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Williams v. Troehler

January 6, 2010

RANDALL EDGAR WILLIAMS, SANDRA WILLIAMS, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MICHAEL TROEHLER, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL PLAINTIFF TO AUTHORIZE RELEASE OF HIS MEDICAL RECORDS AND TO SUBMIT TO AN INDEPENDENT MEDICAL EXAMINATION

(Document 30)

Defendant Michael Troehler ("Defendant") filed the instant motion to compel Plaintiff Randall Edgar Williams to authorize release of his medical records and to submit to an independent medical examination on November 17, 2009. The matter was heard on December 18, 2009, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. Rosemary McGuire appeared on behalf of Defendant. Rayma Church appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs Randall Edgar Williams and Sandra Williams ("Plaintiffs").

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Randall Williams and Sandra Williams filed the instant complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on October 9, 2008. Plaintiffs name Fresno Police Officer Michael J. Troehler and assert claims based on an August 25, 2006, incident.

According to the Complaint, Plaintiff Randall Williams ("Williams") allegedly was grabbed and knocked down by Defendant during a traffic stop. After being knocked to the ground, Defendant allegedly hit or kneed Williams repeatedly on the left ear and the side of his head, causing Williams to suffer a ruptured left ear drum, several floating bone chips in his cervical spine, multiple level cervical disc bulges, torn ligaments in both wrists and facial lacerations.

On February 23, 2009, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC"). The FAC asserts claims for violation of the Fourth Amendment pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.

On July 22, 2009, Defendant subpoenaed psychiatric/psychological records from Williams' mental health provider, Dwight W. Sievert, M.D. Dr. Sievert objected to disclosure absent a signed authorization from Williams.

After meet and confer efforts, on August 21, 2009, Williams' counsel represented that she would have her client sign the authorization form, obtain the records for review and produce non-privileged documents to Defendant, along with a privilege log.

On September 22, 2009, Williams' counsel sent correspondence and provided documents to Defendant. However, counsel indicated that documents relating to mental health treatment were absent "as Plaintiff has... withdrawn his claim relating to an exacerbation of a pre-existing psychiatric condition as well as his emotional distress claim for specific psychiatric injury." Exhibit A to Opposition to Motion to Compel.

Plaintiffs also provided further responses to Defendant's request for production of documents. In the response, Williams stated that he "hereby withdraws any claim for an exacerbation of a pre-existing psychological or emotional condition including any claim for specific psychiatric injury. Plaintiff will continue to assert a 'parasitic' claim for emotional distress/pain and suffering arising from the beating he received by defendant...." Exhibit to Joint Statement.

On October 14, 2009, counsel for the parties discussed the discovery at issue. Williams' counsel objected to producing the records and also objected to an independent medical examination ("IME") of Williams.

On November 17, 2009, Defendant filed the instant motion to compel Williams to authorize release of his medical records and to submit to an IME. Williams filed an opposition on December 4, 2009. The ...


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