United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
For STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff: CY GOLDBERG, LEAD ATTORNEY, RICHARD MICHAEL CASTAGNA, GOLDBERG, MILLER & RUBIN, PC, PHILADELPHIA, PA; MATTHEW A. MORONEY, GOLDBERG MILLER & RUBIN, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
For JIMMIE SANDERS, M.D., J.D., BACK ON TRAC, P.C., Defendants: ANDREW PATRICK BARATTA, LEAD ATTORNEY, BARATTA RUSSELL & BARATTA, HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PA.
For CHRISTOPHER L. GIDDINGS, P.C., DONNA GIDDINGS, Movants: CHRISTOPHER L. GIDDINGS, LEAD ATTORNEY, PHILA, PA; MATHIEU SHAPIRO, LEAD ATTORNEY, OBERMAYER, REBMANN, MAXWELL & HIPPEL, LLP, PHILADELPHIA, PA; ZACHARY SCOTT DAVIS, OBERMAYER REBMANN MAXWELL & HIPPEL LLP, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
For CHRISTOPHER GIDDINGS, Movant: ZACHARY SCOTT DAVIS, OBERMAYER REBMANN MAXWELL & HIPPEL LLP, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
For NATIONWIDE MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Movant: DAMARIS L. GARCIA, SNYDER & BARRETT, PHILADELPHIA, PA.
For JOHNNIE HILTON, BENNIE PERRY, SAMMIE PINKNEY, Movants: CHRISTOPHER L. GIDDINGS, LEAD ATTORNEY, PHILA, PA.
EXPLANATION AND ORDER
Plaintiff State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (" State Farm" ) brings suit against Defendants Jimmie Sanders and Back on Trac, P.C., alleging that Defendants engaged in systematic and widespread medical insurance fraud. Sanders is the owner of Back on Trac, P.C., a business that provides chiropractic, medical, acupuncture and physical therapy services to its patients. As part of discovery, State Farm has interviewed and deposed several of Defendants' patients. Additionally, State Farm has sought discovery from Donna Giddings, Christopher Giddings, and Christopher L. Giddings, P.C. (collectively, the " Giddings" ). Donna Giddings was a corporate officer of Back on Trac. Christopher Giddings is an attorney who operates the law firm, Christopher L. Giddings, P.C. (the " Law Firm" ), which represented approximately 130 patients of Defendants in personal injury lawsuits. State Farm alleges that the billing claims submitted by Defendants for the 130 patients represented by the Law Firm were fraudulent. Currently before me is the Giddings' motion for protective order. For the reasons stated below, I will grant the motion in part and deny the motion in part.
The Giddings request two separate types of relief in their protective order: (1) an order prohibiting State Farm from requesting any additional discovery from Christopher Giddings, Donna Giddings, the Law Firm, or any current or former employee of the Law Firm; and (2) an order prohibiting State Farm and its counsel from directly contacting any current or former employee and any current or former client of the Law Firm regarding this litigation.
A. Additional Discovery Requests
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) provides: " A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order . . . . The court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense." The Giddings have not established that there is good cause to prohibit State Farm from requesting discovery from Christopher Giddings, Donna Giddings, the Law Firm, or any current ...