United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Eastern Division
STARRETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants'
Motion in Limine  as provided below.
Defendants argue that Plaintiff should be barred from
testifying as to the cause of his alleged high blood pressure
and/or stress on his kidneys. In response, Plaintiff argues
that he should be permitted to offer a lay opinion that the
traffic stop caused his high blood pressure, kidney stress,
distinction between lay and expert testimony is that lay
testimony results from a process of reasoning familiar in
everyday life, whereas expert testimony results from a
process of reasoning that can only be mastered by specialists
in the field.” United States v. York, 600 F.3d
347, 360-61 (5th Cir. 2010). Accordingly, lay witnesses may
not provide opinions which “require specialized
medical knowledge.” Id. at 361. But, assuming
Rule 701's requirements are met, a lay witness can
provide opinion testimony as to mental state. See United
States v. Heard, 709 F.3d 413, 422 (5th Cir. 2013). In
fact, this Court has permitted lay witnesses to provide
limited opinion testimony as to causation of emotional stress
and resulting headaches and upset stomachs. See Ishee v.
Fannie Mae, No. 2:13-CV-234-KS-MTP, 2014 U.S. Dist.
LEXIS 165910, at *1-*4 (S.D.Miss. Nov. 26, 2014).
assuming that Rule 701's requirements are met, Plaintiff
may provide opinion testimony as to the causation of his
stress. He may also provide opinion testimony as to the
causation of his headaches. See Id. However, opinion
testimony regarding the causation of high blood pressure and
kidney problems is a step too far, requiring specialized
knowledge and more than simple post hoc ergo propter
hoc reasoning. Cf. Edmonds v. Ill. C.G.R. Co.,
910 F.2d 1284, 1287 (5th Cir. 1990) (proposed expert's
opinion that stress caused heart problems had insufficient
basis where he did not conduct medical tests, was not
qualified as expert in medicine). Therefore, while Plaintiff
may provide fact testimony regarding his high blood pressure
and kidney problems (i.e. when he was diagnosed, the
frequency of occurrence, whether he has suffered such
symptoms in past), he may not provide any opinion as to their
also argue that Plaintiff's treating physicians'
testimony should be limited because they were not designated
as expert witnesses. Plaintiff did not respond to this
argument, and the parties have not fully briefed it. The
Court will address it at trial.
meantime, the Court advises the parties' counsel to take
note of the Court's prior rulings in similar situations.
See, e.g. Walker v. Target Corp., No.
2:16-CV-42-KS-MTP, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104182, at *2-*6
(S.D.Miss. July 6, 2017). In summary, Rule 26's
designation requirement applies to all expert witnesses,
including treating physicans. Hamburger v. State Farm
Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 361 F.3d 875, 882 (5th Cir. 2004).
But treating physicians are not required to submit an expert
report. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(2)(B). If a treating physician
designated as an expert does not submit a report, their
testimony is limited to those facts and opinions in their
disclosed medical records. Barnett v. Deere &
Co., No. 2:15-CV-2-KS-MTP, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123114,
at *3 (S.D.Miss. Sept. 11, 2016). If a treating physician is
not designated as an expert, they may not provide any
testimony within the scope of Rule 702. Walker, 2017
U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104182 at *6. They may only testify as a
fact witness. Id.
argues that the Court should exclude any testimony by any
witness on the subject of retaliation for lack of support
during an election. Plaintiff does not object to this aspect
of Defendant's motion, and the Court grants it as
Defendant argues that the Court should exclude evidence of
certain media reports regarding traffic stops by the Wayne
County Sheriff's Department. Plaintiff has no objection
to this aspect of Defendant's motion, and the Court
grants it as unopposed.