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.

Webster v. CDI Indiana, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

June 7, 2018

COURTNEY WEBSTER, BRIAN WEBSTER, Plaintiffs,
v.
CDI INDIANA, LLC d/b/a CDI d/b/a CDI INDIANAPOLIS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge

         In 2016, Plaintiffs Courtney and Brian Webster filed this lawsuit against CDI Indiana, LLC, alleging that Ms. Webster's recurrent rectal cancer went undiagnosed for over a year and a half after her CT scan was misread. On May 9, 2018, the Court ruled on three Motions to Exclude Expert Testimony, [Filing No. 135], in advance of the June 11, 2018 trial, and granted the Websters' Motion to Exclude the Testimony of Anthony J. Senagore, M.D., [Filing No. 82].

         On May 16, 2018, Defendant filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration of Exclusion of Expert Testimony of Anthony J. Senagore, M.D. [Filing No. 140.] For the reasons set forth herein, Defendant's Motion is DENIED.

         I.

         Legal Standard

         The Seventh Circuit has noted that “[t]echnically, a ‘Motion to Reconsider' does not exist under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” GHSC Assocs. Ltd. P'ship v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 29 Fed.Appx. 382, 384 (7th Cir. 2002). However, Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure “governs non-final orders and permits revision at any time prior to the entry of judgment. . . .” Galvan v. Norberg, 678 F.3d 581, 587 n.3 (7th Cir. 2012). Under Rule 54(b), the Court may exercise its inherent authority to reconsider or revise its interlocutory orders. Bell v. Taylor, 2015 WL 13229553, at *2 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 4, 2015). Such motions to reconsider perform “a valuable function” in the limited circumstances wherein the Court has: (1) patently misunderstood a party, (2) made a decision outside the adversarial issues presented to the Court by the parties, or (3) made an error not of reasoning but of apprehension. Bank of Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185, 1191 (7th Cir. 1990). In addition, a motion to reconsider may be appropriate when a controlling or significant change in the law or facts has occurred since the submission of the issue to the Court. Id. Because such problems “rarely arise, ” a motion to reconsider “should be equally rare.” Id. at 1191. A motion for reconsideration does not “serve as the occasion to tender new legal theories for the first time.” Rothwell Cotton Co. v. Rosenthal & Co., 827 F.2d 246, 251 (7th Cir. 1987) (quotation omitted). Nor are motions to reconsider “replays of the main event.” Dominguez v. Lynch, 612 Fed.Appx. 388, 390 (7th Cir. 2015) (quoting Khan v. Holder, 766 F.3d 689, 696 (7th Cir. 2014)).

         II.

         Discussion

         On May 9, 2018, the Court granted the Websters' Motion to Exclude the Expert Testimony of Anthony J. Senagore, M.D., one of Defendant's expert witnesses. [Filing No. 135.] The Court compared Dr. Senagore's December 7, 2017 report with his February 13, 2018 deposition. [Filing No. 135 at 9-13 (citing Filing No. 83-1 (Dr. Senagore's report) and Filing No. 83-2 (Dr. Senagore's deposition)).] The Court found that “Dr. Senagore's report and testimony show significant differences” and “are inconsistent on several points.” [Filing No. 135 at 17.] In granting the Websters' Motion to Exclude Dr. Senagore's testimony, the Court concluded as follows:

As the Seventh Circuit has held, “the sanction of exclusion is automatic and mandatory unless the sanctioned party can show that its violation of Rule 26(a) was either justified or harmless.” [Salgado by Salgado v. Gen. Motors Corp., 150 F.3d 735 (7th Cir. 1998)] (citing Finley v. Marathon Oil Co., 75 F.3d 1225, 1230 (7th Cir. 1996)). Other than their efforts to characterize his testimony as an elaboration of his deposition, Defendants do nothing to justify the obvious changes or demonstrate that they are harmless. Accordingly, the Court imposes the sanction of precluding the witnesses from testifying. Id. at 742 (noting that district court is “not required to fire a warning shot.”).

[Filing No. 135 at 18.]

         In its Motion to Reconsider, Defendant seeks review of the Court's prior decision “only with respect to the sanction imposed by the Court - exclusion of Dr. Senagore's testimony in its entirety” and argues that the sanction is “excessive and manifestly unjust under Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” [Filing No. 140 at 1-2.] Defendant argues that “even with respect to the presumed inconsistencies, Plaintiffs were not substantially harmed or prejudiced.” [Filing No. 140 at 4.] Defendant argues that, to the contrary “[i]t is abundantly clear, from a review of the manner in which this case has been prepared, and the manner in which discovery has been pursued, that Plaintiffs were in no way harmed by any presumed inconsistency” between Dr. Senagore's report and deposition. [Filing No. 140 at 9.] Further, Defendant argues that none of the cases cited by the Court “stand for the proposition that a qualified, timely-disclosed expert witness who gives deposition testimony which is partially inconsistent with his Rule 26(a)(2) report should be excluded in the entirety from giving any opinions at trial.” [Filing No. 140 at 6.] As such, Defendant urges the Court to consider alterative sanctions, including the exclusion of certain categories of testimony and imposition of costs incurred by Plaintiffs in connection with Dr. Senagore's deposition on Defendants. [Filing No. 140 at 13-14.]

         In their response brief, the Websters contend that Defendant “is making new arguments which easily could have been made in response to [their] original motion” and improperly “uses its motion to reconsider to, for the first time, propose an alternative sanction.” [Filing No. 149 at 2-3.] The Websters go on to argue that Defendant “originally chose to argue that Dr. Senagore's deposition testimony was consistent with his report” and that the failure of this argument “does not give [Defendant] the right to try a new argument . . . that the discrepancies were minimal.” [Filing No. 149 at 5-6.] Regarding whether the deficiencies in Dr. Senagore's report were harmless, the Websters argue that “Dr. Senagore's deficient Rule 26 report placed the Websters' counsel in the position of having to simultaneously discover Dr. Senagore's opinions and question Dr. Senagore about those opinions at his deposition.” [Filing No. 149 at 7.] Additionally, the Websters point out that Defendant seeks to exclude matters which were disclosed by Dr. Senagore in his Rule 26 report rather than opinions provided for the first time at his deposition, and is therefore “asking as a ‘sanction' that Dr. Senagore be allowed to make a 180 degree departure from his Rule 26 report.” [Filing No. 149 at 9-10.] The Websters argue that this is a reward, not a sanction. [Filing No. 149 at 10.]

         In its reply brief, Defendant contends that the Websters “wholly ignore the critical point raised by Defendant in seeking reconsideration of the Court's sanction of outright exclusion of Dr. Senagore: Dr. Senagore provided a number of expert opinions in his Rule 26(a)(2) report that were entirely uncontradicted by his deposition testimony.” [Filing No. 156 at 2.] Defendant reiterates its argument that the sanction imposed by the Court merits reconsideration because “there has been no challenge to his qualifications or to the reliability or helpfulness of [Dr. Senagore's] opinions; and substantial portions of the opinions he provided in his report . . . were not contradicted in any way by his deposition testimony.” [Filing No. 156 at 3.] Defendant further contends that the Court's exclusion of Dr. Senagore's testimony “constitutes a manifest error of law meriting reconsideration under Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” [Filing No. 156 at 4.] Defendant “respectfully suggests that the complete absence of cases supporting outright exclusion in the entirety of a timely-disclosed, qualified expert witness ...


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.