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Escalante v. Lifepoint Hospital

United States District Court, D. Kansas

April 19, 2019

RAQUEL ESCALANTE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
LIFEPOINT HOSPITAL dba WESTERN PLAINS MEDICAL COMPLEX, et al. Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION AND MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

          KENNETH G. GALE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Defendant Tanya Williams, M.D. (herein “Defendant”) has moved for the Court for an Order than she need not respond to Plaintiffs' Second Request for Production. (Doc. 129.) For the reasons stated herein, Defendant's motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         This is a medical malpractice case in which Plaintiffs allege that Defendants provided negligent medical care during the prenatal care and birth of B.E., a minor. More specifically, Plaintiffs allege that B.E. “suffered permanent injury resulting right birth brachial plexus palsy.” (Doc. 1, at 5.)

         Pursuant to the Revised Scheduling Order entered December 5, 2018, “[a]ll discovery in this case must be commenced or served in time to be completed by January 30, 2019.” (Doc. 112 at 2, emphasis in original.) Two days before the close of discovery, on January 28, 2019, Plaintiffs served Defendant with their Second Requests for Production of Documents. (Doc. 120.) The requests sought information regarding defense experts. (Doc. 129-1.)

         Defendant served her expert witness designations on August 24, 2018. (Doc. 96.) Defendant also provided some potential dates for depositions of the experts. (Doc. 129, at 3; Doc. 129-7.) Plaintiffs' counsel did not respond until October 1, 2018, requesting deposition dates. (Id.) Various communication between the parties regarding deposition scheduling occurred over the next several weeks. (Id.; see also Doc. 134, at 2-3.) At that time, the discovery deadline was scheduled for November 23, 2018 (Doc. 65), so the parties ultimately agreed to request an extension from the Court. This resulted in the Revised Scheduling Order which included the January 30, 2019, discovery deadline. (Doc. 112.)

         Two of Defendant's experts were deposed in January - Dr. O'Hara on January 4, 2019, and Dr. Mandel on January 21, 2019. (Docs. 129-4, 129-5.) The document requests at issue relate to topics that were addressed during the depositions and/or information that was requested in the deposition notices. (See Doc. 134, at 3-6.) The document requests were served a week after Mandel's deposition and 24 days after O'Hara's deposition.

         DISCUSSION

         Protective Orders are governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c), “which confers broad discretion on the trial court to decide when a protective order is appropriate and what degree of protection is required.” Layne Christensen Co. v. Purolite Co., 271 F.R.D. 240, 244 (D. Kan. 2010) (quoting Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart, 467 U.S. 20, 36 (1984)). See also Thomas v. IBM, 48 F.3d 478, 482 (10th Cir. 1995); Terry v. Unified Gov't of Wyandotte Co., No. 09-2094-EFM-KGG, 2011 WL 795816 (D. Kan. March 1, 2011). The rule provides, in relevant part:

A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the court where the action is pending.... The motion must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with other affected parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without court action. The court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:
* * *
(A) forbidding the disclosure or discovery;
(B) specifying terms, including time and place, for the ...

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