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Jackson v. Town of Tutwiler

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division

November 6, 2018

CHRISTINE JACKSON, AS GUARDIAN AND NEXT FRIEND OF DENAREUS CORTEZ MARTIN PLAINTIFF
v.
TOWN OF TUTWILER, MISSISSIPPI, ET AL. DEFENDANTS

          ORDER ON THE PROCEDURAL PORTION OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE PLAINTIFF'S EXPERTS LLOYD GRAFTON AND H. SCOTT ROSS OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, FOR DAUBERT HEARING

          JANE M. VIRDEN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the court on the motion of the Municipal Defendant to Strike Expert H. Scott Ross on procedural grounds.[1] The court, having considered the motion to the extent that it requests such relief, finds that it is well taken and should be GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         A case management order [28] was entered on January 22, 2018, setting, inter alia, Plaintiff's expert designation deadline as April 23, 2018. On that date, Ross was identified as a retained expert witness for the Plaintiff. However, no signed report was provided to Defendants as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(2)(B). Instead, Plaintiff's counsel merely disclosed, in relevant part:

2. The Plaintiff has also consulted H. Scott Ross, Esquire, a former mayor of the Town of West Point, Mississippi, as a retained, expert witness in the field of public administration and municipal government, who holds opinions on the duties and responsibilities of Defendants Latoya Ellis as clerk of the Tutwiler City Court and Angela Chandler, as town

         Mr. Ross further holds the opinion that die Town of Tutwiler through its officials participated in the deprivation of Cortez' civil rights in the implementation of the Town's community service program.

         Mr. Ross holds the opinions that the Town of Tutwiler was directly negligent in this matter in its failure to select, hire, and retain personnel of the requisite skill, intellect, temperament, experience, and (raining to exercise charge over its community service detainees, and further in its failure to properly train and supervise its officials and officers in performance of their duties in executing the town's community service program.

         Based upon his review of the material thus far made available to him, Mr. Ross also holds the opinion that the Town of Tutwiler was directly negligent in failing to institute appropriate procedures and protocols for the execution of its community service program, specifically with respect to the adoption of rules or regulations designed (o protect handicapped citizens in die Town's custody from harm.

         The ultimate opinions of Mr. Ross in this matter are expected to be based in part upon information to be obtained through the discovery process in this cause of action, which is ongoing. Consequently, the Plaintiff reserves the right to supplement this designation with a detailed summary stating the substance of the facts and opinions to which Mr. Ross is expected to testify and a summary of the grounds for each such opinion, as required by the terms of Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

         A copy of Mr. Ross' current curriculum vitae will be provided to defense counsel through discovery and is incorporated herein by reference.

         No further supplementation was provided. On September 5, 2018, Defendant, Town of Tutwiler, filed the instant motion arguing, in relevant part, that Ross should be stricken as an expert witness for failure to provide an expert report, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 26. Plaintiff served a response on September 19, 2018, arguing that her designation should not be stricken as it is sufficient to fulfill the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 26, and thus her error is harmless. On September 26, 2018, Defendant filed its reply, and the motion is now ripe.

         LAW AND ANALYSIS

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a) requires parties to produce an expert report with the designation of any witness “retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in the case...” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(2)(B). The report, which is to ...


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