United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery. (R.
Doc. 22). The motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 23). Plaintiff
filed a reply. (R. Doc. 26).
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to
Submit the Final Expert Report of Dr. George Smith After the
Expert Deadline. (R. Doc. 27). The deadline for filing an
opposition has not expired. LR 7(f).
April 13, 2018, Joseph Savoy commenced this civil rights
action alleging that on July 31, 2017, while incarcerated in
the Dixon Correctional Institute (“DCI”), he was
attacked while in his wheelchair by Lt. Col. Douglas
Stroughter and Sgt. Haver Durr (collectively,
“Defendants”). (R. Doc. 1 at 2-4). Mr. Savoy
alleged that as a result of the attack he suffered multiple
pinched nerves and dizziness, weakness, and blurry vision
from head injuries and aggravation of his pre-existing
injuries. (R. Doc. 1 at 5).
Savoy died on December 3, 2018, and was survived by his
mother, Theresa Savoie, who has been substituted as the
Plaintiff in this action. (R. Docs. 18, 19). There is no
dispute that Mr. Savoy was incarcerated in the Elayn Hunt
Correctional Center (“EHCC”) at the time of his
served four sets of written discovery on Defendants. (R.
Docs. 22-4, 22-6, 22-7, 22-10). Plaintiff represents that
after the filing of the instant motion, Defendants provided
complete responses to the second and fourth sets of written
discovery. (R. Doc. 26 at 1-2).
sole discovery requests that remain at issue are Request for
Production No. 12 of the first set of written discovery
(which seeks complete certified medical records including Mr.
Savoy's autopsy report), and Interrogatory No. 1 and
Request for Production No. 1 of the third set of written
discovery (which respectively seek the identify of all
inmates on Fox 5-A-Tier at EHCC on December 3, 2018 and
production of all camera footage from Fox 5-A-Tier at EHCC on
December 3, 2018. (R. Doc. 22-1 at 1-4; R. Doc. 26 at 1-2).
In opposing the instant motion, Defendants argue that the
information sought is irrelevant because there is “no
logical nexus” linking Mr. Savoy's death to the
allegations in the Complaint, which has not been amended to
include any allegations with respect to Mr. Savoy's
death. (R. Doc. 23).
Law and Analysis
otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery is
as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case,
considering the importance of the issues at stake in the
action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative
access to relevant information, the parties' resources,
the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and
whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery
outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope
of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be
discoverable.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). The court must
limit the frequency or extent of discovery if it determines
that: “(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably
cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other
source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less
expensive; (ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample
opportunity to obtain the information by discovery in the
action; or (iii) the proposed discovery is outside the scope
permitted by Rule 26(b)(1).” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C).
considered the record and the arguments of the parties, the
Court will order Defendants to produce a complete and final
autopsy report pertaining to Mr. Savoy, as well as any other
withheld medical records, as such documents fall within the
scope of discovery and the record indicates that defendants
did not object to Request for Production No. 12 of
Plaintiff's first set of written discovery. Defendants
must also file these documents into the record under seal for
the Court's review. The Court also recognizes that there
is no dispute that the death of the Plaintiff occurred at a
different facility approximately 16 months after the events
complained of in this litigation. Given that the record
before the Court does not provide the circumstances
surrounding the cause and circumstances of Mr. Savoy's
death, the Court will not require Defendants to produce, at
this time, the inmate lists and camera footage sought. After
the production of the autopsy report and any other withheld
medical records, Plaintiff may renew her motion to compel
with respect to the inmate lists and camera footage if
is also seeking an extension of the October 31, 2019 expert
report deadline on the basis that one of her experts cannot
complete his report without review of Mr. Savoy's
complete medical records. (R. Doc. 27). Given the instant
ruling, the Court finds good cause to require Defendants to
file any opposition to this motion on an expedited basis.
on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that
Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (R. Doc. 22) is
GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. Within
7 days of the filing of this Order,
Defendants must produce to Plaintiff all medical records,
including a complete autopsy report, responsive to Request
for Production No. 12 of Plaintiff's first set of
discovery. In addition to providing them to Plaintiff's
counsel, Defendants must also file this production into the
record under seal. Plaintiff may renew ...