The opinion of the court was delivered by: Poppiti
This 27th day of March, 1991, it appears that:
1. This matter is presently before the Court on plaintiff Monsanto Company's ("Monsanto") Exceptions to the Special Discovery Master's ("Master") May 30 decision regarding the Scope of Discovery Resulting from Defendants' Motion to Compel, and on defendants' exceptions to the May 30 decision regarding both Monsanto's Motion to Compel and defendants' Motion to Compel, insofar as it requires Monsanto to identify only supervisory or managerial employees.
2. In Monsanto Co. v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Co., Del. Super., C.A. No. 88C-JA-118, slip op. at 2, Poppiti, J. (December 7, 1989) (ORDER), I adopted the following standard of review for a decision of the Special Discovery Master:
The Court may modify or set aside the ruling of the Special Discovery Master only if the ruling is based on findings of fact that are clearly erroneous or if the ruling is contrary to law.
3. On May 30, 1990, the Master inter alia:
* Granted defendants' motion to compel production of certain documents, including non-privileged pleadings, depositions, discovery briefs, transcripts and other materials from litigation in the underlying claims.
* Allowed discovery of any information pertaining to "the risks or toxic capacity of certain chemicals or contaminants, whether characterized as 'products, wastes, or hazardous materials'" understanding that the "nexus will be what Monsanto knew or expected about whatever it was that caused the damage alleged in the underlying claims from wherever Monsanto gained that knowledge or expectation.
* Granted defendants' motion with respect to information relating to defense costs claimed by Monsanto.
* Denied defendants' motion with respect to the identity of all personnel with knowledge of relevant facts, by limiting the discovery to supervisory and managerial personnel with knowledge.
* Granted but limited Monsanto's request for discovery of drafting history, regulatory filings, and special research and marketing groups to those documents "in existence during the period in which defendants made a designated decision applied to the specific ambiguous or disputed policy language.
* Granted defendants' motion with respect to information relating to the defense costs claimed by Monsanto.
4. Before addressing certain specific exceptions to the Master's May 30 decision, I am compelled once again to comment on the role of the Special Discovery Master. In addition to exercising discretion when deciding specific discovery matters, the Special Discovery Master has the authority to do all acts and to direct all proceedings in the matters before him. Monsanto Co. v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Co., C.A. No. 88C-JA-118, slip. op. at 3, Poppiti, J. (December 4, 1990)(ORDER), Monsanto Co. v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Co., C.A. No. 88C-JA-118, Poppiti, J. (January 9, 1990)(ORDER); Super. Ct. Civ. R. 114. To that end, the Master in his broad discretion ...