Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lucas v. McDonald-Burkman

Supreme Court of Kentucky

August 29, 2019

JACKIE LUCAS APPELLANT
v.
HON. JUDITH E. McDONALD-BURKMAN, JUDGE, JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT APPELLEE AND BAPTIST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, INC. AND STEPHEN HANSON REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST

          ON APPEAL FROM COURT OF APPEALS CASE NO. 2018-CA-000002-MR JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT NO. 16-CI-003880

          COUNSEL FOR APPELLANT: Robert W. Bishop John Saoirse Friend Bishop Friend, P.S.C. Tyler Zachary Korus Robert Roark, PLLC

          COUNSEL FOR APPELLEE: Hon. Judith E. McDonald-Burkman Jefferson Circuit Court Judge

          COUNSEL FOR REAL PARTIES IN INTEREST, BAPTIST HEALTHCARE, INC. AND STEPHEN HANSON: Donna King Perry Jeremy Stuart Rogers Alina Klimkina Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

          OPINION

          KELLER JUSTICE

         Appellant, Jackie Lucas, appeals from the Court of Appeals' order granting in part and denying in part her petition for a writ to prohibit the trial court from compelling her husband's deposition testimony. For the following reasons, we affirm the Court of Appeals in part and reverse the Court of Appeals in part, thereby denying Lucas's writ petition in whole.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Jackie Lucas had a long and illustrious career with real party in interest, Baptist Healthcare, Inc. (Baptist), spanning almost two decades. She was hired in 1991 and achieved the titles of Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 2006. She reported directly to the company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 2006 until 2013 when Baptist hired a new CEO, real party in interest Stephen Hanson. After Hanson's hiring, Lucas was demoted, and her employment was eventually terminated on August 1, 2013. Lucas filed suit against Baptist and Hanson alleging gender discrimination and retaliation, identity theft, and invasion of privacy. Dr. Gregory K. Collins is Lucas's husband. During the discovery process, Lucas identified Dr. Collins as her treating physician and an employer. Baptist sought to depose Dr. Collins on three specific topics: (1) his observations of Lucas's emotional health in the professional setting; (2) his medical treatment of Lucas; and (3) his role as her employer. Lucas objected to his deposition based on the husband-wife privilege provided in Kentucky Rule of Evidence (KRE) 504, which states in pertinent part:

(a) Spousal testimony. The spouse of a party has a privilege to refuse to testify against the party as to events occurring after the date of their marriage. A party has a privilege to prevent his or her spouse from testifying against the party as to events occurring after the date of their marriage.
(b) Marital communications. An individual has a privilege to refuse to testify and to prevent another from testifying to any confidential communication made by the individual to his or her spouse during their marriage. The privilege may be asserted only by the individual holding the privilege or by the holder's guardian, conservator, or personal representative. A communication is confidential if it is made privately by an individual to his or her spouse and is not intended for disclosure to any other person.[1]

         Baptist filed a motion to compel Dr. Collins's testimony.

         The trial court granted in part and denied in part Baptist's Motion to Compel. The trial court ordered that Baptist could not depose Dr. Collins regarding Lucas's "private conversations and observations." In making this ruling, the trial court clearly enforced the marital communications privilege that is embodied in KRE 504(b). The trial court, however, ordered that Baptist could depose Dr. Collins on the following three topics: (1) Lucas's public manifestations of her emotional health, (2) the medical treatment he provided her, and (3) employment issues he observed as her employer.

         Lucas filed a petition in the Court of Appeals for a writ to prohibit the trial court from enforcing the portion of its order that allowed Baptist to depose Dr. Collins on the three specified topics. The Court of Appeals granted the writ in part and denied the writ in part. The Court of Appeals granted the writ as it related to Dr. Collins's testimony of Lucas's public manifestations of emotional health, thus prohibiting that he be deposed on this topic. The Court of Appeals denied the writ as it related to the other two topics, therefore allowing deposition testimony regarding the medical treatment Dr. Collins provided Lucas and employment issues he observed as her employer.

          Lucas then appealed to this Court the portion of the Court of Appeals order denying her petition for a writ as it relates to Dr. Collins's deposition testimony regarding the medical treatment he provided her and employment issues he observed as her employer. She argues that those topics, and in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.