Rodriguez v. Wal-Mart Stores Texas, LLC
ORDER striking 14 Motion to Quash; denying 18 Motion to Quash.(Signed by Judge Hilda G Tagle) Parties notified.(mserpa, 2)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
CORPUS CHRISTI DIVISION
WAL-MART STORES TEXAS, LLC,
April 06, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL NO. 2:16-CV-354
The Court is in receipt of Plaintiff’s Motion to Quash and Motion for
Protective Order, Dkt. No. 18.1
Plaintiff Connie Rodriguez (“Rodriguez”) filed an original complaint against
Defendant Wal-Mart Stores Texas, LLC (“Walmart”) in state court on July 7, 2016,
alleging that she was injured by the negligence of an employee while shopping in a
Wal-Mart store. See Dkt. No. 1. On August 22, 2016 Wal-Mart removed this case to
this jurisdiction. Id. On January 20, 2017, Rodriguez filed a motion to quash various
written deposition questions and accompanying subpoenas duces tecum served by
Wal-Mart on third-party medical providers. Dkt. No. 18. Rodriguez argues that
these questions and subpoenas seek information that is inadmissible and violates
the collateral source rule. See id. Wal-Mart responds that Rodriguez does not have
standing to challenge the subpoenas, which in any case are not harassing and do
not violate the collateral source rule. See Dkt. No. 20.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 45 permits the issuance of subpoenas duces
tecum, to order the production of “documents, electronically stored information, or
tangible things” as well as facilitate the “inspection, copying, testing, or sampling of
the materials” by the requesting party. Fed. R. Civ. P. 45 (a)(1)(D). Only the party
The Court notes that Plaintiff has in fact filed two such motions, which appear to be substantially similar. The
Court will consider only the motion filed second in time, on January 20, 2017, Dkt. No. 18, here, and construe it as
correcting the earlier motion filed on January 4, 2017, Dkt. No. 14.. If Plaintiff wishes to inform the Court of any
good cause why her earlier motion establishes a distinct request for relief separate from that requested by her later
motion she may file a motion for reconsideration.
upon which the subpoena is served has standing to quash a subpoena. However, an
objecting party who claims a personal right or privilege with respect to the
documents sought may object. Brown v. Braddick, 595 F.2d 961, 967 (5th Cir. 1979);
see also Adams v. Dolgencorp, L.L.C., No. 11–784–FJP–DLD, 2012 WL 2064556, *2
(M.D. La. June 7, 2012) (denying the plaintiff’s motion to quash a third-party
subpoena because the plaintiff argued only relevance and undue burden and
presented no argument concerning a personal right or privilege). Under Rule 45, a
court must, on timely motion, quash or modify a subpoena if it requires the
disclosure of privileged or protected matter. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(3)(A)(iii).
If Rodriguez is correct that the depositions by written questions and
subpoena at issue violate the collateral source doctrine, she has standing to object.
“The collateral source rule is both a rule of evidence and damages.” Tate v.
Hernandez, 280 S.W.3d 534, 542 (Tex.App.–Amarillo 2009, no pet.) (quoting
Johnson v. Dallas County, 195 S.W.3d 853, 855 (Tex.App.-Dallas 2006, no pet.).
“The evidentiary component bars admission of evidence of the existence of the
collateral source or the receipt of benefits,” on the basis that “the trier of fact may
use that evidence improperly to deny the plaintiff the full recovery to which he is
entitled.” Id. at n.1 (quoting Arthur v. Catour, 833 N.E.2d 847, 852 (2005)) (citations
omitted)). Yet on review of the record, it is clear that the written questions to which
Rodriguez objects do not violate the collateral source doctrine. Wal-Mart argues,
and the Court agrees, that these questions ask third-party medical providers
identified by Rodriguez if, in the course of discovery, “any documents have been
withheld, whether the records custodian is aware he or she may be subpoenaed to
trial to testify about any withheld documents, and the total amount charged for
Plaintiff’s treatment.” Dkt. No. 20 at 3. These questions do not demand, as
Rodriguez alleges, that the subjects of these subpoenas disclose the “identity of the
person or entity that has paid all or part of Plaintiff’s medical bills or the amounts
of any adjustments, discounts or write-offs.” Dkt. No. 18 at 3.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court DENIES Rodriguez’s Motion to Quash
and Motion for Protective Order, Dkt. No. 18. The Court additionally STRIKES
Rodriguez’s prior motion, Dkt. No. 14, which was amended by the later motion the
Court here denies.
It is so ORDERED.
SIGNED this 6th day of April, 2017.
Senior United States District Judge
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?