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HomeLife in Gardens, LLC v. Landry

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

February 6, 2018

HOMELIFE IN THE GARDENS, LLC ET AL
v.
LEIGH LANDRY

         SECTION: “I” (4)

          ORDER

          KAREN WELLS ROBY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court is a Motion to Quash a Subpoena (R. Doc. 75) filed by the Defendant seeking an order from the Court quashing a subpoena sent to a non-party attorney, Mario Bandaries, on the basis it seeks privileged information. The motion is opposed. R. Doc. 80. Oral argument was heard on January 24, 2018.

         I. Background

         This is a diversity action filed by HomeLife in the Gardens, LLC (“HomeLife”), a citizen of Ohio and Tennessee, and Donald E. Rankey, Jr. (“Rankey”), a citizen of Ohio and member of one entity that is a member of HomeLife, against Leigh Landry (“Landry”), a citizen of Louisiana. R. Doc. 1.

         The plaintiffs allege that on or about April 28, 2016, Landry became the Executive Director of HomeLife in the Gardens assisted living facility in New Orleans. Plaintiffs contend that within weeks of the commencement of Landry's employment HomeLife began receiving complaints relating to Landry's treatment and behavior towards HomeLife's residents, staff, vendors, and residents' families. R. Doc. 15, pp. 3-4.

         After extending Landry's introductory period for an additional sixty days in early August due to the complaints, Plaintiffs contend that between August 11 and 15, 2016, HomeLife became aware that Landry's behavior did not change or improve. Additionally, Plaintiffs allege that on August 17, 2016, Landry called Rankey's son to tell him that she received a call from Rankey that disturbed her and purportedly had Rankey's son listen to the message. Plaintiffs state that Rankey's phone records show that he did not make the disturbing call to Landry and that several resident and employees of HomeLife attest that Rankey was in a meeting at the time this call was supposedly made and he neither left the meeting nor made any calls. Id. at p. 5.

         According to the Plaintiffs, Landry was terminated on August 17, 2016 due to complaints, as well as an unwillingness to conform to responsible and professional behavior. Id. at p. 6. HomeLife contends that on September 13, 2016, it learned that Landry was forwarding the voicemail to multiple people, claimed it was from Rankey, and that several marketers at an industry event were discussing the voicemail and that multiple individuals stated that no longer wished to do business with HomeLife based on the message. Id. at p. 6. Plaintiffs allege that the defendant either created or received the message from another caller and maliciously edited it to identify Rankey as the caller. Id. at p. 7. Plaintiffs further allege that Landry continues to falsely and maliciously proliferate the message throughout the industry, the greater New Orleans area, and the HomeLife in the Gardens community causing damages to reputation, business relations, business opportunities and goodwill. Id. The Plaintiffs seek damages for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress as well as a permanent injunction. Id. at pp. 8-12.

         Landry filed an answer as well as a number of counterclaims on August 2, 2017. R. Doc. 48. Landry's counterclaims include sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, whistleblower claims under Louisiana law, violations of the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act, defamation per se as to Landry's EEOC claim, and fraud. Id. at pp. 7-14.

         On January 9, 2018, the District Court issued an order granting counter-defendants' motion for summary judgement against Landry's with respect to all of her counterclaims except for her assault and battery claim. R. Doc. 83.

         Currently before the Court is Landry's motion to quash a subpoena sent by the Plaintiffs to non-party attorney Madro Bandaries. R. Doc. 75. The subpoena requests all communications between the non-party attorney Madro Bandaries and Jennifer Medley (defense attorney in this case), Steve Rando, and Colin Lagarde regarding HomeLife in the Gardens and/or Leigh Landry from May 1, 2016 to the present. R. Doc. 75-2.

         Defendant contends that Mario Bandaries is counsel in actions in the Civil District of Court of Orleans Parish in cases involving HomeLife and that Steve Rando and Colin Lagarde are counsel in a case against HomeLife. R. Doc. 75-1, p. 2. Plaintiff contends that the subpoena should be quashed because: (1) Defendants failed to follow the proper process in serving the subpoena; (2) the subpoena seeks privileged information or work product; and (3) the purpose of the subpoena is harassment or delay. R. Doc. 75.

         Plaintiffs oppose the motion. R. Doc. 80. They argue that: (1) defense counsel was properly noticed pursuant to the federal rules of the intent to issue the subpoena; and (2) the subpoena does not seek privileged information or work product. Id.

         II. Stand ...


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