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Paradise Construction LLC v. Signature Flight Support Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington Seattle.

May 11, 2018

PARADISE CONSTRUCTION, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
SIGNATURE FLIGHT SUPPORT CORPORATION., Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO STRIKE SUPPLEMENTAL EXPERT WITNESS DISCLOSURE

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Strike the Supplemental Expert Disclosure of Charles A. Longley. Dkt. #38. Defendant argues that Mr. Longley was not properly disclosed as an expert witness, and therefore his untimely supplemental report adding numerous new expert opinions is also improper. Id. Plaintiff responds that Mr. Longley was properly disclosed as a fact witness, and that it then properly supplemented Mr. Longley's report upon request by Defendant. Dkt. #40.

         The deadline for disclosing expert witness reports in this matter was January 19, 2018. Dkt. #34. On that date, Plaintiff served its “expert witness disclosures” on Defendant. With respect to Mr. Longley, Plaintiff provided:

Mr. Longley is anticipated to provide testimony concerning the nonfunctionality of the Aircraft gear warning horn in July 2016. In particular, Mr. Longley is anticipated to testify at trial that following the gear-up landing of the Aircraft on or about July 5, 2016, he personally inspected the Aircraft squat switches, landing gear retraction, and gear warning horn. Mr. Longley's inspection revealed that the gear warning horn was inoperative. Furthermore, Mr. Longley was a witness to the July 3, 2015 gear up landing, and is expected to testify regarding the congestion on the air-to-air frequency at Arlington Municipal Airport on July 3, 2015 and the density of ground traffic on the surface at the field and air traffic in the traffic pattern and greater vicinity at the time of the gear-up landing of the Aircraft. Finally, Mr. Longley is anticipated to testify regarding performance of annual inspections, use of checklists in connection therewith, logbook entries pertaining to performance of maintenance, the purpose of a gear warning horn, and his expert knowledge of repair and replacement of aircraft parts, systems, and components, together with related logbook entries and costs.

Dkt. #38 at 2. After receiving correspondence from Defendant regarding its perceived deficiencies with the disclosure, Plaintiff acknowledged that Mr. Longley's opinions were not provided as an expert, but rather as a fact witness. Dkt. #39, Ex. 2 at 1-2. Plaintiff also stated that it would provide a supplement as to topics that were outside of the scope of Mr. Longley's initial retention by Plaintiff. Id. On March 20, 2018, Plaintiff served a supplemental expert report on Defendant. In that report, Mr. Longley provided numerous opinions outside the scope of the original disclosure. See Dkt. #38 at 4. The instant motion followed.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 requires:

Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, this disclosure must be accompanied by a written report - prepared and signed by the witness - if the witness is one retained or specially employed to provide expert testimony in the case or one whose duties as the party's employee regularly involve giving expert testimony. The report must contain:
(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 the previous 10 years;
(v) a list of all other cases in which, during the previous 4 years, the witness testified as an expert at trial or by deposition; and
(vi) a statement of the compensation to be paid for the study and testimony in the case.
(C) Witnesses Who Do Not Provide a Written Report. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, if the witness is not required to provide a written ...

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