The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL (Document 104)
ORDER DENYING PROTECTIVE ORDER AS MOOT (Document 111)
Plaintiff Dondi Van Horn ("Plaintiff") filed the instant Motion to Compel Further Depositions on August 7, 2009. Defendant Madera Community Hospital ("MCH") filed a related Motion for Protective Order Motion to File a Third Amended Complaint on August 12, 2009. The motion was heard on September 18, 2009, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. E. Daniel Robinson and Jesse Goodman appeared on behalf of Plaintiff. Diana Esquivel appeared on behalf of Defendants Tina Hornbeak, James Tilton, Robin Dezember, Jeff Thompson, Pal Virk, M.D., and James Henrich, M.D. ("CDCR Defendants"). Christopher Bell appeared on behalf of Defendant Naeem Siddiqi, M.D. Travis Stokes appeared on behalf of Defendant Tina Dhillon, M.D. Mario Beltramo appeared on behalf of Defendant Madera Community Hospital ("MCH").
Plaintiff filed this civil rights action on October 24, 2008. After the Court granted leave to amend, she filed a Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") on June 25, 2009, alleging deliberate indifference to a serious medical need in violation of 42 U.S.C. section 1983, medical malpractice and wrongful death. Plaintiff has been granted leave to file a Third Amended Complaint.
The parties and the Court are familiar with the facts underlying this action. The instant discovery dispute is centered around the depositions of MCH's Rule 30(b)(6) witnesses, which took place on July 27, 2009. In response to Plaintiff's June 26, 2009, deposition notice, MCH produced Donna Aldrich, R.N., Lisa Essex and Vice President Mark Foote.
Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides as follows: Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the claim or defense of any party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter.... The information sought need not be admissible at trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
As a threshold matter, and as discussed at the hearing, this Court places great emphasis on the admonishment in the Federal Rules that an instruction not to answer not be given unless the instruction is necessary to preserve a privilege, enforce a court-ordered limitation, or present a motion to terminate or limit the deposition. Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 30(c)(2). With this in mind, the Court will review the questions at issue.
Nurse Aldrich was produced to testify about numerous topics, including policies and practices related to GBS testing, Plaintiff's course of care at MCH, information concerning the number of prisoners treated at MCH and information concerning the number of babies who contract GBS at MCH.
MCH's counsel instructed Nurse Aldrich not to answer numerous questions based on an objection to premature disclosure of expert witness testimony. Citing Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(c)(2) and contending that the subject questions called for expert testimony, MCH believes that it was entitled to instruct her not to answer in order to enforce the Court's scheduling orders, the most recent of which sets the expert disclosure deadline as December 11, 2009, and the expert discovery cut off as January 29, 2010.
Questions Regarding the Standard of Care
- Is it the standard of care to have a GBS ...