United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
JOSEPH LEWIS, JR., ET AL.
BURL CAIN, ET AL.
D. DICK DISTRICT JUDGE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
the Court is the Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude Evidence of
Post-Discovery Conditions or, in the Alternative, to Compel
Additional Discovery. Defendants have opposed the
motion. For the following reasons the Motion
to Exclude Evidence of Post-Discovery Conditions shall
be GRANTED, and the alternative Motion to Compel
Additional Discovery shall be DENIED.
Complaint in this matter was filed in May 2015.
Discovery closed on September 30, 2016. A Class Certification
hearing was held on November 1-2, 2017, at which time the
Defendants offered evidence regarding alleged improvements in
the delivery of medical care occurring since the close of
discovery. A bench trial of this matter is scheduled to commence
on October 9, 2018. Notwithstanding the deadline for the
completion of discovery, the Court granted leave to the
parties to depose Will Call and May Call witnesses identified
by the parties on or before June 29, 2018. This was largely
due to the fact that the Defendants had yet to depose over
thirty witnesses identified by the Plaintiffs. In November
2017, after the discovery deadline and after the Plaintiffs
had deposed Dr. Raman Singh, the Medical Director for
Department of Corrections, Singh was terminated, and
Plaintiffs sought to depose Dr. Singh's replacements, Dr.
Pamela Hearn and Nurse Stacye Falgout. Defendants declined to
produce Dr. Hearn and Nurse Falgout for updated depositions.
Plaintiffs also sought consent from the Defendants to
substitute five new class member witnesses who could testify
regarding recent medical issues. Defendants refused to
consent to the substitution, prompting Plaintiffs to seek
leave to substitute the five witnesses and to take the
depositions of Dr. Hearn and Ms. Falgout. In a subsequent
status conference, the Court advised that it was not inclined
to grant the motion, noting that the situation at LSP was
fluid insofar as state employees come and go, and that trial
evidence would need to be limited to a “snapshot in
time.” The Court indicated that if Plaintiffs could
establish the existence of constitutional violations during
Dr. Singh's tenure, it would not be necessary to
introduce evidence from subsequent medical directors.
Finally, the Court indicated that it was not inclined to
re-open discovery. On May 15, 2018, the Court denied
Plaintiffs' motion and thereby declined Defendants'
request to re-open discovery.
case management and fundamental fairness require that both
Parties' evidence be limited to a “snapshot in
time.” The alternative would require that fact
discovery be re-opened, which gives rise to the potential for
discovery motions, expert reports and opinions supplemented,
leading to additional expert discovery, all of which would
likely result in upsetting the trial date which is now three
and a half years post filing.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure's “paramount
command [is] the just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of
disputes.” From this overarching and fundamental
principal evolves the inherent power of the Court to manage
cases and its docket “so as to achieve the orderly and
expeditious disposition of cases.” The Court finds
that bifurcating the issues of merits and remedy, and
limiting the historical scope of the evidence on liability,
is “reasonable response to the problems and needs
confronting the court's fair administration of
it is the Order of the Court that the trial of this matter be
bifurcated into separate liability and remedy phases. Trial
on liability will proceed as scheduled, and the evidence
shall be limited to the healthcare conditions and the
facility conditions as they existed as of September 30, 2016.
If Plaintiffs prevail on their constitutional and ADA claims,
evidence of subsequent conditions may be relevant at the
IS ORDERED that the Plaintiffs Motion to Exclude
Evidence of Post-Discovery Conditions is hereby GRANTED;
the Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Additional Discovery
is hereby DENIED. A bench trial on liability only, limited to
evidence of the conditions as they existed on or before
September 30, 2016 will go forward commencing on October 9,
 Rec. Doc. 417.
 Rec. Doc. 418.
 Rec. Docs. 113, 115. The Court notes
that the Minute Entry at Rec. Doc. 405 refers to a jury trial
which is in error.
 Rec. Docs.410, 411.