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Scott v. Office Depot, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

April 17, 2015

SHERRY SCOTT, ET AL
v.
OFFICE DEPOT, INC.

NOTICE

RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, Jr., Magistrate Judge.

Please take notice that the attached Magistrate Judge's Report has been filed with the Clerk of the United States District Court.

In accordance with 28 U.S.C. ยง 636(b)(1), you have fourteen (14) days after being served with the attached Report to file written objections to the proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations therein. Failure to file written objections to the proposed findings, conclusions, and recommendations within 14 days after being served will bar you, except upon grounds of plain error, from attacking on appeal the unobjected-to proposed factual findings and legal conclusions of the Magistrate Judge which have been accepted by the District Court.

ABSOLUTELY NO EXTENSION OF TIME SHALL BE GRANTED TO FILE WRITTEN OBJECTIONS TO THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT.

MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Before the court is Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand. (R. Doc. 4). The motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 5). For the following reasons, the undersigned recommends that Plaintiffs' motion be denied.

I. Background

Sherry Scott and her husband Burnell Scott ("Plaintiffs") filed this personal injury suit against Office Depot, Inc. ("Defendant" or "Office Depot") on April 17, 2014 in the 19th Judicial District Court of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Plaintiffs allege that on September 7, 2013, while a customer at an Office Depot store located in Zachary, Louisiana, Ms. Scott tripped on a hand cart negligently placed in her way by an Office Depot employee as she was exiting the store. (R. Doc. 1-2 at 1-2). Plaintiffs allege that Ms. Scott suffered "direct and immediate" contusions; injuries to her foot, leg, hip, lower back, face, shoulder, and neck; emotional reaction and anxiety; and other non-disclosed injuries. (R. Doc. 1-2 at 3). Plaintiffs also allege that as a "result of the injuries and resulting disability, [Ms. Scott] experienced a loss of wages and anticipates additional lost earnings and earning capacity." (R. Doc. 1-2 at 3). Finally, Plaintiffs allege that Mr. Scott is legally blind and is entitled to damages for loss of consortium in light of his wife's inability to adequately and sufficiently act as his primary care giver. (R. Doc. 1-2 at 3).

The parties engaged in discovery in state court. On September 17, 2014, Plaintiffs produced Ms. Scott's medical records and bills (R. Doc. 4-3) in response to discovery requests (R. Doc. 4-2). The medical records indicate that the results of a March 25, 2014 MRI on Ms. Scott revealed disc bulges to L2-3, L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1, as well as herniated disks at L4-5 and L5-S1. (R. Doc. 4-3 at 20-21). Based on this MRI, Ms. Scott's treating physician, Dr. John Burdine, diagnosed her with lumbar radiculopathy. (R. Doc. 4-3 at 15). The medical records indicate that on May 1, 2014, Ms. Scott received an epidural steroid injection. (R. Doc. 4-3 at 15-16).

On October 15, 2014, Plaintiffs supplemented Ms. Scott's records and informed Defendant that she would receive another epidural injection. (R. Doc. 4-7).

On October 28, 2014, Ms. Scott testified at her deposition that the second injection did not completely relieve her pain and that she would need a third epidural injection. (R. Doc. 4-5).

On November 10, 2014, Plaintiffs supplemented Ms. Scott's records and formally informed Defendant that she had received the second epidural injection. (R. Doc. 4-4).

On November 25, 2014, Plaintiffs' counsel sent defense counsel a settlement demand letter in anticipation of upcoming mediation. (R. Doc. 1-3 at 1). In the letter, Plaintiffs' counsel states, in relevant part, the following:

Following the incident, Ms. Scott complained of pain to her lower extremities, neck, right shoulder, right buttocks, and ribs. She also experienced burning, ...

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