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Broussard v. Jazz Casino Co., LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

October 16, 2018

DEANNA BROUSSARD
v.
JAZZ CASINO COMPANY, LLC CAIN MYERS, MATTHEW “MATT” ROBICHEAUX, KRISTEN WESTBIRG. DANIEL “DAN” REAL, and the XXX INSURANCE COMPANYS

         SECTION: “H” (4)

          ORDER

          KAREN WELLS ROBY CHIEF JUDGE

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Rule 30 and 32 Motion to Suppress/Strike Depositions from Motion Practice Use or Trial Use by Defendants (R. Doc. 114) and Plaintiff's Rule 37 Motion to Compel Discovery Responses and related Rule 36(a)(6) Motion to Determine Sufficiency of Defendant's objections to Requests for Admissions (Rec. doc. 117), seeking an Order preventing the defendant from using copies of the depositions because of their refusal to provide a copy to the plaintiff as required by F.R.C.P. 32(d) 4 (R. Doc. 114) and requesting the court to compel defendants to give more complete responses. (R.Doc. 117). The motions are opposed. (R. Doc. 120) (R.Doc. 121.) The motions were submitted on the briefs.

         I. Background

         This is an employment lawsuit filed by plaintiff, Deanne Broussard (“Broussard”) who contends that despite her performance, she was wrongly terminated by the defendants, her employer and its supervisors. She alleges that the decision to terminate her were based upon discriminatory animus because of her age, 64. (R.Doc.1). Broussard alleges that her age did not negatively impact her work performance, which is evidenced by the fact that she has consistently received positive or superior evaluation from both her co-workers and superiors at Harrah's. Id.

         Broussard alleges that she had various experiences in the workplace which signaled that her employer was trying to push her out of her job because she was too old. Id. She alleges that defendant Cain Myers (“Myers”), the Senior Executive Host, had repeatedly suggested that Broussard retire. She alleges that the constant questioning and hinting that she should retire made the workplace hostile, condoned age discrimination and resulted in her wrongful termination. Broussard has filed this claim pursuant to Title VII, and LSA-R.S. 13:1006. She also alleges that she suffered intentional infliction of emotional distress, slander/defamation, and negligence. She seeks to recover damages for lost wages, reduced employment opportunities, loss of enjoyment of life, future wage loss, reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

         Broussard complains that the defendants failed to produce a copy of her deposition for reading and signing until six months after the deposition was taken. As a result, Broussard seeks to strike the use of her deposition either at trial or as support for the defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Rec. doc. 114) Broussard also filed a motion to compel supplemental responses to its discovery propounded on April 14, 2018. (Rec. doc. 117-5)

         The defendants oppose the motion noting that it did nothing wrong and that plaintiff's counsel could have obtained a copy of the transcript directly from the court reporter when he had the court reporters contact information in February. Defense counsel contends that counsel for plaintiff secured a copy of the transcript 41 days before he filed the pending motion for summary judgment and had ample time to digest the material. (Rec. doc. 121) The defendants oppose Broussard's request for supplemental responses. (Rec. doc. 120).

         II. Standard of Review

          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). The Rule specifies that “[r]elevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” Id. The discovery rules are accorded broad and liberal treatment to achieve their purpose of adequately informing litigants in civil trials. Herbert v. Lando, 441 U.S. 153, 177 (1979). Nevertheless, discovery does have “ultimate and necessary boundaries.” Oppenheimer Fund, Inc. v. Sanders, 437 U.S. 340, 351 (1978) (quoting Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 507 (1947)). Further, it is well established that “control of discovery is committed to the sound discretion of the trial court . . .” Freeman v. United States, 556 F.3d 326, 341 (5th Cir. 2009); Coleman v. Am. Red Cross, 23 F.3d 1091, 1096 (6th Cir. 1994).

         Under 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 burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Rule 26(b)(2)(C). In assessing whether the burden of the discovery outweighs its benefit, a court must consider: (1) the needs of the case; (2) the amount in controversy; (3) the parties' resources; (4) the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation; and (5) the importance of the proposed discovery in resolving the issues. Id. at 26(b)(2)(C)(iii).

         Rule 34 provides that a party may request another party to produce “any designated documents or electronically stored information . . . stored in any medium from which information can be obtained.” Id. at 34(a)(1)(A). This request “must describe with reasonable particularity each item or category of items to be inspected.” Id. at (b)(1)(A). “For each item or category, the response must either state that inspection . . . will be permitted as requested or state an objection to the request, including the reasons.” Id. at (b)(2)(B). Rule 34 provides that “[t]he party to whom the request is directed must respond in writing within 30 days after being served.” Id. at 34(b)(2)(A).

         III. Analysis

         Broussard complains that the defendants failed to produce a copy of her deposition for reading and signing until six months after the deposition was taken. As a result, Broussard seeks to strike the use of her deposition either at trial or as support ...


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