United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
L. HAYES, MAG. Judge.
A. DOUGHTY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff David Franco's
(“Franco”) Motion for Sanctions [Doc. No. 106].
Defendants Mabe Trucking Co., Inc. (“Mabe”),
National Interstate Insurance Company (“NIIC”),
and Richard Agee (“Agee”) (collectively
“Defendants”) have filed an Opposition [Doc. No.
112]. Franco has filed a Reply [Doc. No. 113]. The issue is
fully briefed, and the Court is prepared to rule.
diversity action arises from an accident that occurred on
November 24, 2015, on Interstate 20 in Caddo Parish,
Louisiana. Mabe's tractor trailer, driven by Agee, was
accelerating in the right-hand lane of Interstate 20
eastbound after being stopped on the shoulder for a brief
period of time. Franco, also driving a tractor trailer in the
right-hand lane, was behind Mabe's tractor trailer.
Franco swerved into the left-hand lane to avoid colliding
with the slower-moving Mabe tractor trailer, struck a FedEx
tractor trailer, and then rear-ended the Mabe tractor
trailer. Franco filed this suit against Defendants seeking
damages for injuries he allegedly sustained.
questioned the veracity of Franco's alleged claims and
damages. They hired The Info Agency, which provides
surveillance nationwide, to surveil Franco for the purpose of
developing their defense and for possible use at trial. The
surveillance was done by Edward Massey, a private
investigator with The Info Agency, on July 31, 2018, the date
of Franco's deposition in Shreveport, Louisiana.
motion for sanctions, Franco asserts that, although Massey
was not licensed to perform private investigations services
in Louisiana, he nevertheless surveilled Franco in Louisiana
at the deposition and then followed Franco and his attorney
back to the attorney's office, where he secretly filmed
Franco and his attorney conferring outside the attorney's
contends that Defendants' counsel and Massey acted in
direct violation of Louisiana R.S. 37:3520, which provides in
shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to commit any of
the following acts:
(1) Provide contract or private investigator service without
possessing a valid license;
(2) Employ an individual to perform the duties of a private
investigator who is not the holder of a valid registration
Louisiana R.S. 37:3521(B) provides the penalty for a
violation of the foregoing statute:
Whoever willfully violates any provisions of this Chapter
shall be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more
than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not less than
three months nor more than one year, or both.
further contends that Defendants' counsel violated the
attorney-client privilege and, further, acted in direct
violation of the Louisiana Rules of Professional ...