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Stradtman v. Republic Services, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

May 26, 2015

STEPHEN M. STRADTMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
REPUBLIC SERVICES, INC., et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

JAMES C. CACHERIS ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

This matter is before the Court on Defendants Republic Services, Inc., Ronald Krall, and Republic Services of Virginia, LLC’s (collectively “Defendants”) Motion to Strike Deposition Errata Sheet of Plaintiff Stephen M. Stradtman (“Stradtman”). [Dkt. 148.] For the following reasons, the Court will grant the motion in part and deny it in part.

I. Background

Stradtman claims that Defendants tortiously interfered with contractual relations and business expectancies regarding his former employment as the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of Otto Industries North America, Inc. (“Otto”). (Compl. [Dkt. 1-3] at ¶¶ 121-140.) In general, Stradtman claims that Defendants caused his resignation from Otto in retaliation for a discrimination lawsuit that Stradtman’s wife, Jennifer Taylor (“Taylor”) had filed against Defendants. (See generally id.)

Defendants move to strike two changes to Stradtman’s March 23, 2015 deposition and one change to his April 9, 2015 deposition. (Defs.’ Mem. in Supp. [Dkt. 149] at 2, 5.) Stradtman has withdrawn the errata sheet concerning his testimony on page 354 of his April 9, 2015 deposition, and as such Defendants’ motion as to that errata sheet is moot. (Pl.’s Opp. [Dkt. 157] at 1.) Defendants move to strike the changes to the March 23 deposition on grounds that the changes are substantive. (Defs.’ Mem. in Supp. at 5-7.) Having been fully briefed and argued, this motion is ripe for disposition.

II. Legal Standard

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(e) allows a deponent to review the transcript or recording of the deposition and “if there are changes in form or substance, to sign a statement listing the changes and the reasons for making them.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(e). Thus, Rule 30(e) allows a deponent to submit an errata sheet detailing corrections to his deposition testimony. “[T]he purpose of an errata sheet is to correct alleged inaccuracies in what the deponent said at his deposition, not to modify what the deponent said for tactical reasons or to reflect what he wishes he had said.” Touchcom, Inc. v. Bereskin & Parr, 790 F.Supp.2d 435, 465 (E.D. Va. 2011) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted) (emphasis in original). Altering deposition testimony to make substantive changes, rather than technical or typographical changes, is an impermissible use of errata sheets. Lee v. Zom Clarendon, L.P., 689 F.Supp.2d 814, 816 n.3 (E.D. Va. 2010).

III. Analysis

Defendants seek to strike two of Stradtman’s changes to his March 23 deposition. As to the first change, Stradtman originally testified:

Q: Okay. Do you know among those four possibilities at McCandless who actually owned or rented the scanners that were being used?
A: No, I don’t.

(Defs.’ Mem. in Supp., Ex. C, at 171:19-22.[1]) Stradtman wants to change his answer from “No, I don’t” to “Republic.” (Defs.’ Mem. in Supp., Ex. A, at 2.) Stradtman listed the reason for the change as “after deposition I show [sic] docs [sic] showing Brent Bowker requesting capital to purchase scanners.” (Id.)

One of Stradtman’s claims in this case is that the problems with delivery of trash carts by Otto in McCandless, Pennsylvania, were either caused by or exaggerated by Republic. Scanners are used to track the delivery of each cart to a specific home. According to Defendants, Stradtman’s proposed change “lay[s] blame at the ...


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