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Byrne v. Monmouth County Dep't of Health Care Facilities

January 9, 2008

MARY BETH BYRNE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MONMOUTH COUNTY DEPT. OF HEALTH CARE FACILITIES, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hughes, U.S.M.J.

MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter has come before the Court by Motion of Defendants' Illene Van Dyne and Robyn Snyder ("Defendants") to Bar the Expert Report of James R. Carroll [dkt. entry no.s 26 and 28], returnable January 7, 2008. Plaintiff Mary Beth Byrne filed opposition to Defendants' motion on December 24, 2007. Defendant Van Duyne filed a reply to Plaintiff's opposition on January 2, 2008. The Court addressed this matter on the papers pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 78.*fn1

For the reasons stated herein, Defendants' Motion is denied. In addition, Plaintiff must provide her current employment information to Defendants. These documents, however, shall be filed under a protective order consistent with the within Order.

II. BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This litigation arises out of the termination of Plaintiff from her employment with Defendant Monmouth County Department of Health Care Facilities. (Def.'s Van Duyne Br. at 3.) Plaintiff filed suit on or around October 28, 2006 alleging discrimination against various Defendants. Id. Plaintiff is seeking compensatory, punitive, and incidental damages in excess of $612,000. These damages include lost wages and lost benefits from the period of discharge to the present.

Plaintiff has submitted the proposed expert report of James J. Carroll, CPA. Id. Mr. Carroll values her damages in excess of $612,000. In reaching this estimate, Mr. Carroll claims to have had access to and reviewed several sources of information, including Plaintiff's current employment and benefit information. Id. However, Defendants argue that Plaintiff has "refused to identify her current employer" and "Plaintiff's counsel has refused to provide the name or location of Plaintiff's current employer" at Plaintiff's deposition. Id.

Defendants' experts Randall M. Paulkins, CPA and Robert J. Brown, CPA analyzed the . report of Mr. Carroll and concluded that the Carroll report contained "significant unanswered questions, inconsistencies, and math errors." Id. at 4. Thus, Defendants argue that the Court, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A)(ii) and (iii) as well as Rule 26(a)(2)(B), should preclude Mr. Carroll's report and trial testimony demonstrating Plaintiff's lose wage and lost benefits claims. Id.

Plaintiff asks the Court to deny Defendants' request because she is afraid that if she discloses her current employer then the employer will learn that she has HIV/AIDS. (See Byrne Cert. at 1.) Plaintiff asks the Court, if disseminating her current employment information is absolutely necessary, to place a very firm and strict Protective Order to prevent any abuse that might result from its dissemination. Id. at 7. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants have acted in bad faith because they did not file this motion until December 5, 2007, despite the fact that there was a Pretrial Scheduling Order dated February 8, 2007 that stated "any discovery . . . disputes be brought to the Magistrate Judge's attention immediately by conference call with counsel." Id. (emphasis in original).

III. DISCUSSION

A. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A)(ii)(iii)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A)(ii) and (iii) outlines a party's obligation concerning both initial disclosures and disclosures of expert testimony. Pursuant to those rules, a party must, without awaiting a discovery request, provide to the other parties:

(ii) a copy of all documents . . . and tangible things that the disclosing party has in its possession, custody, or control and may use to support its claims or defenses, . . .

(iii) a computation of each category of damages claimed by the disclosing party -- who must also make available for inspection and copying as under Rule 34 the documents or other evidentiary material, . . . unless privileged or protected from disclosure, on which each computation is based, ...


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