United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
NICHOLAS MEINERT and NICOLE MEINERT, Individually and as Husband and Wife, Plaintiffs,
PRAXAIR, INC., et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
P. Rodovich United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the court on the Motion to Reconsider
Court's Ruling Denying Leave to Disclose Additional
Expert [DE 161] filed by the defendant, Praxair Distribution,
Inc., on July 21, 2017. For the following reasons, the motion
case arose from an injury that occurred on June 9, 2011, on
the premises of United States Steel Corporation. The
plaintiff, Nicholas Meinert, has alleged that he suffered an
injury when a steel cart containing 12 argon cylinders fell
on his leg when he attempted to move it. The plaintiffs have
claimed that the caster assembly on the cart failed, causing
it to tip onto Meinert's leg. On November 7, 2013, the
parties with their expert witnesses conducted testing of the
damaged caster pursuant to a test protocol agreed to by the
parties' expert witnesses. The test data accumulated
during the testing was provided to the parties for further
review by their expert witnesses.
filed the Motion for Leave to Disclose Additional Expert [DE
156] on June 2, 2017. The motion requested leave to disclose
an additional expert, instanter, to address issues
of failure analysis of the weld on the subject cart and
caster. Praxair indicated that circumstances had changed
warranting an additional expert, including the deposition
testimony of plaintiffs' expert, Dr. Charles Roberts, and
the dismissal of co-defendant Weldcoa.
court denied Praxair's motion finding that the late
addition of a new expert was neither justified nor harmless.
Also, the court found that Praxair had failed to demonstrate
good cause to alter the expert disclosure deadline. The court
reasoned that allowing Praxair to add an additional expert
this late in discovery would prejudice the plaintiffs and
further push back the discovery deadline. Praxair has
requested that the court reconsider its denial of
Praxair's Motion for Leave to Disclose an Additional
they are frequently filed, the Court of Appeals has described
a motion for reconsideration as “a motion that,
strictly speaking, does not exist under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure.” Hope v. United States, 43
F.3d 1140, 1142 n.2 (7th Cir. 1994); see Talano v.
Northwestern Med. Faculty Found., Inc., 273 F.3d 757,
760 n.1 (7th Cir. 2001). This type of motion “is a
request that the [Court] reexamine its decision in light of
additional legal arguments, a change of law, or perhaps an
argument or aspect of the case which was overlooked.”
Ahmed v. Ashcroft, 388 F.3d 247, 249 (7th Cir. 2004)
(internal quotation omitted); see Seng-Tiong Ho v.
Taflove, 648 F.3d 489, 505 (7th Cir. 2011) (explaining
that a court can amend its judgment only if the petitioner
can demonstrate a manifest error of law or present newly
discovered evidence) (citing Obriecht v. Raemisch,
517 F.3d 489, 494 (7th Cir. 2008); United States v.
Ligas, 549 F.3d 497, 501 (7th Cir. 2008) (“A
district court may reconsider a prior decision when there has
been a significant change in the law or facts since the
parties presented the issue to the court, when the court
misunderstands a party's arguments, or when the court
overreaches by deciding an issue not properly before
it.”). In Frietsch v. Refco, Inc., 56 F.3d 825
(7th Cir. 1995), the Court of Appeals did not question the
availability of a motion to reconsider but stated:
It is not the purpose of allowing motions for reconsideration
to enable a party to complete presenting his case after the
court has ruled against him. Were such a procedure to be
countenanced, some lawsuits really might never end, rather
than just seeming endless.
56 F.3d at 828; see Oto v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 224
F.3d 601, 606 (7th Cir. 2000) (“A party may not use a
motion for reconsideration to introduce new evidence that
could have been presented earlier.”); Divane v.
Krull Electric Co., 194 F.3d 845, 850 (7th Cir. 1999);
LB Credit Corp. v. Resolution Trust Corp., 49 F.3d
1263, 1267 (7th Cir. 1995). Ultimately, a motion for
reconsideration is an “extraordinary remedy to be
employed sparingly in the interests of finality and
conservation of scarce judicial resources.” Global
View Ltd. Venture Capital v. Great Central Basin
Exploration, 288 F.Supp.2d 482, 483 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)
(internal quotation omitted).
has argued that it was surprised by Dr. Roberts'
testimony at his deposition because he raised the “weld
properties” of the welds that broke in the accident.
Praxair contends that Dr. Roberts' report did not contain
opinions about the quality of the welds that broke in the
accident. Praxair asserts that at his deposition, Dr. Roberts
referenced an exhibit labeled “Meinert Testing
Data” and indicated that the exhibit contained weld
macros, metallurgical test data, metallurgical measurements,
and the indication of various weld properties. Praxair has
claimed that this was surprise testimony.
Dr. Roberts stated at the deposition that he did not analyze
the force required to break a weld or welding industry
standards. He indicated that he believed plaintiffs'
expert, Robert Dines, would testify to those issues. Praxair
contends that its expert, Jason Hertzberg, is not a welding
expert and that his opinions were disclosed prior to Dr.
Roberts' deposition, therefore it needs a welding expert
to respond to the testimony of Roberts and Dines. However, at
the time of this briefing, Praxair indicated that Dines had
not yet been deposed.
has argued that it was surprised by plaintiffs'
experts' new welding opinions. However, Praxair has
referenced only Dr. Roberts' testimony regarding the
“Meinert Testing Data” exhibit was a surprise. As
indicated in Dr. Roberts' testimony, the information
contained in the “Testing & Data” folder was
related to the testing done on November 7, 2013, at Material
Engineering, Inc. The parties have indicated that this
information was available to all parties and their experts.
Therefore, it was not new information. Further, Praxair
contends that Dr. Roberts gave testimony not disclosed in the
conclusions of his report. However, Praxair has not indicated
specifically what testimony Dr. Roberts gave that was
inconsistent with his report, which would require a response
and a need to disclose a welding expert. Also, given that
Dines has not yet been deposed, it is premature to argue that
an additional expert is needed to respond to his testimony.
has not presented a sufficient reason for the court to
reconsider its order from July 18, 2017. Rather, it has
rehashed old arguments that already have been rejected.
See Oto v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co.,224 F.3d 601,
606 (7th Cir. 2000) (motions to reconsider are not vehicles
for rehashing old arguments that already have been rejected).
It has not demonstrated a ...