United States Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal (Central District of California) granted defedants' motion to compel the deposition of a named plaintiff that had filed a motion for voluntary dismissal and was not a putative class member. Dysthe, et al. v. Basic Research, L.L.C., et al., ___ F.R.D. ___, 2011 WL 1350409 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 8, 2011). The named plaintiffs Shalena Dysthe, Eric Hall and Chaunte Weiss filed a class action complaint alleging that various defendants made purportedly false claims concerning the efficacy of Relacore weight-loss products. [I am shocked, shocked to hear of false claims related to the efficacy of a weight-loss product.] When the defendants sought to schedule depositions, they were notified that Hall intended to dismiss his claims with prejudice. The defendants responded that they would stipulate to the dismissal after the deposition. Motions ensued. Defendants argued that Hall's testimony was still relevant to certification. Plaintiffs argued that Hall wouldn't even be a class member when his claims were dismissed with prejudice.
The Court explained, "Generally, to depose putative or absent class members, a party must show that 'discovery is both necessary and for a purpose other than taking undue advantage of class members.'" Slip op., at 3. Then the Court observed that, because Hall had not been dismissed, the showing required for discovery from putative class members was not applicable; Hall was still a party. Even when dismissed, the Court found that Hall's testimony regarding his experience with Relacore would be highly relevant.