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Hobart Corporation v. Waste Management of Ohio, Inc.

2012 WL 996525 (2012)

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Hobart Corporation v. Waste Management of Ohio, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

2012 WL 996525 (2012)

Facts

Hobart Corporation and other parties (plaintiffs) filed a complaint alleging that Dayton Power & Light Co. (DP&L) (defendant) had coordinated the disposal of hazardous waste at the South Dayton Dump and Landfill Site (the landfill). The plaintiffs moved the federal magistrate to compel a deposition of a current DP&L employee, Charles Fields, who began working at DP&L as a truck driver in 1962. In response, DP&L sought an order protecting Fields from a deposition, arguing that one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Leslie Wolfe, had unethically communicated ex parte with Fields about facts at issue in the lawsuit. DP&L provided an affidavit from Fields stating that Wolfe called Fields twice. In the first call, Wolfe identified herself as an attorney representing people who were suing DP&L and received Fields’s permission to call Fields again to discuss his personal experience with the landfill cleanup. In the second call, Wolfe learned that Fields was still employed at DP&L, and Wolfe asked questions about Fields’s transportation of fly ash or other waste to the landfill during the 1960s.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ovington, J.)

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