United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
WELLS ROBY CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court is a Motion to Quash and for Protective
Order (R. Doc. 38), filed by specially-appearing
parties Medport LA and Sean Alfortish, seeking to quash a
corporate deposition subpoena issued by the Defendant's
under Rule 30(b)(6), for a protective order under Rule 26(c),
and for sanctions against the Defendants. The motion is
opposed. R. Doc. 44. The motion was heard with oral arguments
on February 27, 2019. For the following reasons, the motion
is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN
extensive motion practice in this case, the background facts
have been set forth in previous orders. Therefore, the Court
will forego providing a summary of the background facts, and
instead will provide the facts pertinent to the motion at
April 6, 2018, the Plaintiffs, Kierra Thomas, Shirley Harris,
and Antoine Clark, filed a personal injury lawsuit for a
motor-vehicle collision against Defendants Randall Chambers,
God's Way Trucking, LLC, and Canal Insurance Company
(collectively “the Defendants”) in the Civil
District Court for the Parish of Orleans, Louisiana. R. Doc.
1. On April 27, 2018, the Defendants removed the case to the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Defendants now assert that the accident did not occur or was
staged, and that more than 30 other automobile collisions
involving the Plaintiffs' relatives/associates exist with
similar factual scenarios. R. Doc. 44. p, 2. The Defendants
further claim that connections between the cases exist,
including common medical financing companies such as Medport,
LA (“Medport”). Id. at p. 4. Medport is
organized under Nevada law and its headquarters is located in
Las Vegas, Nevada. R. Doc. 38-1, p. 3. Further, Medport
purchased certain accounts receivable from medical providers
that treated Harris and Clark after the collision.
Id. Medport also purchased payment accounts from
Total Medical Concepts, LLC (“TMC”) for Thomas
and Harris. Id.
November 29, 2018, the Defendants served a corporate
deposition subpoena under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
30(b)(6) on Sean Alfortish (“Alfortish”), an
independent contractor/sales representative of Medport.
Id. at p. 4, 5. The subpoena was served on Alfortish
“individually and in capacity as a representative of
Medport LA” and commanded Mr. Alfortish to appear for a
deposition in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 19, 2019. R.
Doc. 38-1, p. 4.; see R. Doc. 38-2, p, 1.
February 12, 2019, Medport and Alfortish filed a motion to
quash the deposition subpoena, claiming that the subpoena did
not comply with Rule 30(b)(6) for the following reasons: (1)
the Defendants do not describe with particularity the matters
for examination; (2) the Defendants do not have the right to
unilaterally select Alfortish as Medport's corporate
representative; and (3) Alfortish was not the correct person
to receive service for Medport. R. Doc. 38, p. 1-2. Additionally,
Medport contends that the subpoena is procedurally deficient
because a witness and mileage fee was not tendered to Mr.
Alfortish upon service in accordance with Rule 45(b).
and Mr. Alfortish also contended that the corporate
deposition must be in or around Las Vegas, Nevada, and the
information sought in the subpoena is not proportional to the
needs of the case and is unduly burdensome. Id.
and Alfortish further requested a protective order to
prohibit Alfortish from testifying “individually and in
capacity as a representative of Medport LA, ” and to
prevent the Defendants from issuing further subpoenas.
Id. Moreover, also requests sanctions against the
Defendants and their counsel, including attorney's fees,
lost earnings, and costs for failing to avoid undue burden or
expense under Rules 26 and 45. Id. at p. 2.
Defendants filed an opposition on February 19, 2019, claiming
that the motion is moot because they voluntarily withdrew
their request for a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition prior to the
filing of the motion at issue (on the day that the motion was
filed), and that the only remaining issue is whether the
deposition of Mr. Alfortish in his individual capacity should
proceed. R. Doc. 44, p. I, n. 2.
Standard of Review
Rule of Civil Procedure 30(b)(6) provides: “In its
notice or subpoena, a party may name as the deponent a public
or private corporation, a partnership, an association, a
governmental agency, or other entity and must describe with
reasonable particularity the matters for examination.”
The rule further states: “The named organization must
then designate one or more officers, directors, or managing
agents, or designate other persons who consent to testify on
its behalf; and it may set out the matters on which each
person designated will testify. A subpoena must advise a
nonparty organization of its ...