Plaintiffs’ Replacement Expert’s Testimony Limited in Scope to That of Originally Disclosed Expert U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, July 29, 2015
In this case, the plaintiffs timely disclosed the expert report of Dr. Samuel Hammar in accordance with the case scheduling order. Subsequently, Dr. Hammar was unable to provide trial testimony due to health issues and the plaintiffs sought to replace Dr. Hammar’s report with reports from either Dr. Kraus or Dr. Kradin. The defendants did not generally oppose the request to replace Dr. Hammar, but did oppose the replacement of one expert with two and argued that the new expert’s testimony should not go outside the scope of Dr. Hammar’s review and opinions.
The court agreed with the defendants and only allowed one replacement expert. The court also agreed that the replacement expert should limit the scope of the replacement testimony to that of Dr. Hammar’s report as much as possible. As the court held: “This Court recently considered a similar motion filed by Plaintiffs seeking to strike the opinions of a substitute expert, Dr. Gail Stockman, that were outside the scope of opinions offered by the original expert, Dr. Robert Sawyer. Plaintiffs argued, just as the Defendants do now, that certain opinions of the substitute expert deviated from those of the original expert in a way that unfairly prejudices Plaintiffs. The Court agreed and, striking those opinions, stated that ‘[t]he decision to allow a substitute expert to testify was based on the understanding that the substitute report and testimony would not go beyond the original expert’s report and testimony and that the substitute would testify to the same conclusions.’ The same applies here.” The court went on to address several opinions of the new expert that would either be allowed or not under its decision.