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In re Shell Oil Refinery

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
132 F.R.D. 437 (E.D. La. 1990)


Facts

A catalytic cracking unit at a Shell Oil refinery exploded and plaintiffs brought a class action suit against Shell (defendant) for damages. During discovery, plaintiffs filed a motion to compel production of the results of tests conducted by Shell at the refinery after the explosion. Specifically, the plaintiffs sought to depose R.E. Nordstrom and Paul Nelson, two in-house employees at Shell who conducted tests at the refinery to assist Shell in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs claimed that it would be prohibitively expensive, costing up to $300,000, to have their own experts conduct the tests.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Mentz, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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