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Mascagni v. Schlumberger Tech Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division

September 15, 2017





         Pending before the Court are Defendant Schlumberger Tech Corporation's (“STC”) Motion to Exclude the Testimony of John Theriot [Doc. No. 25] and Motion in Limine [Doc. No. 47]. For reasons that follow, STC's Motion to Exclude the Testimony of John Theriot is DENIED, and its Motion in Limine is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         Facts and Procedural History

         Plaintiff Charles Mascagni (“Mascagni”) initiated suit on April 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, 201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">16, claiming that STC knowingly, willfully, or in reckless disregard failed to pay him overtime “as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or state overtime laws.” [Doc. No. 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, pp. 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1; 5]. He seeks unpaid back wages, liquidated damages, attorneys' fees, and costs. Id. at 5.

         Mascagni was initially employed as a Measuring While Drilling (“MWD”) Operator 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1. He was later promoted to MWD II, MWD III, and Logging While Drilling 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1 (“LWD”).[1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1" name="FN1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1" id= "FN1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1] Mascagni typically worked twelve hours each day for as many as ninety continuous days. Instead of paying him overtime, STC paid him a base salary plus a day rate.

         On August 22, 201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">17, the Court denied STC's motion for summary judgment. This case is set for a bench trial on November 6, 201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">17.

         Motion to Exclude the Testimony of John Theriot

         On July 7, 201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">17, STC moved to exclude the testimony of Mascagni's expert, John Theriot, a certified public accountant, arguing that Theriot's testimony will not assist the trier of fact in understanding the evidence or determining a fact in issue.[2] [Doc. No. 25-1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1].

         Mascagni retained Theriot to prepare a preliminary analysis of his economic losses. [Doc. No. 25-2]. Theriot calculated that Mascagni's alleged unpaid overtime pay for salaried hours is $1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">12, 409.00, and Mascagni's unpaid overtime pay for “rig” hours is $62, 376.00. Id. at 2.

         According to STC, Theriot performed “nothing more than simple mathematical calculations.” [Doc. No. 25-1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, p. 4');">p. 4]. STC argues, “Should STC be found liable in this case, the jury[3]is more than capable of dividing two numbers found on Mascagni's paystubs to get the appropriate hourly rate, and then multiplying that sum by the appropriate overtime rate.” Id. STC concludes, “Because the jury can calculate any overtime due to Mascagni without the assistance of an expert, Theriot's testimony is not helpful to the trier of fact and thus, should be excluded pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 702.” Id.

         Mascagni opposes the motion. [Doc. No. 35]. According to Mascagni, STC is asking the Court to “utilize its own strained resources to evaluate approximately One Thousand Four Hundred (1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, 400) pages of information on its own in order to make the computations Theriot sets forth in his report . . . .” Id. at 5. Theriot's opinion, Mascagni argues, “will assist the trier of fact due to the volume and complexity of the data produced and relied upon in order to make the sophisticated calculations and analysis presented” in the expert report. Id. at 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1. Mascagni adds that there “is no jury to protect because this is a bench trial.” Id. at 5.

         STC replied to Mascagni's opposition on August 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">14, 201');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">17. [Doc. No. 44].

         I. Law and Analysis

         A. Standard of Review

         Under Federal Rule of Evidence 702, an expert opinion on scientific, technical, or specialized knowledge can be admitted only if:

(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.

Fed. R. Evid. 702 (emphasis added). When faced with expert testimony, the court must determine at the outset if the proponent of the evidence has proven its admissibility by a preponderance of the evidence. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579, 592 n.1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">10 (1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1993) (citing Fed. R. EVID.1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">104(a) and Bourjaily v. U.S., 483 U.S. 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">171');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">175-76 (1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1987)). Courts have considerable discretion in deciding whether to admit or exclude expert testimony. See Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">137');">526 U.S. 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">137, 1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">152 (1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1');">1999) (“[W]e conclude that the trial judge must have considerable leeway in deciding in a particular case how to ...

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