United States District Court, D. Connecticut
BALIRAM MARAJ, et al. Plaintiffs,
ROYALTY CONSTRUCTORS, INC., et al. Defendants.
ORDER RE: MOTION TO COMPEL [ECF NO. 36]
A. DOOLEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is the Defendants' Motion to Compel
filed on July 30, 2019. (ECF No. 36.) The motion seeks
responses to Interrogatory Nos. 1, 19, 20, and 21 and Request
for Production No. 5. On August 27, 2019, the Plaintiffs'
filed an objection. (ECF No. 39.) Therein, the Plaintiffs
represented that they were withdrawing their objections to
Interrogatory Nos. 1, 19, and 21, leaving Interrogatory 20
and Request for Production No. 5 for the Court to decide.
However, the Plaintiffs thereafter appeared to object to the
propriety of Interrogatory No. 21, not Interrogatory No. 20.
as an initial matter, it is unclear whether the Plaintiffs
are persisting in their objection to Interrogatory No. 21. It
appears that the Plaintiffs may have intended to withdraw the
objection to Interrogatory No. 20 but persist in their
objection to Interrogatory No. 21. For the sake of clarity,
and to avoid duplicative litigation, the Court will address
the Plaintiffs' objections to both Interrogatory Nos. 20
No. 20 seeks healthcare and damages information related to
plaintiff Dr. Baliram Maraj's claim for negligent
infliction of emotional distress. (See Compl., Count
Six.) Interrogatory No. 21 asks the Plaintiffs to
“identify each and every primary health care
provider” for Dr. Maraj since September 9, 2006.
Request for Production No. 5 seeks copies of Dr. Maraj's
“healthcare records for the past 10 years.” The
Plaintiffs objects to these discovery requests on the basis
that the information is protected by the
psychotherapist-patient privilege and that the request seeks
“information far beyond [that] which may be relevant
for the garden variety emotional distress claims raised in
this case by the Plaintiff Dr. Maraj and boarder [sic] on
harassment.” (ECF No. 39 at 3.)
Maraj has brought a claim of negligent infliction of
emotional distress for which he seeks money damages. By doing
so, he has placed his emotional health and history at issue.
He cannot use privilege to shield discovery of this clearly
discoverable information. Green v. St. Vincent's Med.
Ctr., 252 F.R.D. 125, 129 (D. Conn. 2019)
(“District courts of the Second Circuit have long
recognized that the protection of the psychotherapist-patient
privilege is waived when a plaintiff puts his or her medical
condition at issue in the case.”). Indeed, where a
plaintiff seeks damages for emotional distress, whether
negligently or intentionally inflicted, the defendant may
inquire into the plaintiff's history to determine whether
other events may have contributed to his emotional distress,
whether he received treatment for emotional distress prior to
the conduct at issue, and the extent to which the conduct at
issue is causally connected to any treatment he received or
is receiving for his emotional distress. See Sidor v.
Reno, No. 95-cv-09588 (KMW), 1998 WL 164823, at *2
(S.D.N.Y. Apr. 7, 1998).
20 seeks information only as to those healthcare providers
identified as having treated Dr. Maraj for the emotional
distress he claims to have suffered in Count Six of his
Complaint. In addition, it asks for the amount of the
“savings depleted” and “income lost”
as a result of the Defendants' conduct, as alleged in the
Complaint. (See Compl. at ¶ 37.) This is all
discoverable information. The objection to Interrogatory No.
20 is OVERRULED.
No. 21 and Request for Production No. 5 are much broader.
Interrogatory No. 21 seeks almost thirteen years' worth
of information concerning Dr. Maraj's primary care
providers, and Request for Production No. 5 seeks ten
years' worth of healthcare records without any
limitation. Because only Dr. Maraj's emotional health is
at issue, unfettered access to his medical history is
unnecessary, overly broad, and beyond the scope of Rule 26.
Accordingly, the objection is SUSTAINED as to Interrogatory
No. 21. Any discoverable primary care provider information is
already encompassed by Interrogatory Nos. 19 and 20. The
objection to Request for Production No. 5 is OVERRULED in
part and SUSTAINED in part. The Plaintiffs shall produce the
requested healthcare records, or authorizations for the same,
only as they may relate to
diagnosis, treatment, or complaints by Dr. Maraj regarding
his mental or emotional health. Further, the time period
covered by this Order is limited to the period January 1,
2014 to the present. The Defendants' may seek leave to
request additional healthcare information and records if
there is reason to believe, based on the information and
records produced, that discoverable information may be
contained in older records.
Plaintiffs shall provide responses to Interrogatory No. 20
and Request for Production No. 5, as consistent with this
Order, on or before September 27, 2019. The Defendants'
request for costs is denied.
 In light of the Plaintiffs'
unequivocal representation that they are withdrawing their
objections to Interrogatory Nos. 1 and 19, the Court finds
the Motion to Compel moot as to these discovery requests and