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Landerman v. Tarpon Operating and Development, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

November 10, 2014

JERRY LANDERMAN,
v.
TARPON OPERATING AND DEVELOPMENT, L.L.C., ET AL

ORDER

DANIEL E. KNOWLES, III, District Judge.

Before the Court is Shamrock Management, L.L.C.'s Motion to Quash Plaintiff's Subpoena Duces Tecum for Confidential Medical Records and for Protective Order [Doc. #41]. The Court originally set the motion for oral hearing on November 12, 2014. Having reviewed the motion and the opposition, the Court has determined that oral argument is unnecessary. Accordingly, the Court rules as follows.

I. Background

On January 15, 2014, plaintiff Jerry Landerman filed this lawsuit in Louisiana state court against six defendants: Tarpon Operating and Development, L.L.C. ("Tarpon"); Shamrock Energy Solutions, L.L.C. ("Shamrock"); Nabors Offshore Corporation ("Nabors"); Rene Offshore, L.L.C. ("Rene Offshore"); Pan Ocean Energy Services, L.L.C. ("Pan Ocean"); and Hoplite Safety, L.L.C. ("Hoplite"). Plaintiff asserts claims under the Jones Act and the general maritime law based on injuries he sustained while working on an offshore platform. The facts surrounding the incident, as alleged in the complaint, are as follows.

In May 2013, Landerman was working for Pan Ocean as a welder/cutter on the West Cameron 661 "A" Platform, which is in the Gulf of Mexico on the Outer Continental Shelf. Tarpon and Shamrock allegedly owned the platform at issue, and Hoplite served as a safety consultant for operations on the platform.

On May 20, 2013, Landerman was being transferred from the platform to the vessel M/V RENE by means of a personnel basket that was hanging from a crane on the platform. The crane operator, employed by Shamrock, set the personnel basket down on top of equipment on the deck of the M/V RENE. The basket then allegedly tipped over, causing plaintiff to fall to the deck of the vessel and sustain serious injuries.

Landerman alleges that his injuries were a direct result of the unseaworthiness of the M/V RENE and the negligence of all defendants. He seeks damages for lost wages and diminished earning capacity, medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, "loss of household services, " loss of enjoyment of life, and "permanent disfigurement, " as well as maintenance and cure. In addition to the Jones Act and the general maritime law, the complaint also invokes as possible theories of recovery the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et seq.; the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 901 et seq.; and the general negligence laws of Louisiana.

Hoplite removed the lawsuit to this Court, alleging original jurisdiction under OCSLA. The District Court denied plaintiff's motion to remand in part and severed the Jones Act claim and remanded it to state court.

II. The Parties Contentions

A. The Motion to Quash

As noted, Shamrock employed the crane operator, Steve Campbell. Plaintiff deposed Campbell on September 3, 2014, at which time Campbell testified that he had undergone a pre-employment physical and drug test before Shamrock employed him. Plaintiff thus served a subpoena duces tecum on Shamrock, in which he seeks Campbell's medical records and drug test results.

Shamrock objects to the subpoena on the grounds that it has no medical records of Campbell in its possession and the drug test results are protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA"). Shamrock argues that the confidentiality provisions of HIPAA preclude it from disclosing employees' medical records and drug test results.

In addition, Shamrock contends that the drug screen results are irrelevant. The drug screen was administered on February 7, 2013, more than three months before the accident. Shamrock thus maintains that it is ...


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