RHONDA DANOS, INDIVIDUALLY, AND AS CURATRIX FOR THE INTERDICT, RONALD MARTIN, AND SCHEREE MARTIN
EMERY A. MINNARD, M.D., JEFFERSON PARISH HOSPITAL SERVICE DISTRICT NO. 1 D/B/A WEST JEFFERSON MEDICAL CENTER, CRESCENT SURGICAL GROUP, LLC, DR. MICHAEL COOK AND DR. MARK KAPPELMAN
APPLICATION FOR SUPERVISORY REVIEW FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH
JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF
LOUISIANA NO. 784-089, DIVISION "I" HONORABLE NANCY
A. MILLER, JUDGE PRESIDING.
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/RELATOR, RHONDA DANOS, INDIVIDUALLY,
AND AS CURATRIX FOR THE INTERDICT, RONALD MARTIN, AND SCHEREE
MARTIN Timothy R. Richardson.
COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT, JEFFERSON PARISH HOSPITAL
SERVICE DISTRICT NO. 1, D/B/A WEST JEFFERSON MEDICAL CENTER
Peter J. Butler, Jr., Richard G. Passler, Jr., Michael C.
H. Toso COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/RESPONDENT, EMERY MINNARD MD;
MICHAEL COOK MD; MARK KAPPELMAN MD AND CRESCENT SURGICAL
GROUP, LLC, Mark E. Kaufman, Bryan J. Knight.
composed of Judges Jude G. Gravois, Marc E. Johnson, and
Robert A. Chaisson.
G. GRAVOIS JUDGE.
Rhonda Danos, individually, and as curatrix for the
interdict, Ronald Martin, and Scheree Martin, seek this
Court's supervisory review of the trial court's May
9, 2019 interlocutory judgment which denied their motion to
compel the production of documents that
defendants/respondents, Drs. Emery Minnard, Michael Cook and
Mark Kappelman, Crescent Surgical Group, LLC, and Jefferson
Parish Hospital Service District No. 1, d/b/a West Jefferson
Medical Center ("WJMC"), claim are privileged under
the Louisiana Peer Review Statute, La. R.S. 13:3715.3. For
the following reasons, we grant the writ application, vacate
the trial court judgment in question, and remand the matter
with instructions as set forth herein.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
case arises out of medical treatment received by
relators' decedent, Joann Hotard, at WJMC. In their
petition for damages, plaintiffs asserted various claims of
medical malpractice against defendants, respectively, and
additionally a claim of negligent credentialing against WJMC.
course of discovery, plaintiffs propounded the following
discovery to WJMC, to wit:
REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 3:
Please provide a copy of the entire file for Kappelman,
Minnard and Cook including but not limited to applications
for credentialing process for privilege with your facility;
disciplinary records, background searches; suits and/or
review panel submission/judgments filed against them; the
entire credentialing file pre and post privilege
objected to the request, stating that the documents are
privileged pursuant to La. R.S. 13:3715.3 and La. R.S.
44.7, infra, n. 2. In response, plaintiffs filed a
motion to compel, arguing that the requested information is
relevant since the medical review panel determined that the
physicians committed malpractice, and there is evidence that
WJMC had prior issues with Dr. Minnard.
hearing on the motion to compel on April 25, 2019,
plaintiffs' counsel stated that in addition to the
medical malpractice claims asserted by plaintiffs, they also
asserted a separate negligent credentialing claim against
WJMC. Plaintiffs' counsel argued that in 2016, the
Louisiana Supreme Court recognized a cause of action for
negligent credentialing, and in their discovery requests,
plaintiffs were simply seeking information concerning the
credentialing of these doctors, not peer review documentation
pertaining to their decedent's case, in order to
determine why WJMC allowed these doctors to continue
practicing at WJMC.
response, defense counsel argued that La. C.C.P. art. 1442
governs the limits of discovery, which specifically provides
that parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter not
privileged which is relevant to the subject matter involved
in the pending action. Counsel further argued that La. R.S.
13:3715.3 provides that a hospital's peer review
committee records are privileged and not available for
discovery or court subpoena, with the only exception being
that when a physician's hospital privileges are suspended
or revoked by the hospital, he can obtain a copy of his own
credentialing file if he brings a lawsuit against the
hospital to be reinstated.
response, plaintiffs' counsel reiterated that since he
was not seeking peer review of plaintiffs' decedent's
case, but rather was only seeking documentation pertaining to
negligent credentialing, he did not understand how the
Louisiana Supreme Court could indicate that there is a cause
of action outside of the Medical Malpractice Act for
negligent credentialing, but that his clients did ...