United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
L. WHITE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to
Strike Designation of Expert (ECF No. 14) and Defendant's
Motion for Protective Order (ECF No. 25). These matters are
fully briefed and ready for disposition.
12, 2019, Defendant filed its Motion to Strike Designation of
Expert (ECF No. 14). Defendant asked the Court to strike
Plaintiff Sarah West's ("West") experts Dr.
Thomas Lee and Dr. Matthew Gornet for failing to properly
disclose them under Fed.R.Civ.P. 26. Defendant claims West
did not provide a list of Dr. Gornet's qualifications or
any information regarding his purported testimony. Likewise,
Defendant asserts West did not provide a summary of the facts
and opinions to which Dr. Lee was expected to testify. On
June 26, 2019, the Court ordered West to respond to
Defendant's Motion to Strike Designation of Expert no
later than July 5, 2019. (ECF No. 18). West did not file any
response to Defendant's Motion to Strike Designation of
September 20, 2019, Defendant filed a Motion for Protective
Order (ECF No. 25), asking this Court to prohibit the taking
of Thomas Lee's Deposition until the Court rules on
Defendant's Motion to Strike Designation of Expert. On
October 9, 2019, West filed a response to Defendant's
Motion to Strike and Motion and Protective Order (ECF No.
On the same day, Defendant filed its Reply in support of its
Motion to Strike and Motion for Protective Order (ECF No.
Designation of Expert Witness states that Dr. Lee "may
testify regarding injuries sustained to Plaintiff's back,
neck, and spine, as well as her possible need for surgery to
repair her injuries." (ECF No. 28 at 4). West states
that Dr. Thomas Lee is her treating physician, and she
provided Defendant with Dr. Lee's medical records. (ECF
No. 28, ¶¶4, 5). West claims that she
"properly designated Dr. Thomas Lee as an expert witness
before the deadline to do so, including the summary of facts
and opinions to which Dr. Lee was expected to testify."
(ECF No. 28, ¶6). In response, Defendant argues that
West's Designation of Expert Witness did not comply with
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(2)(c) because the expert disclosure did not
contain a "summary of the facts and opinions to which
the witness is expected to testify." (ECF No. 29,
¶3). Defendant states "[n]o where does Plaintiffs
expert disclosure disclose that Dr. Lee might be testifying
that Plaintiffs injuries were sustained as a result of the
automobile collision at issue in the lawsuit nor that that
need for surgery might be caused by the car accident at issue
in the lawsuit, nor does it contain anything that could be
fairly considered a summary of the facts and opinions to
which Dr. Lee was expected to testify." (ECF No. 29,
¶4). Therefore, Defendant asks the Court to strike Dr.
Lee as West's expert and prohibit his deposition. In the
alternative, Defendant asks the Court to limit Dr. Lee's
testimony "to only factual assertions rather than expert
opinion on causation..." (ECF No. 29 at 2).
Court provides guidance on this issue in its requirements:
Treating Witnesses as Expert Witnesses: Treating health care
providers, who are testifying as to matters contained in
their treatment notes, will not be required to prepare
reports or provide the other information required by Rule
26(a)(2)(B). In such cases, health care providers will be
limited to providing opinions that are related to the
treatment and disclosed in their treatment notes. If
providers are testifying as to causation, however, the
provider should provide a report and comply with all
requirements of Rule 26(a)(2)(B).
(last visited October 29, 2019). The Court believes that this
requirement is in keeping with the federal rules' aim to
award diligence and avoid surprise in litigation. See
Smith v. Bankers Life & Cas. Co., No. 3:05-CV-00130
RPTJS, 2008 WL 2845080, at *8 (S.D. Iowa Jan. 30, 2008)
("The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have been drafted
and revised under the guiding motive of leveling the playing
field for all parties so that diligence is rewarded, and
surprise is not a tactical weapon utilized by an
opponent."). Therefore, the Court limits West's
expert, Dr. Lee, to testify only regarding facts identified
through his treatment of West, and Dr. Lee is prohibited from
testifying as to causation.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendant's
Motion to Strike Designation of Expert (ECF No. 14) and
Defendant's Motion for Protective Order (ECF No. 25) are
GRANTED, in part. The Court limits
Plaintiffs expert, Dr. Lee, to testify only regarding facts
identified through his treatment of West, and Dr. Lee is
prohibited from testifying as to causation.
 Therein, West stated that she no long
intends to use Dr. Gornet as an expert witness. (ECF No. 28,
¶3). Therefore, Dr. Gornet is stricken as an ...