Pyle v. Purdue University The Trustees of
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING 29 MOTION to Compel Plaintiff, Tenecia Waddell, to Appear for a Rule 35 Examination filed by Purdue University The Trustees of. It is ORDERED that on or before 5/21/2018, Plaintiff shall make Tenecia Waddell available for a mental evaluation on a date mutually convenient for Plaintiff Waddell and the evaluator. See Opinion and Order for further instructions. Signed by Magistrate Judge John E Martin on 4/11/18. (ksp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
HAMMOND DIVISION AT LAFAYETTE
THE TRUSTEES OF PURDUE
THE TRUSTEES OF PURDUE
CAUSE NO.: 4:16-CV-98-RL-JEM
CAUSE NO.: 4:17-CV-13-PPS-JEM
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on a Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Appear for a Rule 35
Examination [DE 29] in Pyle, 4:16-CV-98-RL-JEM; [DE 26] in Waddell, 4:17-CV-13-PPS-JEM,
filed by Defendant on October 19, 2017. Plaintiff Waddell responded on November 9, 2017, and on
November 16, 2017, Defendant filed a reply.
This action involves allegations of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation
arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Plaintiff Waddell seeks damages for, as is
relevant to this Motion, emotional and psychological distress that allegedly occurred as a result of
her treatment by Defendant, her prior employer. Upon review of Plaintiff Waddell’s psychiatric
treatment records, Defendant learned that Plaintiff Waddell was diagnosed with and received
treatment for certain psychiatric disorders several years prior to her termination by Defendant.
Defendant seeks an order compelling a mental examination of Plaintiff Waddell to determine
the causes of Plaintiff Waddell’s alleged mental health conditions, the dates when her symptoms
and/or conditions began, and the extent to which her conditions were caused or exacerbated by
alleged actions of Defendant.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 35 provides that a court “may order a party whose mental
or physical condition . . . is in controversy to submit to a physical or mental examination by a
suitably licensed or certified examiner.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 35(a)(1). A court may only order an
examination “on motion for good cause.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 35(a)(2)(A). These two provisions
constitute the “in controversy” and “good cause” requirements of Rule 35. See Schlagenhauf v.
Holder, 379 U.S. 104, 118 (1964). Thus, before a court may compel a party to submit to a mental
or physical examination under Rule 35, the movant must demonstrate (1) that the party’s mental or
physical condition is actually in controversy and (2) that there is good cause for the examination.
Id. at 118-19.
Defendant seeks a psychological examination by the Director of Psychology for Public
Safety Medical, a clinically licensed psychologist who performs pre-employment psychological
evaluations and fitness-for-duty examinations for individuals in public safety positions. Defendant
argues that Plaintiff Waddell put her mental condition in controversy by asserting a mental injury
and seeking damages for emotional distress beyond just garden variety emotional distress damages.
It argues that there is good cause for an examination because Plaintiff Waddell’s mental health
records include conditions that began before Plaintiff Waddell’s terminations and include mental
health symptoms for which Plaintiff Waddell is not seeking recovery in this suit. Accordingly,
Defendant argues, it has good cause to examine Plaintiff Waddell to determine which mental health
symptoms were attributable to causes other than Defendant’s alleged actions. Plaintiff Waddell does
not dispute that she has put her mental conditions in controversy in the case, but argues that the
primary effect and purpose of Defendant’s request is to harass, intimidate, or embarrass Plaintiff
Waddell, and characterizes the examination as a hostile expert witness examination. She does not
object to the particular credentials of the identified examiner or argue that he is not suitably licensed
or certified to perform the exam in question in this case. Plaintiff Waddell does argue that her
medical records alone are sufficient to allow Defendant to determine what symptoms were caused
or exacerbated by Defendant’s alleged conduct.
Demonstrating good cause for an exam requires a movant to make “a greater showing of
need than the relevancy already indicated by Rule 26(b) and can be gauged by the ability of the
movant to obtain the desired information by other means.” Heath v. Isenegger, Civil No. 2:10-cv175, 2011 WL 2610394, at *1 (N.D. Ind. July 1, 2011); see also Schlagenhauf v. Holder, 379 U.S.
104, 118 (1964) (holding that the good cause requirement of Rule 35 “require[s] an affirmative
showing by the movant that each condition as to which the examination is sought is really and
genuinely in controversy and that good cause exists for ordering each particular examination. . . .
[and t]he ability of the movant to obtain the desired information by other means is also relevant”).
In this case, Defendant has already received Plaintiff Waddell’s mental health records and
determined that it indicates other mental health symptoms and diagnoses other than those directly
claimed by Plaintiff Waddell in this dispute. It has shown good cause for obtaining a mental
examination to determine which symptoms are attributable to Defendant’s alleged actions. There
is no other apparent method of obtaining the information, and Plaintiff Waddell does not suggest
one. Accordingly, the Court concludes that Defendant has shown that Plaintiff Waddell’s mental
health is in controversy and there is good cause for a mental examination to determine which of
Plaintiff Waddell’s symptoms and diagnoses might have been caused by Defendant’s alleged actions
or predate them.
The final requirement of a Rule 35 order is that it “must specify the time, place, manner,
conditions, and scope of the examination, as well as the person or persons who will perform it.” F.
R. Civ. P. 35(a)(2)(B). Defendants have indicated that the evaluation will be conducted by Dr. Mike
Maguire, a clinically licensed psychologist, at Public Safety Medical, his place of employment, and
that the evaluation would begin in the morning and last for at least four hours. Plaintiff Waddell has
not objected to any of these specific details of the Rule 35 examination.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court hereby GRANTS the Motion to Compel Plaintiff to
Appear for a Rule 35 Examination [DE 29] in Pyle, 4:16-CV-98-RL-JEM; [DE 26] in Waddell,
4:17-CV-13-PPS-JEM, and ORDERS that on or before May 21, 2018, Plaintiffs shall make Tenecia
Waddell available for a mental evaluation on a date mutually convenient for Plaintiff Waddell and
the evaluator. The mental evaluation shall be conducted by Dr. Mike Maguire at Public Safety
Medical. It shall begin no earlier than 7:45 a.m. and shall last for at least four but no more than seven
hours in total. If so desired, the parties may agree to split the seven hours over more than one day.
SO ORDERED this 11th day of April, 2018.
s/ John E. Martin
MAGISTRATE JUDGE JOHN E. MARTIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
All counsel of record
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?