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Malcolm v. Reynolds Polymer Technology, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

August 22, 2019

STEVEN MALCOLM, Plaintiff,
v.
REYNOLDS POLYMER TECHNOLOGY, INC., a foreign company, Defendant,
v.
ACRYLIC TANK MANUFACTURING OF NEVADA, a Nevada corporation, Intervenor-Defendant.

          ORDER

          Kristen L. Mix United States Magistrate Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Issuance of Letters of Request to AFP [#83][1] (the “Motion”).[2] In the Motion [#83], Plaintiff seeks the issuance of letters of request to the appropriate English Court to obtain documents and oral evidence regarding AFP Consulting Engineers Ltd. (“AFP”), a company located in the United Kingdom. See generally Motion [#83]. Plaintiff attaches Exhibit A [#83-1] to the Motion [#83] which lists the documents to be produced and the topics to be discussed during the oral examination of John Howlett, a former employee of AFP. Although not entirely clear, the Court presumes that Plaintiff intends to attach Exhibit A [#83-1] to the letters of request submitted to the appropriate English Court if the Motion is granted.

         The factual background relevant to the present Motion [#83] is as follows. This case concerns a 25, 000 gallon, custom-made marine aquarium (the “Aquarium”) that collapsed in Plaintiff's home located in Scotland on November 30, 2015. See Order [#54] at 1-2. Plaintiff entered into a written agreement with Intervenor-Defendant Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, Inc. (“ATM”) on September 6, 2007, whereby ATM agreed to design, build, and install the Aquarium. Id. at 1. ATM subsequently contracted with Defendant Reynolds Polymer Technology, Inc. (“Reynolds”) to manufacture the Aquarium to ATM's specifications. Id. Reynolds manufactured the Aquarium at its factory in Colorado and shipped the Aquarium to Scotland, where it was installed by ATM in 2010 while Plaintiff's home was being constructed. Id. at 1-2; see Motion [#83] at 1-2. According to the instant Motion, AFP was initially retained by GR3[3] to perform a structural and engineering analysis of the roof-light that was to be installed over the Aquarium. Motion [#83] at 3. Evidence obtained through discovery indicates that AFP closely worked with architects, engineers, and other contractors regarding the Aquarium's roof-light and continued its involvement in the project even after GR3 was replaced by a different contractor, High Level Glazing. Id. at 3-4.

         Given AFP's work regarding the Aquarium's roof-light, Plaintiff seeks an order from the Court that requests assistance from the appropriate English Court to obtain documents and oral evidence from AFP which, according to Plaintiff, are required for this litigation and will be used for trial purposes. Id. at 6-7.[4] In sum, Plaintiff seeks to obtain the following documents which it believes AFP has in its possession:

(1) Drawings and calculations addressing the stresses or loads on the acrylic tank due to the roof-light;
(2) Drawings and calculations addressing the stresses or loads on the acrylic tank due to the glazing surrounding the top of the Aquarium;
(3) Drawings and calculations showing the structural analyses, assessments or determinations or engineering computations (including calculations) addressing the stresses on the acrylic imposed by the Schuco mullion surrounding the top of the Aquarium;
(4) Drawings and calculations showing the structural analyses, assessments or determinations or engineering computations (including calculations) addressing the stresses or loads on the acrylic due to the movement of the brackets over the top of the Aquarium which connected to the Schuco m[u]llion;
(5) Drawings and calculations showing the structural analyses, assessments or determinations or engineering computations (including calculations) addressing the stresses or loads on the acrylic due to the cover placed over the Aquarium;
(6) Email communications between GR3 employees and AFP employees regarding the engineering work by AFP specific to the roof-light of the Aquarium;
(7) Email communications between GR3 employees and AFP employees regarding the engineering work by AFP specific to the bracket/steel ring configuration connected to the Schuco mullion surrounding the top of the Aquarium;
(8) Email communications between GR3 employees and AFP employees regarding the engineering work by AFP specific to the cover over the Aquarium;
(9) Email communications between AFP employees and architect Julian Hunter regarding the engineering work by AFP specific to the bracket/steel ring configuration connected to the Schuco mullion surrounding the top of the Aquarium;
(10) Email communications between AFP employees and Julian Hunter regarding the engineering work by AFP specific to the ...

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