On May 24, 2012, Chief ALJ Charles E. Bullock issued the public version of Order No. 24 (dated May 10, 2012) in Certain Wiper Blades (Inv. No. 337-TA-816). In the Order, ALJ Bullock granted Respondent Corea Autoparts Producing Corporation’s (“CAP”) motion to compel Complainant Robert Bosch LLC (“Bosch LLC”) to respond to CAP’s interrogatories and document requests without objecting to the production of responsive information or materials in the possession, custody, or control of Bosch LLC’s parent company, Bosch GmbH.
According to the Order, CAP sought to compel Bosch LLC to provide discovery and interrogatory responses that include information in the possession, custody, or control of Bosch GmbH. Bosch LLC opposed the motion, arguing that “it has properly maintained its objection as to its lack of control over materials or information that still remain solely in Bosch GmbH’s possession,” and that “it has not withheld any non-privileged materials or information received from Bosch GmbH on the basis of its possession, custody, or control objection.” Bosch LLC further argued that CAP’s motion should be denied because CAP failed to set out, generally or specifically, what information or materials from Bosch GmbH were being sought. The Commission Investigative Staff filed a response in support of CAP’s motion.
After considering the arguments, ALJ Bullock determined to grant CAP’s motion. The ALJ found that, under the applicable case law on possession, custody, or control, what is required is a nexus between the discovery being sought from Bosch LLC and Bosch LLC’s relationship with its parent Bosch GmbH, taking into account, among other things, Bosch LLC’s business responsibilities. Applying this standard, ALJ Bullock overruled Bosch LLC’s objection to CAP’s discovery requests after finding that there is in fact a nexus between the requested information and Bosch LLC’s relationship with Bosch GmbH. Accordingly, ALJ Bullock granted CAP’s motion to compel and ordered that Bosch LLC fully respond to all requests for production and interrogatories propounded by CAP without withholding any information or material in the possession, custody, or control of Bosch GmbH.