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Smith v. HCSC-Blood Center

October 18, 2010

SARAH SMITH PLAINTIFF
v.
HCSC-BLOOD CENTER, INC. DOING BUSINESS AS MILLER-KEYSTONE BLOOD CENTER AND MILLER-KEYSTONE BLOOD CENTER DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Henry S. Perkin United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM

Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Protective Order and to Quash Plaintiff's Subpoenas to Defense Experts Dr. Perez and Dr. Steiner (Dkt. No. 95), Plaintiff's Brief Contra Defendants' Motion for Protective Order and to Quash Plaintiff's Subpoenas to Defense Experts Dr. Perez and Dr. Steiner (Dkt. No. 99), and Defendants' Reply Brief in Support of Their Motion for Protective Order and to Quash Plaintiff's Subpoenas to Defense Experts Dr. Perez and Dr. Steiner (Dkt. No. 103). Defendants HCSC-Blood Center and Miller-Keystone Blood Center ("defendants") seek a protective order under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c) and an order to quash pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(3) with respect to subpoenas served by plaintiff, Sarah Smith, on defendants' expert witnesses Martin R. Steiner, M.D. and Francisco Perez, Ph.D. For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion to quash is denied and defendants' motion for protective order is granted.

I. BACKGROUND*fn1

On August 20, 2010, defendants disclosed the identity and reports of eleven expert witnesses to plaintiff in conjunction with the expert disclosures requirement of Rule 26(a)(2)(B) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.*fn2 Among the experts disclosed were Martin R. Steiner, M.D. and Francisco Perez, Ph.D. In addition to the reports, which defendants aver contain statements of the opinions to be expressed by Drs. Steiner and Perez as well as the basis and reasons therefore, defendants also disclosed, separately for each expert, the following information:

1. Curriculum vitae listing qualifications and all publications within the preceding ten years;

2. A list of all cases in which, during the previous four years, the witness testified as an expert at trial or deposition; and

3. A statement of the compensation to be paid for their work on this case.

On August 31, 2010, plaintiff served via email copies of two subpoenas, issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, directed to Drs. Steiner and Perez seeking the production of additional documentation from each of the experts. More specifically, the subpoenas direct that Dr. Steiner and Dr. Perez each provide the following information:

1. Copies of the last ten medical-legal reports you have written, with the identifying information of the person examined, redacted;

2. All Internal Revenue Service 1099 or W-9 forms you have received from attorneys for calendar year 2009; and

3. A copy of your appointment book for 2009 and 2010 with last names and other identifying information stricken.

Defendants have filed this motion alleging that the information sought is not called for under Rule 26(a)(2)(B), is not relevant or probative to any issue in the pending case, and in some cases is unduly burdensome or violative of the confidentiality and privacy of patients who bear no relationship or relevance to this case. In response, plaintiff avers that this Court does not have standing to quash the subpoenas and the requested information is designed to go to the issues of bias, prejudice and objectivity of the two defense expert witnesses.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Motion to ...


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