United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS ON MOTION
C. WILKINSON, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a wrongful death action asserting both federal civil rights
and state law claims in which plaintiff alleges that her son,
Edward Murphy ("Murphy"), suffered a heart attack
while incarcerated for twelve (12) hours in the Assumption
Parish Detention Center ("Detention Center") and
died shortly afterwards. Plaintiff claims that the decedent
was stopped by a Louisiana State Police officer in
Napoleonville, Louisiana, for a sticker inspection and
suspicion of driving while intoxicated; that he was arrested
and booked in the Detention Center on February 3, 2018,
around 6:30 p.m; and that on the way to the Detention Center,
Murphy told the officer he had a heart condition and needed
to take his medication three (3) times a day. Record Doc. No.
1, Complaint at pp. 3-4. Plaintiff alleges that the officer
stopped at Murphy's home and retrieved his medication
before going to the Detention Center, but that employees at
the Detention Center failed to provide Murphy with his
medication, which caused him to go into cardiac arrest at
approximately 6:25 a.m. and die at approximately 8:11 a.m.
Id. at p. 4.
Motion to Compel Discovery Responses, Record Doc. No. 12, is
now pending before me. On January 24, 2019, plaintiff served
interrogatories, requests for admissions and requests for
production of documents on defendants Leland J. Falcon and
Roland Rodrigue. Record Doc. No. 12-1 at p. 2. Falcon
provided responses on February 21, 2019, but no responses on
behalf of defendant Rodrigue have been provided. Record Doc.
No. 12-1 at p. 2. Fed R. Civ. P. 33(b)(2), 34(b)(2)(A) and
36(a)(3) provide that a responding party must serve its
answers, responses and any objections to interrogatories,
requests for admissions and requests for production within 30
days of being served. After the deadline lapsed, counsel
conferred and agreed that supplemental responses to
plaintiff's interrogatories, requests for admission and
requests for production would be provided by March 29, 2019.
Record Doc. No. 12-7. Plaintiff states that as of April 11,
2019, the filing date of the instant motion, defendants have
failed to provide supplemental responses to her
Interrogatories Nos. 2, 12, 15, 16, 17, 20 and 21 and
Requests for Production Nos. 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13 to defendant
Falcon, or any responses whatsoever to her discovery requests
to defendant Rodrigue. Although defendant's response
memorandum, Record Doc. No. 13, states that adequate
responses would be produced by today's submission date,
plaintiff's counsel has advised my staff that while
defense counsel sent her an email with some responses, those
responses remain insufficient and do not render this motion
initial matter, plaintiff's motion is granted as to all
interrogatories, requests for admissions and requests for
production of documents issued to defendant Rodrigue, who has
failed to provide any written responses of any kind. Rodrigue
must respond to plaintiff's interrogatories and requests
for production fully and in writing, and make all responsive
documents available to plaintiff's counsel, no later than
May 15, 2019. All objections to the
interrogatories and requests for production - except as to
attorney-client privilege and work product - are deemed
waived. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(b)(4) (interrogatory
objections waived by failure to make timely objections);
Poulos v. Naas Foods, Inc., 959 F.2d 69, 74 (7th
Cir. 1992) (party “waived any objection to production
by failing to object when disclosure was due”);
Marx v. Kelly, Hart & Hallman, P.C., 929 F.2d 8,
10, 12-13 (1st Cir. 1991) (objections to requests for
production were waived by failure to make timely objections);
In re United States, 864 F.2d 1153, 1156 (5th Cir.
1989) (“[A]s a general rule, when a party fails to
object timely to interrogatories, production requests, or
other discovery efforts, objections thereto are
waived.”); accord Express Lien, Inc. v National
Ass'n of Credit Mgmt., Inc., 2014 WL 12767814, at *3
(E.D. La. Mar. 20, 2014)(Knowles, M.J.) (waiver of objections
to production of electronically stored information in a
specifically requested format); Autotech Techs. Ltd.
P'ship v. Automationdirect.Com, Inc., 236 F.R.D.
396, 398 (N.D. Ill. 2006); Brown-Stahlman v. Charter
Trust Co., No. 04-CV-322-SM, 2006 WL 680874, at *1
(D.N.H. Mar. 16, 2006); Banks v. Office of Senate
Sgt.-at-Arms, 222 F.R.D. 7, 21 (D.D.C. 2004). The
requests for admissions to Rodrigue are deemed admitted.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(3). All matters contained in the requests
for admissions to Rodrigue are "conclusively established
unless the court, on motion, permits the admission to be
withdrawn or amended." Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(b).
the interrogatories and requests for production submitted to
defendant Falcon, who served written responses including some
valid objections, plaintiff's motion is denied as to
Interrogatory No. 2. The objections are sustained. This
overly broad interrogatory seeking the names and contact
information for "any and all employees of the Assumption
Parish Sheriff's Office and Assumption Parish Detention
Center as of" the date of decedent's incarceration,
apparently including those with no knowledge of the incident
and/or no duties relating to inmate care, seeks much that is
neither relevant nor proportional to the claims or defenses
in this case. Under these circumstances, the information
provided subject to the objections is sufficient.
motion is denied as to Interrogatory No. 12. Defendant's
objections are sustained. This discovery request is wholly
irrelevant to any party's claims or defenses in this
case. The decertification occurred almost five (5) years
before decedent's 12-hour incarceration in 2018.
Plaintiff's own allegations state that the Detention
Center had been recertified at the time of the subject
incident. Record Doc. No. 1 at p. 7 (Complaint at ¶ 23).
motion is granted in part and denied in part as to
Interrogatories Nos. 15 and 16 and Requests for Production
Nos. 8, 9 and 12. The objections are sustained in part as to
these overly broad requests as written because they are not
limited to the relevant time period. In addition, the
references to "meal time procedures" in Request for
Production No. 12 are entirely irrelevant. Thus, the motion
is granted only in part in that defendant must provide the
requested information and responsive materials insofar as
they relate to policies and procedures in effect and
employees authorized to distribute medication and phone calls
made by decedent on the date of the incident that is the
subject of this case.
motion is granted as written to Interrogatory No. 17. The
reference in the current answer to "attached"
documents fails to comply with the specificity requirements
of Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(d)(1). Defendant must provide a clear
"yes," "no" or "I don't
know" answer to this question.
motion is granted as to Interrogatory No. 20. All objections
are overruled. Fed.R.Civ.P. 33(a)(2) provides that ". .
. [a]n interrogatory is not objectionable merely because it
asks for an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the
application of law to fact . . . ." This is a contention
interrogatory of precisely the sort contemplated by Rule
33(a)(2) and seeks discoverable information concerning
defendant's defenses as to liability in this matter.
Defendant is fully capable of acknowledging whether he makes
the contention that is the subject of this interrogatory.
motion is granted as to Interrogatory No. 21. By their
nature, the Rule 26(a)(1)(A)(i) initial disclosures
referenced in this answer identify only "individual[s]
likely to have discoverable information," not
necessarily trial witnesses. Defendant must provide a full
and complete answer providing the requested information.
motion is granted in part and denied in part as to Request
for Production No. 13. This overly broad request seeks much
that is neither relevant nor proportional to the claims and
defenses in this case insofar as it seeks policies and
procedures having nothing to do with the inmate medical care,
medical condition monitoring or medication distribution
claims asserted in this case. The motion is granted only in
part in that defendant must produce all responsive materials
concerning distribution and administering medication, medical
care and monitoring of medical conditions for inmates in the
Detention Center at the time of decedent's death.
motion is denied as to Request for Production No. 11. The
objections are sustained. No. claim or defense concerning
"retention policies" and/or record retention or
destruction has been asserted.
addition, I note that the copy of Falcon's interrogatory
answers provided to me in connection with this motion does
not include the verification of interrogatory answers, sworn
under oath, required by Fed.R.Civ.P. ...