United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Shriya Hospitality LLC's
(“Shriya”) Motion to Compel Plaintiff's
Responses to First Supplemental Discovery Requests &
Withheld Authorizations (R. Doc. 19) filed on August 15,
2017. Plaintiff has not filed a response within the time
allowed by Local Rule 7(f). Accordingly, the Motion is
Lou Moses (“Plaintiff”) commenced this
slip-and-fall action on August 31, 2016, naming Shriya as the
sole defendant. (R. Doc. 1). Plaintiff subsequently filed a
First Amended Complaint adding Liberty Mutual Insurance
Europe Limited as an additional defendant. (R. Doc. 14).
alleges that she and her husband, Bruce Moses, both
professional musicians in their seventies, stayed at a hotel
owned and operated by Shriya on August 5, 2016 while they
were on their way to a performance. (R. Doc. 14 at 3).
Plaintiff alleges that after settling in their room, she and
her husband were walking down a concrete walkway toward the
front desk when Plaintiff “slipped in a puddle of
moisture and accumulated slime” and “fell hard to
the ground.” (R. Doc. 14 at 3-4). Plaintiff alleges
that as a result of the fall she suffered, among other
things, “a severe hip injury” and “required
immediate hip replacement surgery, as well as numerous follow
up doctor's and physical therapy visits, and home health
care.” (R. Doc. 14 at 4). Plaintiff alleges that she
has suffered past, present and future debilitating physical
and mental pain and mental anguish due to her
injuries”; she “has incurred significant past
medical expenses, and these expenses will continue into the
future”; and she “has suffered a loss of earnings
and earning capacity and will continue to suffer such loss in
the future.” (R. Doc. 14 at 5). Plaintiff seeks to
recover $1 million. (R. Doc. 14 at 7).
April 24, 2017, Shriya propounded Supplemental
Interrogatories and Requests for Production of Documents. (R.
2, 2017, Shriya set a discovery conference to take place on
June 9, 2017 because it had not received responses to the
supplemental discovery requests. (R. Doc. 19-5). At the
conference, Shriya agreed to extend the deadline to respond
to the supplemental discovery requests to June 12, 2017. (R.
16, 2017, Plaintiff provided responses to the supplemental
discovery requests. (R. Doc. 19-9). Later that day, Shriya
asserted in an e-mail that Plaintiff's responses were
deficient to the extent that Plaintiff would not authorize
disclosure of her health information with regard to
psychological treatment, sexually transmitted diseases,
behavioral or mental health services, and treatment for
alcohol and drug abuse. (R. Doc. 19-10).
21, 2017, Shriya asserted in a letter that Plaintiff's
responses to Supplemental Interrogatory No. 1 and
Supplemental Request for Production Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8
were deficient. (R. Doc. 19-11). Shriya requested that these
deficiencies be addressed by June 27, 2017. (R. Doc. 19-11 at
26, 2017, Plaintiff provided supplemental responses to those
discovery requests. (R. Doc. 19-12).
25, 2017, Shriya took the depositions of Plaintiff and her
husband. (R. Doc. 19-2 at 2; see R. Doc. 19-7 at 2).
Shriya represents that at her deposition, Plaintiff executed
“an MMSEA (Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act
of 2007) verification form, a Medicare Records Authorization,
an authorization to obtain her prior Federal tax returns, and
an authorization to obtain her Social Security
records.” (R. Doc. 19-2 at 2-3). Shriya further
asserts, however, that Plaintiff's counsel did not
provide a copy of the tax and social security authorization
forms executed by Plaintiff. (R. Doc. 19-2 at 3). Shriya also
represents that Plaintiff's counsel did not provide
certain forms executed by Plaintiff's husband, a
non-party to this action who is represented by
Plaintiff's counsel for the limited purpose of the
execution of authorization forms. (R. Doc. 19-2 at 3).
31, 2017, Shriya requested Plaintiff to produce copies of the
withheld, but executed, authorization forms by August 3,
2017. (R. Doc. 19-13).
the instant motion, Shriya seeks “an order compelling
plaintiff to fully respond to the supplemental discovery
requests at issue . . ., and compelling plaintiff's
counsel to immediately produce all fully executed
authorizations presently being withheld in the
above-captioned matter.” (R. Doc. 19-2 at 9).
Law and Analysis
otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is
as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case,
considering the importance 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 benefit. Information within this scope
of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The court must
limit the frequency or extent of discovery if it determines
that: “(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably
cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other
source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less
expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample
opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the
action; or (iii) the proposed discovery is outside the scope
permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).
court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party
or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue
burden or expense.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1). Rule
26(c)'s “good cause” requirement indicates
that the party seeking a protective order has the burden
“to show the necessity of its issuance, which
contemplates a particular and specific demonstration of fact
as distinguished from stereotyped and conclusory
statements.” In ...