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Estate of Mallett v. Schmidt Baking Co., Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 11, 2018

ESTATE of Ainsworth Mallett, and ESTATE of Jacqueline Mallett, and ESTATE of Drew Mallett, and NICOLE MALLETT, individually, and ERROLL MALLETT, MD and NICOLE MALLETT in their capacity as Co-Administrators of the above three Separate Estates, Plaintiffs,
v.
SCHMIDT BAKING CO., INC. and MARK TAYLOR, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          JOSEPH H. RODRIGUEZ U.S.D.J.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion in limine to limit the trial testimony of Plaintiffs' liability expert Brooks Rugemer. Oral argument on the motion was heard on January 9, 2018, and the record of that proceeding is incorporated here. As an initial matter, the Court notes that agency between Defendants Mark Taylor and Schmidt Baking Co., Inc. (“Schmidt's Bakery”) has been admitted. The negligent hiring and retention claims against Schmidt's Bakery have been dismissed by consent. The sole remaining direct claim against Schmidt's Bakery is limited to the manner in which Taylor was trained.

         The Prior Order of the Court Disallowing Supplemental Reports from Brooks Rugemer will be Enforced and his Testimony Limited to What Was Contained in the Reports Provided Prior to his Deposition.

         The scope of Mr. Rugemer's proffered testimony has already been addressed via Court Order. The following chronology is relevant:

1. Initial Report June 23, 2015;
2. Supplemental Report October 21, 2015;
3. Deposition completed February 25, 2016;
4. Supplemental Report of March 4, 2016;
5. Supplemental Report of March 7, 2016;
6. April 18, 2016 Order barring Supplemental Reports. Discovery and documents were available to be reviewed by Mr.

         Rugemer before he prepared his first two reports and submitted to a deposition, however he was not provided with a number of discovery documents prior to preparing his two initial reports. The relevant documents are listed in Plaintiff's letter of March 4, 2016.

         Mr. Rugemer will be allowed to testify at trial, but will not be permitted to support his opinion by claiming that he relied upon the discovery that existed prior to preparing his initial reports but was not reviewed by him before he prepared his reports and was deposed. Plaintiff should not suggest that the documents were relied upon and reviewed. The Court's Order of April 18, 2016 striking Supplemental Reports will be honored, as the materials intended to support the Supplemental Reports were not available to the defense during Rugemer's deposition.

         Brooks Rugemer will Not be Permitted to Offer an Opinion as to Accident Reconstruction or Comment as to How the Accident ...


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