Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Menendez-Ramos v. Garcia Roofing, L.L.C.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

March 15, 2019

JACOB EDUARDO MENENDEZ-RAMOS AND KENIA LIZETH QUIJADA MONTUFAR
v.
GARCIA ROOFING, L.L.C., GARCIA SHEET METAL, L.L.C., GARCIA ROOFING & SHEET METAL, INC., GARCIA MANAGEMENT GROUP, L.L.C., ROOFCORP USA, L.L.C., ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES INSURANCE COMPANY, INC., AMTRUST NORTH AMERICA, INC., MILLER CUSTOM HOMES, L.L.C. AND MILLER BUILDING COMPANY, L.L.C. IN RE GARCIA ROOFING, L.L.C., GARCIA SHEET METAL, L.L.C., GARCIA MANAGEMENT GROUP, L.L.C., ROOFCORP USA, L.L.C., ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. AND AMTRUST NORTH AMERICA, INC.

          APPLYING FOR SUPERVISORY WRIT FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT, PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA, DIRECTED TO THE HONORABLE DANYELLE M. TAYLOR, DIVISION ''O'', NUMBER 749-486

          Panel composed of Judges Susan M. Chehardy, Jude G. Gravois, Marc E. Johnson, Stephen J. Windhorst, and Hans J. Liljeberg

         This writ application pertains to a pre-trial discovery dispute between the parties. Relators/defendants seek review of the trial court's judgment granting plaintiffs'/respondents' Motion to Quash the deposition of Dr. Daniel Trahant. For the following reasons, we grant the writ and reverse the trial court's judgment.

         This personal injury action arises from an incident that occurred on May 9, 2014. Plaintiff, Jacob Menendez, contends that while he was working for a painting subcontractor on the construction of a residential home, he was struck on the head with a large metal object, causing him to suffer personal injuries. He contends that the metal object was dropped or thrown by an employee of the roofing sub-contractor, defendants, Garcia Roofing, L.L.C., Garcia Sheet Metal, L.L.C., Garcia Management Group, L.L.C. and/or Roof Corp USA L.L.C. (collectively "Garcia").

         After the accident, Mr. Menendez received workers' compensation benefits. In connection with his claim for workers' compensation benefits, Mr. Menendez saw several doctors, including Dr. Daniel Trahant, a neurologist who evaluated him on October 16, 2014. On May 7, 2015, Mr. Menendez and his wife filed this personal injury lawsuit against several defendants, including Garcia and its insurers.

         In this lawsuit, defendants issued a Notice of Deposition setting the deposition of Dr. Trahant for October 3, 2018. In response, plaintiffs filed a Motion to Quash the deposition of Dr. Trahant. Plaintiffs argued that any testimony by Dr. Trahant related to his evaluation of Mr. Menendez is irrelevant because Dr. Trahant's testimony would be inadmissible at trial pursuant to La. C.E. art. 414 and the collateral source rule. Defendants opposed the Motion to Quash, asserting that the deposition of Dr. Trahant is relevant and discoverable and that its admissibility at trial is not yet at issue.

         At a hearing on October 11, 2018, the trial court granted the Motion to Quash, finding that Dr. Trahant's deposition would not "be calculated to lead to any admissible evidence," because his statements about the nature and extent of Mr. Menendez's injuries would be inadmissible at trial under La. C.E. art. 414. Defendants seek review of the trial court's judgment.

         In this writ application, defendants assert that the trial court abused its discretion by granting plaintiffs' Motion to Quash the deposition of Dr. Daniel Trahant. We agree.

         La. C.C.P. art. 1422 provides that parties may obtain discovery on any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action. This article further provides that there is no ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at trial, "if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." See Lehmann v. American Southern Home Insurance Co., 615 So.2d 923, 925 (La.App. 1 Cir. 1993), writ denied, 617 So.2d 913 (La. 1993); Clark v. Matthews, et al., 04-848 (La.App. 5 Cir. 1/11/05), 891 So.2d 799, 804, writ denied, 05-473 (La. 4/22/05), 899 So.2d 577.

         Relevant evidence is "evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence." La. C.E. art. 401. Testimony regarding Dr. Trahant's evaluation of Mr. Menendez is certainly relevant to the issue of the nature and extent of Mr. Menendez's injuries. Further, regardless of whether Dr. Trahant's testimony would be admissible at trial, it appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence regarding plaintiff's injuries.

         La. C.E. art. 414 provides:

Evidence of the nature and extent of a workers' compensation claim or of payment of past or future workers' compensation benefits shall not be admissible to a jury, directly or indirectly, in any civil proceeding with respect to a claim for damages relative to the same injury for which workers' compensation benefits are claimed or paid. Such evidence shall be admissible and presented to the judge only.

         While La. C.E. art. 414 provides that evidence as to the nature and extent of a workers' compensation claim is inadmissible at a jury trial, it does not preclude discovery of such evidence. Although plaintiffs cite Longman v. Allstate Ins. Co., et al, 635 So.2d 343 (La.App. 4 Cir. 1994) and Fromenthal v. Delta Wells Surveyors, Inc., 98-1525 (La.App. 4 Cir. 10/4/00), 776 So.2d 1, writ denied, 01-177 (La. 3/16/01), 787 So.2d 317, in support of their position that Dr. Trahant's deposition should be quashed based on La. C.E. art. 414, we note that those two cases address the admissibility of evidence at trial, not the discoverability of such evidence.

         Based on the foregoing, we find that the deposition of Dr. Trahant is discoverable in this personal injury proceeding and the trial court abused its discretion by quashing the deposition. Accordingly, we grant the writ application and reverse the trial court's judgment. By this disposition, we express no opinion as to the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.