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Dayson v. Great Northern Oil Co.

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle County

November 15, 1955

Sylvester DAYSON, Plaintiff,
v.
GREAT NORTHERN OIL COMPANY, a corporation of the State of Delaware, Defendant.

Proceeding upon plaintiff's objections to defendant's interrogatories. The Superior Court, Herrmann, J., held that the rule that one could be compelled to answer an interrogatory though it required statement of contention which might involve conclusion or opinion was to be limited to opinions or conclusions necessary for statement of contention of the interrogated party.

Objections to certain interrogatories sustained; objection to another interrogatory overruled and plaintiff required to answer.

[49 Del. 412] Upon the plaintiff's objections to the defendant's interrogatories.

Aaron Finger (of Richards, Layton & Finger), Wilmington, for plaintiff.

William Prickett, Wilmington, for defendant.

HERRMANN, Judge.

The defendant served the following interrogatories upon the plaintiff:

‘ (19) Is the defendant qualified to do business in Texas?

‘ (20) If so, when did it qualify?

Page 362

‘ (21) If so, specify the office or officers which it has and has had in Texas since its qualification.’

The plaintiff objects to these interrogatories on the ground that they call for a legal conclusion.

These interrogatories are addressed to a contention of the defendant made in support of its motion that this action be dismissed on the ground of forum non conveniens . Thus, by these interrogatories, the defendant calls upon the plaintiff to give an opinion or conclusion not necessary for the statement of any contention of the plaintiff. The rule of Pfeifer v. Johnson, Motor Lines, 8 Terry 191, 89 A.2d 154, upon which the defendant relies, is limited to opinions or conclusions necessary for the statement of a contention of the interrogated party. The rule of that case is a liberal and advanced concept under the discovery practice. See 4 Moore's Federal Practice (2d Ed.) pp. 2310-2312. I do not think that it should be enlarged to the extent here urged by the defendant. Accordingly, the objection to these interrogatories will be sustained.

Interrogatory No. 43 propounded by the defendant is as follows:

‘ (43) Enumerate the questions involving the General Corporation Law of Delaware [8 Del.C. § 101 et seq.], which will have to ...


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