Tarleton v. D G Louisiana L L C
MEMORANDUM ORDER: IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Plaintiffs 56 Motion to Compel is DENIED. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carol B Whitehurst on 11/19/2021. (crt,Alexander, E)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
VICTORIA ANN TARLETON
CASE NO. 6:20-CV-00294
DG LOUISIANA LLC
Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Production of Premises.
(Rec. Doc. 56). Defendant opposed the Motion (Rec. Doc. 58). Plaintiff’s motion is
another in a series discovery disputes between the parties. (See Rec. Doc. 20; 26)
Plaintiff filed suit for injuries allegedly sustained in a slip and fall incident at
the entrance of Defendant’s Dollar General store. (Rec. Doc. 1-2). Video
surveillance of the incident shows Plaintiff walking into the entrance of the store on
a rainy day and slipping in an area where there was no mat. (Rec. Doc. 18-1).
In this Motion, Plaintiff seeks to have his engineering expert inspect the
premises a second time to conduct additional testing. (In addition to her engineering
expert’s first inspection, Plaintiff also retained an architect expert, who also
previously inspected the premises). The Court must again apply F.R.C.P. Rule 26,
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged 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.
F.R.C.P. Rule 26(b)(1).
The Court is not convinced that a fourth inspection under these facts is
proportional to the needs of the case. Plaintiff has been aware of the alleged issue
with the floor since the outset and could have conducted any necessary testing at any
of the previous inspections. The Court emphasizes that the facts of the case indicate
the key liability issue is whether Defendant failed to comply with rainy day protocols
by placing a mat near the entrance. Nonetheless, because Defendant has indicated a
willingness to allow Plaintiff yet another opportunity to inspect, the Court will allow
Plaintiff to do so; however, the inspection shall be at Plaintiff’s cost.
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that Plaintiff’s Motion to
Compel (Rec. Doc. 56) is DENIED. This Order shall not preclude the parties from
agreeing to conduct another inspection provided that Plaintiff shall pay for the
reasonable costs associated with the inspection, including the costs for the
attendance of Defendant’s counsel and expert.
THUS DONE in Chambers, Lafayette, Louisiana on this 19th day of
CAROL B. WHITEHURST
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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