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Lassiter v. Hidalgo Medical Services

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

August 31, 2018

VERONICA LASSITER, Plaintiff,
v.
HIDALGO MEDICAL SERVICES and DAN OTERO, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL CERTAIN TESTIMONY FROM DAN OTERO

          STEPHAN M. VIDMAR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to Compel [Doc. 141], filed on July 24, 2018. Defendant Hidalgo Medical Services responded on August 7, 2018. [Doc. 156]. Plaintiff replied on August 20, 2018. [Doc. 167]. No. hearing is necessary because the motion can be decided on the briefs. Having considered the briefing, relevant portions of the record, and relevant authorities, and being otherwise fully advised in the premises, the Court finds that Plaintiff's motion is not well-taken and will be DENIED.

         Background

         In this action, Plaintiff sues her former employer, Hidalgo Medical Services (“HMS”), and its Chief Executive Officer, Dan Otero, for sexual harassment and retaliation. Plaintiff was the Chief Operations Officer of HMS. She alleges that Defendant Otero sexually harassed her and ultimately retaliated against her by terminating her employment when she rejected his advances. Plaintiff alleges violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the New Mexico Human Rights Act, among other related claims. [Doc. 1].

         To exhaust her administrative remedies, Plaintiff cross-filed a charge of discrimination with both the New Mexico Human Rights Bureau and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“NMHRB/EEOC”) in January of 2017. Id. at 6. Defendant Otero submitted a written statement in response to that charge. [Docs. 141-1, 156-1].

         Otero was deposed in this lawsuit on June 27, 2018. [Doc. 156-2] at 1. Plaintiff's counsel questioned him about the written statement. Otero admitted that there was a factual inaccuracy in the statement. Id. at 2. The following exchange then took place:

Q. Any other statements or testimony in this case that you're aware of that you provided that you didn't review as carefully as you should have?
A. No. And the reason I bring this one up, Mr. Furth- Q. Sure.
A. -is after it got sent, I remember again contacting counsel and saying, you know what?
MR. BARTELL: Well, wait a minute. You have already mentioned you reached out to counsel. That is attorney-client privileged communications, and I direct you not to continue the answer.
THE WITNESS: Very good. Thank you, Randy.
Q. When you reached out to counsel, were you seeking legal advice about what to do?
A. With ...

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