United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
TRICHE MILAZZO JUDGE
ORDER AND REASONS
VAN MEERVELD, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is the Motion to Compel filed by Public Belt
Railroad Commission for the City of New Orleans
(“NOPB”). (Rec. Doc. 41). For the following
reasons, the Motion to Compel is DENIED. Oral argument set
for February 7, 2018, is hereby cancelled.
case arises out of an incident that occurred on March 19,
2017, at approximately 10:30 a.m. when O'Malley says he
was struck by a locomotive. At the time of the incident,
O'Malley was employed by the Public Belt Railroad
Commission for the City of New Orleans (“NOPB”)
as a switchman/freight conductor. O'Malley alleges that
on the day of the incident, there were two work crews, one
working on the interchange lead (Job 100R) and one working on
the switching lead (Job 102). O'Malley was working on the
Job 100R crew, and says he was struck by the east facing Job
102 locomotive while he was performing his assigned duties.
He complains that he did not hear any bell, whistle, or other
warning that Job 102 was moving. He says that the two crews
should have been using the same radio channel so that he
might have received notice that the Job 102 locomotive was
moving. O'Malley alleges that he suffered severe and
debilitating injuries to his lower back, ribs, and left side
of the body as a result of the accident.
filed this lawsuit on May 9, 2017, asserting claims under the
Federal Employer's Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. 51
(“FELA”). He seeks to recover his expenses
incurred for medical treatment and for his future medical
expenses. He claims he suffered emotional injury, lost wages,
and mental pain and anguish. He also seeks to recover lost
past and future wages, benefits, and earning capacity. He
claims that his injuries may be permanent resulting in a loss
of life's pleasures.
NOPB's requests for production of documents are at issue
here. Request for Production 13 asks O'Malley to produce
all documents relating to your financial information from
March 19, 2017 to the present including, but not limited to,
checks that you have received, your saving and checking bank
account(s) statements, your credit card(s) statements, and
your debit card(s) statements.
for Production 14 asks O'Malley to produce “all
documents relating to all activity on your social media
accounts identified in Interrogatory No. 21 from March 19,
2017 to the present.” NOPB insists that the financial
request are relevant to the alleged expenses claimed by
O'Malley. NOPB adds the financial records could be
relevant to O'Malley's physical activity. NOPB says
social networking data is relevant to O'Malley's
alleged physical and emotional injuries because it may show
his post-accident activities and his emotional state. NOPB
notes that its requests have a narrow time frame.
insists that NOPB's request for financial information is
overbroad. He points out that he has not claimed
“related expenses.” The past medical expenses he
claims are reflected in his medical bills. The possibility
that his financial records would show his post-accident
activity, he insists, does not justify the onerous and
obtrusive request for these records. With regard to his
social media activity, O'Malley points out that courts do
not typically allow unfettered access to social networking
records as sought by NOPB here.