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Corinthian Court Holdings LLC v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division

April 6, 2017

CORINTHIAN COURT HOLDINGS, LLC PLAINTIFF
v.
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY DEFENDANT CORINTHIAN COURT HOLDINGS, LLC PLAINTIFF
v.
STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KEITH STARRETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on the Motion to Strike Affidavit of Neil Hall, Ph.D., A.I.A. (“Motion to Strike Hall Affidavit”) [106], Motion to Strike Affidavit of Bruce Smith, CPA/CFF, CFE (“Motion to Strike Smith Affidavit”) [108], Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Expert Bruce Smith, CPA/CFF, CFE, Pursuant to Rule 702 and Daubert (“Motion to Strike Smith”) [82], and Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Expert Neil Hall, Ph.D., A.I.A., Pursuant to Rule 702 and Daubert (“Motion to Strike Smith”) [84] filed by Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company. After considering the submissions of the parties, the record, and the applicable law, the Court finds the following:

1. the Motion to Strike Hall Affidavit [106] is not well taken and should be denied;
2. the Motion to Strike Smith Affidavit [108] is not well taken and should be denied;
3. the Motion to Strike Smith [82] is well taken and should be granted;
4. the Motion to Strike Hall [84] should be deferred for hearing.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is a consolidated action stemming from alleged property damage to an apartment complex in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, owned by Plaintiff Corinthian Holdings, LLC (“Plaintiff”) and insured by Defendant State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (“Defendant”). The suit concerns damage allegedly sustained to the complex when Hattiesburg was hit by Hurricane Isaac in 2012 and again when it was hit by a tornado in 2013.

         Morrison & Morrison, Inc. (“Morrison”), was originally obtained by Plaintiff to adjust the hurricane loss. Morrison remained involved through the tornado loss. Morrison, though, has been withdrawn as an expert in this case. (See Notice Withdrawing [86-6].)

         Neil Hall (“Hall”) and Bruce Smith (“Smith”) have been designated as experts in this case by Plaintiff. On January 24, 2017, Defendant filed motions to strike both under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d 469 (1993). Plaintiff responded on February 21, 2017. In its responses, it attached the Certification of Bruce D. Smith, C.P.A. (“Smith Affidavit”) [102-1] and the Certification of Dr. Neil Hall (“Hall Affidavit”) [103-1]. Defendant then moved to strike both affidavits as previously undisclosed expert reports.

         II. MOTIONS TO STRIKE AFFIDAVITS [106][108]

         A. Standard of Review

         Defendant's Motions to Strike Affidavits [106][108] concern affidavits from Plaintiff's experts, Hall and Smith, which Defendant argues are previously undisclosed expert reports. Unless exempt under some other rule, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c)(2)(B) requires expert disclosures to be accompanied by a written report containing:

(i) a complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the basis and reasons for them;
(ii) the facts or data considered by the witness in forming them;
(iii) any exhibits that will be used to summarize or support them;
(iv) the witness's qualifications, including a list of all publications authored in ...

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