
thirty (30) days of the Order. Doc. 247 at 2-3.
October 27, 2016, Judge Steele denied Defendants' motions
for summary judgment (Docs. 248, 249) and Plaintiffs'
motion for partial summary judgment (Doc. 251). Doc. 269.
Judge Steele also reopened this matter and ordered the
parties to submit proposed deadlines for the remainder of
this case. Doc. 270. On November 28, 2016, the parties filed
a Post-Summary Judgment Case Management Report that did not
include any proposed discovery deadline. Doc. 271. On
December 6, 2016, Judge Steele entered a Second ...