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Horne v. Illinois Central Railroad Co.

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

May 16, 2018

BRYAN HORNE
v.
ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD CO.

         SECTION I

          ORDER & REASONS

          LANCE M. AFRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court are two motions in limine filed by defendant BRV Equipment Inc. (“BRV”). The first motion[1] seeks to “preclude any testimony, questions[, ] or references by [p]laintiff regarding supposed violations of OSHA and/or ANSI standards, as well as alleged violations of the operator's manual for the Link Belt Model 130 X3 trackhoe [] involved in the subject accident.” The second motion[2] seeks to exclude deposition testimony from Dr. William McCraney regarding shoulder injuries plaintiff Bryan Horne (“Horne”) may have sustained as a result of the incident that gave rise to the present lawsuit; Horne's possible development of future carpal tunnel syndrome; and Horne's possible need for future wrist surgery.

         At the outset, the Court notes that Horne has not filed any opposition to BRV's first motion concerning OSHA regulations, ANSI standards, and the trackhoe operator's manual.[3] Likewise, Horne does not oppose BRV's second motion with respect to the possibility of plaintiff developing carpal tunnel syndrome or as it regards plaintiff's shoulder injuries.[4] Accordingly, BRV's motions will be granted to such extent as unopposed.

         Horne opposes BRV's second motion, insofar as it seeks to exclude Dr. McCraney's testimony as to his possible need for future wrist surgery. BRV argues that such testimony should not be allowed because “Dr. McCraney could not provide an opinion that a future wrist surgery is more likely than not going to be necessary.”[5]Horne counters that Dr. McCraney's testimony does, in fact, establish that he is more likely than not going to require a future wrist surgery. Specifically, Horne points to Dr. McCraney's statement that his risk of developing arthritis in his wrist is “significant.”[6]

         In his deposition, Dr. McCraney testified as follows:

Q: If he does develop some arthritic issues, what's the fix for that?
A: It depends, but wrist arthritis, one fix would be nothing, and he just-it hurts a little bit, but [he] can do most things-and he just lives with it. If it's bad to the point where it's becoming debilitating or he can't function with it, then you can actually do what's called a wrist fusion where you basically just fuse the hand to the forearm, and he does not have any motion, so he can still turn it this way, which is a very good operation in terms of getting rid of pain. Obviously you loose [sic] some function. So at some point in the future, he may require a wrist fusion.
Q: Okay. Is that something that you're not going to be able to determine for a while?
A: Correct.
. . .
Q: Are you able to say one way or the other if it's more likely that he will or more likely that he won't need a wrist surgery?
A: Based on the injury I think the odds of him developing post traumatic arthritis are significant. And whether or not he needs the surgery, that's up to ...

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