United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
WILLIAMS ET AL.
BUSH ET AL.
ORDER & REASONS
the Court is Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment. R. Doc. 62. Plaintiffs respond in opposition. R.
Doc. 64. Having considered the parties' briefs and the
applicable law, the Court issues this Order & Reasons.
case arises from conflicts between members of a business
partnership. Plaintiffs are two partners, Ryan Williams and
Drake Oilfield, Inc., of the limited partnership Drake
Oilfield USA, LP. R. Doc. 1-1 at 3. Defendants are WBT, LLC,
the other member of Drake Oilfield USA, LP, and individual
members of WBT, LLC, Jason Bush, Lance Baldassaro, and Blair
Lucas. R. Doc. 1-1 at 3. Plaintiffs allege that WBT, LLC, and
its members, is the manager of Drake Oilfield USA, LP. R.
Doc. 1-1 at 4. This suit was originally filed in Texas but
was transferred to this Court. R. Doc. 15.
claim that Defendants have breached the Drake Oilfield USA,
LP partnership agreement by failing to provide reliable
financial information, combining financial records with those
of other entities, failing to participate in required
mediation, diminishing the value of Plaintiffs' shares,
transferring partnership property to other entities,
appropriating partnership property, and conspiring to conceal
financial information. R. Doc. 1-1 at 3-7. Plaintiffs ask for
relief in the form of an order requiring financial accounting
of the partnership, disgorgement and return of partnership
property, actual damages, exemplary damages, costs of the
lawsuit, attorney's fees, and interest. R. Doc. 1-1 at
Jason Bush, Blair Lucas, and Lance Baldassaro respond to the
complaint denying Plaintiffs' allegations and citing
thirty-seven (37) defenses including: failure to state a
claim, lack of standing, failure to join indispensable party,
prescription, preemption, and/or bar under statute of
limitations or laches, estoppel, unclean hands, and failure
to mitigate. R. Docs. 24, 25, 26. Further, Defendants Bush,
Lucas, and Baldassaro claim that they are not a party to the
Drake Oilfield USA Limited Partnership Agreement and does not
owe any obligations under the agreement. R. Doc. 24 at 10; R.
Doc. 25 at 10; R. Doc 26 at 10. Defendant WBT, LLC also
responds to the complaint denying the allegations and citing
thirty-seven (37) defenses. R. Doc. 27.
RSI Global, Inc. answers Plaintiffs' complaint denying
the allegations and citing thirty-seven (37) defenses. R.
Doc. 28. In addition, RSI Global, Inc. brings a third-party
complaint against Drake Oilfield USA, Limited Partnership
(“Drake Oilfield USA, LP”). R. Doc. 28 at 11. RSI
Global alleges that Drake Oilfield USA, LP obtained a
revolving line of credit from Chase Bank under the name of
RSI Global. R. Doc. 28 at 12. RSI Global further alleges that
Drake Oilfield USA, LP incurred debts in the name of RSI
Global totaling $550, 000. R. Doc. 28 at 13. RSI Global
alleges to have provided credit to Drake Oilfield USA, LP and
claims that because Plaintiff Drake Oilfield, Inc. did not
authorize this credit, Drake Oilfield USA, LP must restore
the credit to RSI Global. R. Doc. 28 at 13. RSI Global also
alleges that Drake Oilfield USA, LP was unjustly enriched by
this extension of credit. R. Doc. 28 at 14.
move for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiffs cannot meet
their burden of proof because they have failed to produce any
expert reports or designate any expert witness. R. Doc. 62 at
4. Defendants argue that it is past the deadline for expert
reports, already extended twice. R. Doc. 62 at 3. Defendants
argue that Plaintiffs are required to have an expert witness
to prove causation and damages and will not be able to do so
at trial. R. Doc. 62 at 6.
respond in opposition arguing that property and business
owners can provide evidence of the value of their businesses
and assets. R. Doc. 64 at 1. Plaintiffs argue that ownership
alone qualifies them to testify about the value of their
business and expert testimony is not required. R. Doc. 64 at
3. Therefore, Plaintiffs argue that Defendants' motion
should be denied. R. Doc. 64.
LAW & ANALYSIS
present issue involves Federal Rules of Evidence 701 and 702.
Rule 701 states that
[i]f a witness is not testifying as an expert, testimony in
the form of an opinion is ...