In re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Prods. Liab. Litig.
Citation: 40 ELR 20231
No. No. 00 Civ. 1898, (S.D.N.Y., 08/19/2010)
A district court held that a research institute must turn over documents relating to its methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) study to one of the plaintiffs in a consolidated multi-district case against several gasoline companies for groundwater contamination stemming from their use of MTBE in gasoline. The institute must produce any raw data from the study, the final report when completed, and any communication between the institute and one of the defendant companies relating to the study. Although the institute indicated that it is willing to produce the study when it is completed, there is no compelling reason that the plaintiff should have to wait four months to receive the raw data. And since it was aware of the litigation when it agreed to do the study, it is not unduly burdensome to require the institute to turn over its communications with the defendant. The institute, however, is not required to turn over any internal communications or internal work product related to the study.