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Lackey v. Dement

United States District Court, W.D. Texas, San Antonio Division

July 18, 2019

AUSTEN LACKEY, Plaintiff,
v.
AUSTIN DEMENT, CRST EXPEDITED, INC., Defendants.

          ORDER

          ELIZABETH S. ("BETS Y") CHESTNEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court in the above-styled cause of action are Non-Party AD Hospital East, LLC's Motion to Quash and Motion for Protection [#73] and Defendants' Motion to Enforce Order on Defendants' Motion to Exclude or Limit Testimony of Dr. Henry Small [#78]. In reviewing the motions, the Court has also considered Defendants' Response to AD Hospital East, LLC's Motion to Quash and Motion for Protection [#75], Plaintiff's Combined Response to Defendants' Motion to Enforce Order on Defendants' Motion to Exclude or Limit Testimony of Dr. Henry Small and Motion to Clarify Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a) [#83], Defendants' Response to Motion to Clarify Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(a) [#84], the Joint Advisory Regarding Non-Party AD Hospital East, LLC's Motion to Quash and Motion for Protection [#86], and Defendants' Position Statement Regarding Defendants' Motion to Enforce Order and Plaintiff's Motion to Clarify [#87]. The Court held a hearing on the motions on June 20, 2019, at which Plaintiff, Defendants, and Non-Party AD Hospital East, LLC (“ADHE”) were present through counsel. After the hearing, Defendants and ADHE each filed a Supplemental Brief [#91, #92]. The Court also reviewed these filings in evaluating ADHE's motion.

         After considering the motions, responses, and replies, the relevant portions of the record in this case, the governing law, and the arguments of counsel at the hearing, the Court orally granted Defendants' Motion to Enforce Order, which asked the Court to issue an order compelling Plaintiff to pay all fees associated with the reopening of Dr. Small's deposition. The Court took ADHE's motion to quash under advisement. The Court now memorializes its oral ruling with respect to Defendants' motion and issues a substantive order granting ADHE's motion to quash.

         This case was referred to the undersigned for all pretrial proceedings pursuant to Rules CV-72 and 1(c) of Appendix C of the Local Rules of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The Court has authority to issue this Order pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).

         I. Background

         This personal-injury action arises out of a motor-vehicle collision between a vehicle operated by Plaintiff Austin Lackey and a semi-trailer truck operated by Defendant Austin Dement and owned by Defendant CRST Expedited, Inc. Plaintiff originally filed this action in state court, and Defendants removed the Original Petition based on diversity jurisdiction. The Original Petition remains the live pleading before the Court [#1-1] and alleges various theories of negligence under Texas law against Defendants.

         In January 2019, Plaintiff served affidavits concerning medical billing in his supplemental discovery responses, which included a billing-records affidavit from Tarik Tewary, custodian of records for ADHE [#50-2]. Defendants subsequently served deposition notices for both Tewary and ADHE's records custodian [#48-1, #48-2]. Plaintiff moved to quash the notices [#48], and the Court granted the motion in part, allowing Defendants to depose ADHE's records custodian in addition to Plaintiff's previously noticed Rule 30(b)(6) corporate representative deposition [#52].

         Defendants subsequently served their cross-notice of intention to take the oral and videotaped deposition of the corporation representative for ADHE. The cross-notice lists the following as one of the deposition topics:

3. Reimbursement rates for Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna PPO, MultiPlan, United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana Healthcare Molina Obama Healthcare for services this healthcare provider performed, or products this health care provider provided, to Austen Lackey from March 29, 2012 to the present, regardless of whether any such reimbursement rates would have applied to the charges for or products and services provided to Austen Lackey.

(Cross-Notice [#73-1] at 8.) Defendants' cross-notice further demands that ADHE produce the following records at the deposition:

2. Any and all records . . . concerning, but not limited to reimbursement rates for Medicare, Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna PPO, MultiPlan, United Healthcare, Aetna, Humana Healthcare Molina Obama Healthcare, services this healthcare provider performed, regardless of whether any such reimbursement rates would have applied to the charges for or products and services provided to Austen Lackey, DOB: January 25, 1996, SSN: XXX-XX-1109;

(Subpoena Duces Tecum [#73-1] at 11.)

         ADHE now moves to quash Topic 3 and Document Request 2 on the basis that ADHE's reimbursement rates are confidential, privileged trade secrets that ADHE is contractually prohibited from providing to third parties. ADHE also asks the Court to enter an order protecting ADHE from discovery of the same.[1] At the hearing, Defendants orally revised their request as to the reimbursement rates, limiting the discovery sought to the reimbursement rates for the specific procedure codes applicable to the services provided to Plaintiff. ADHE maintains its objection to this discovery. For the reasons that follow, the Court will grant ADHE's motion and quash Topic 3 and Document Request 2, as written in Defendants' cross-notice or as modified by Defendants at the hearing.

         II. Analysis

         ADHE moves to quash Defendants' cross-notice of the deposition of ADHE's corporate representative with respect to its request for testimony and documentation of the reimbursement rates that have been contractually negotiated between ADHE and various insurers. It is undisputed that Plaintiff is not insured by any insurance company ...


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