United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
WELLS ROBY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is Motion to Compel (R. Doc. 21) and Motion for
Expedited Submission Date (R. Doc. 22) filed by the Plaintiff
Jon Krekorian seeking an order from the Court to compel the
production of surveillance obtained by Defendant FMC
Technologies Offshore, LLC d/b/a FTO Services
(“FMC”) prior to the Plaintiff's deposition.
For the following reasons, the Motion to Expedite is GRANTED
and the Motion to Compel is GRANTED IN PART AND
action was filed in the District Court on August 26, 2016
asserting claims under the Jones Act, General Maritime Law,
and Diversity. R. Doc. 1. Jon Krekorian
(“Plaintiff”) asserts that on or about June 27,
2016 while employed by FMC Technologies Offshore, LLC d/b/a
FTO Services (“FMC”) as a Jones Act Seaman aboard
the M/V ISLAND PERFORMER that he experienced an accident
which resulted in serious painful injuries to his back and
other parts of his body. Id. at p. 2-3. On March 21,
2017, the Plaintiff amended his complaint to add Island
Offshore X KS and Island Services, LLC as defendants. R. Doc.
19. The Plaintiff alleges that the sole and proximate cause
of the accident was the result of the negligence of the
Defendants. R. Doc. 1, p. 3-4. As such, the Plaintiff seeks
both compensatory and punitive damages, costs, and
maintenance and cure benefits. Id. p. 4-6.
time, the Plaintiff has filed a motion to compel. R. Doc. 21.
On March 13, 2017, FMC served its responses to the
Plaintiff's First Request for Production of Documents. R.
Doc. 21-3. In that response, FMC objected to the production
of “copies of any and all written reports, surveillance
evidence, or video tape prepared or obtained as a result of
any investigation of the plaintiff, either prior to or
subsequent to the occurrence, relative to his activities,
background, and/or extent of his injuries.”
Id. at p. 2. In particular, FMC objected to the
request on the grounds that it required production of
impeachment evidence that was not discoverable at this stage
of litigation and to the extent that it sought documents
privileged under work product or attorney client privilege.
Id. Thereafter, the Plaintiff conferred with FMC
about the surveillance evidence, noting that such evidence
should be produced pursuant to Chiasson v. Zapata Gulf
Marine Corp., 988 F.2d 513 (5th Cir. 1993). R. Doc.
21-4. Again, FMC refused to provide any surveillance evidence
until after the Plaintiff's deposition. R. Doc. 21-5. As
such, the Plaintiff filed the instant motion to compel to
obtain that material prior to the Plaintiff's deposition.
R. Doc. 21-1.
Plaintiff has also filed a motion to expedite. R. Doc. 22.
The Plaintiff argues that the submission date should be
expedited to address this matter far enough in advance of the
Plaintiff's deposition, currently noticed for April 20,
2017. R. Doc. 22-1.
Standard of Review
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 26(b)(1)
provides that “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding
any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense. . . . .” Rule 26(b)(1) specifies that
“[i]nformation within the scope of discovery need not
be admissible in evidence to be discovered.” Rule
26(b)(1) also specifies that discovery must be
“proportional to the needs of the case, considering the
important of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in
controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant
information, the parties' resources, the importance of
the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden
or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely
Rule 26(b)(2)(C), discovery may be limited if: (1) the
discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative,
or is obtainable from another, more convenient, less
burdensome, or less expensive source; (2) the party seeking
discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the discovery
sought; or (3) the proposed discovery is outside of the scope
permitted under Rule 26(b)(1).
of documents, electronically stored information, and things
is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34. Rule 34
allows a party to request the production of “any
designated documents or electronically stored
information” or “any tangible things.”
Id. Similarly, Rule 33 allows a party to serve
another party written interrogatories which “must, to
the extent it is not objected to, be answered separately and
fully in writing under oath.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(3).
Both Rule 33 and 34 allow a party to ask interrogatories and
request production to the extent of Rule 26(b). Fed.R.Civ.P.
Rule of Civil Procedure 37 provides sanctions for failure to
cooperate in discovery. Rule 37(a) allows a party in certain
circumstances to move for an order compelling discovery from
another party. In particular, Rule 37(a)(3)(b)(iii)-(iv)
allows a party seeking discovery to move for an order
compelling an answer or production of documents where a party
“fails to answer an interrogatory” or
“fails to produce documents.” An “evasive
or incomplete” answer or production is treated the same
as a complete failure to answer or produce. Fed.R.Civ.P.