Bonfilio v. Occupational Safety & Health Administration, No. 17-282, 2018 WL 3995876 (D.D.C. August 21, 2018) (Cooper, J.)
Re: Request for documents concerning any deaths or injuries on the property of four construction companies
Disposition: Granting defendant's motion for summary judgment; denying plaintiff's discovery-related motions
- Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search: In response to the plaintiff's "sole contention regarding the adequacy of OSHA's search . . . that the agency did not specify exactly what media it searched—and, in particular, it did not state that it looked for tapes, photos, videos, hard drives, thumb drives, emails, and notebooks of inspectors," the court explains that "FOIA does not require this level of specificity." Additionally, the court explains that the plaintiff's "belief that OSHA found responsive records but is withholding them in order to evade public scrutiny rests only on conjecture." Lastly, in response to the plaintiff's argument that the agency improperly destroyed records, the court explains that the agency's record retention protocols "appear to allow it to destroy records related to workplace-safety investigation once a case has been closed for over three years."
- Litigation Considerations, Discovery: The court denies the plaintiff's request for discovery because the cases on which he relies "involved record evidence that the agency intentionally destroyed responsive records after someone submitted a FOIA request," which is not the case here. The records "were destroyed well before [plaintiff's] requests pursuant to the agency's standard record-retention procedures."