United States District Court, E.D. Missouri
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. HAMILTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motions for
Partial Summary Judgement (ECF Nos. 59, 64), Defendants
Motion to Limit the Testimony of Plaintiff's Pain
Management Expert (ECF No. 55) and Defendant's Motion to
Limit the Testimony of Plaintiff's Vocational
Rehabilitation Expert. (ECF No. 57). The Motions are fully
briefed and ready for disposition.
cause of action arises out of a motor vehicle accident on
March 5, 2017. (ECF No. 61 ¶ 1). Defendant Smith was
operating a tractor-trailer on eastbound Interstate 70 near
its intersection with Interstate 270 in St. Louis County,
Missouri. Id. ¶ 2. Defendant Smith struck an
emergency vehicle, a police vehicle, that was stopped on the
highway or the shoulder with its lights flashing.
Id. Plaintiff Derek Mason was in the front passenger
side of the police vehicle. Id. ¶ 3.
time of the accident, Defendant Smith was employed by
Defendant C.R. England. Id. ¶ 4. Defendant CR
England has admitted that Defendant Smith was acting within
the scope of his employment. Id. The parties dispute
the following events:
Smith testified that he was initially in the right lane when
he saw emergency vehicles stopped ahead of him. Id.
¶ 9, citing Deposition of Matthew Smith, at 52:12-54:5.
Defendant Smith further testified that, after seeing the
emergency vehicles, he moved to the center lane and used his
turn signal. Id. Defendant Smith testified that he
looked down for a second or two due to some commotion inside
the cab; that when he looked back up he was on top of the
parked police vehicle; and that he did not know how far he
may have traveled while looking down. Id. ¶ 10
citing Smith Depo. at 52:12-22, 54:16-55:10; 56:25-57:80;
60:25-61:20. Defendant Smith also testified that he tried to
swerve back to the left to avoid hitting the police vehicle.
Id. ¶ 11 citing Smith Depo. at 65:18-66:20.
Defendant Smith believes that the parked police vehicle was
over the white line that divided the right lane of traffic
with the shoulder and that his tractor-trailer never went
onto the right shoulder. Id. ¶¶ 14-15,
citing Smith Depo. at 126:13-127:10; 60:17-22.
asserts that Defendant Smith's testimony can be
contradicted by their witness, Mr. Jonathan Cruz. Mr. Cruz
testified that he was traveling behind the tractor-trailer
when the crash occurred. (ECF No. 78, at 7 (citing Deposition
of Jonathan Cruz at 16:1-19)). Mr. Cruz stated that he was
traveling either in the middle or left lane when he saw
bright flashing lights on the right side of the highway.
Id., citing Cruz Depo. at 16:1-12. Mr. Cruz
testified that he was:
traveling about 65, 70 that morning heading downtown, and in
front of me I saw a tractor-trailer obviously going faster
than me because he was…way ahead of me. But from a
distance I saw the tractor-trailer start going from the
middle lane and kind of - as if someone was either…not
paying attention... fell asleep and started drifting, and
that's when I noticed, when he stated drifting…
the truck hit both vehicles and then kept going. And there
was that third vehicle that they had originally pulled over.
Once he hit that third vehicle, the truck hit the…
guardrail on the right side, bounced back over to the middle
of the highway, and that's when I stopped…in front
of the truck over there.
Id., citing Cruz Depo. at 16:20-17:19. Mr. Cruz also
testified that he observed the tractor-trailer in front of
him in the middle lane of Interstate 70. Id., citing
Cruz Depo. at 18:5-10.
front passenger side of the tractor-trailer operated by
Defendant Smith hit the rear driver side of the police
vehicle. (ECF No. 61, ¶ 13). Defendants have stipulated
that Defendant Smith was negligent in connection with the
operation of his vehicle at the time of the accident.
Id. ¶ 25 (citing ECF No. 32, Stipulation). As a
result of the accident, Plaintiffs have filed their Complaint
which contains the following nine counts.
I. Negligence against Defendant Smith
II. Negligence Per Se against Defendant Smith
III. Vicarious Liability against Defendant C.R. England for
Defendant Smith's Negligence
IV. Vicarious Liability against Defendant C.R. England for
Defendant Smith's Negligence Per Se V. Independent
Negligence against Defendant C.R. England
VI. Direct Negligence against Defendant C.R. England for