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