United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
Algenon L. Marbley Judge
OPINION AND ORDER
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on John Jack's Motion to
Compel South Park Ventures, LLC and Dean Grose to Provide
Discovery. (Doc. 108 in 2:16-cv-633). Specifically, Mr. Jack
seeks an order compelling Mr. Grose to answer additional
deposition questions. For the reasons that follow, Mr.
Jack's Motion to Compel is GRANTED in
part and DENIED in part.
Court previously set forth the factual background of this
action. (Doc. 113 in 2:16-cv-633). To summarize, Plaintiff
John Jack is the manager and a member of Tri-State Disposal,
LLC (“Tri-State”), and former Chief Executive
Office (“CEO”) of Water Energy Services, LLC
(“WES”), a company that operated injection wells
for the disposal of waste water. Mr. Jack and Mr. Grose, who
is part owner and operator of South Park Ventures, LLC
(“SPV”), were WES's sole board members.
Tri-State and SPV each held a fifty percent share in WES.
just a few months in operation, WES was placed in
receivership in July 2016, and the receiver obtained court
approval to sell WES's assets at auction. (Doc. 24 at 4
in 2:17-cv-808 (citing Am. Compl. ¶¶ 46-54 &
Ex. D)). WES's assets were sold at auction in December
2016 to Funds Protection Investment, LLC (“FPI”),
which assigned them to DeepRock Disposal Solutions, LLC
(“DeepRock”). (Id.). DeepRock's
current owners include two limited liability companies, one
of which-SWD Holdings, LLC (“SWD”)-is owned by
Mr. Grose. (Docs. 103 at 16; 121 at 2 in 2:16-cv-633).
lawsuits ensued, two of which have been consolidated by this
Court, Jack, v. SPV Ventures, LLC, , 2:16-cv-633 and
SPV Ventures, LLC v. Jack , No. 2:17-cv-808, and are
The Discovery at Issue
March 29, 2018, Tri-State Disposal, LLC, Noble Zickefoose,
Terry Clark, and Mr. Jack deposed Mr. Grose in multiple
capacities: in his capacity as a representative of SPV, in
his capacity as a representative of SWD, and in his
individual capacity. (See Doc. 110-1 at Tr. 110-
111). During the deposition, Mr. Grose refused to answer
questions regarding DeepRock. The following exchange is
Mr. Jack's Attorney: Who currently is in charge of the
overall operations of DeepRock?
A: I've been advised by counsel not to answer any more
questions regarding DeepRock.
Mr. Grose's Attorney: DeepRock doesn't have counsel
Mr. Jack's Attorney: It doesn't matter. This is a
Mr. Grose's Attorney: It is. And DeepRock is not here as
a party or even a deponent.
Mr. Jack's Attorney: So what. That happens in all
depositions, you ask questions of a witness and - Mr.
Grose's Attorney: Not when it's a subject of an
outstanding motion for protective order, motion to compel and
the matter is being dealt with by the judge. That is not a
normal situation. This matter is before the Court, and once
it's resolved between DeepRock and whatever entity Jack
parties [sic], when that is resolved, then you can take a
deposition of the appropriate party at the appropriate time.
Notice DeepRock. I think that's the way to get
information you need. But you're not getting it through
(Doc. 110-1, Tr. 111-13; see also Id. at Tr.
142-46). The deposition continued on April 9, 2018.
(See Doc. 110-2 in 2:16-cv-633).
Mr. Grose's refusal to answer various questions, Mr. Jack
filed a Motion to Compel on May 16, 2018, seeking an order
compelling Mr. Grose to answer questions concerning the
following five subject matters:
1. The pricing DeepRock has charged customers from brine
water disposal since taking over operation of the assets
formers owned by Water Energy Services, LLC
(“WES”) on January 12, 2017;
2. The volumes of brine DeepRock has injected into the three
class II disposal wells ...