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McConathy v. Wal-Mart Louisiana LLC

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

October 16, 2018

LEONA MCCONATHY, ET AL.
v.
WAL-MART LOUISIANA, LLC, ET AL.

          HAYES JUDGE.

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a merchants liability case in which Plaintiffs Leona and Eddie McConathy allege that Mrs. McConathy was injured when she fell after tripping over a water hose at the Wal-Mart store in Jonesboro, Louisiana. Plaintiffs brought suit against Defendants Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (“Wal-Mart” or “Defendants”).

         Pending before the Court is Plaintiffs' “Motion in Limine to Exclude Opinions in Supplemental I.M.E. Report of Wal-Mart's Expert, Dr. David Googe” (“Motion in Limine”) [Doc. No. 47]. Defendants responded to the motion. [Doc. No. 50]. Plaintiffs filed a reply memorandum. [Doc. No. 52].

         For the following reasons, the motion is DENIED.

         I. PERTINENT FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On May 9, 2018, Defendants retained Dr. David Googe to conduct a records review for Mrs. McConathy. Because of the voluminous medical records, Dr. Googe thought an independent medical examination (“IME”) of Mrs. McConathy. Dr. Googe made this suggestion to Defendants' counsel.

         Dr. Googe conducted a physical examination of Mrs. McConathy on July 13, 2018. During the examination, Mrs. McConathy allegedly told Dr. Googe that had experienced problems with her shoulder in the past, but that she was doing fine prior to the accident and “had no history of left shoulder problems that predated this accident.” [Doc. No. 50, Exh. A].

         Following his examination, on July 19, 2018, Dr. Googe issued an expert report, which was provided to Plaintiffs' counsel. He relied on her history and in the report, he opined:

With regard to causation, I do not think the fall caused the arthritis nor do I think it caused the rotator cuff tear in her right shoulder. In addition, I suspect the neck had pre-existing arthritis as did the left shoulder. The problem with this clinical scenario is that subjectively she did not have many complaints related to her shoulder, neck and or left shoulder prior to this accident. So, I feel like her fall certainly contributed to her need for right shoulder, neck and left shoulder (x4) surgeries.

[Do. No. 47, Exhibit A].

         On August 9, 2018, Dr. Googe met with counsel for Defendants and reviewed the medical records provided by Dr. Mays, an orthopedist at Willis Knighton. According to Dr. Googe, he had Dr. Mays' records in his possession prior to issuance of the report, but he had not reviewed them because of the volume of her records.

         After reviewing Dr. Mays' records, however, on September 19, 2018, Dr. Googe issued a supplemental report [Doc. No. 47, Exh. B]. In that report, he now opines:

1. The question at hand is whether or not those surgeries [neck and four shoulder] were ...

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