United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is plaintiff's motion in limine to
exclude portions of defendants' liability experts'
opinions and testimony. Because the plaintiff has not shown
good cause for the motion's untimeliness under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b), the Court denies the motion.
case arises out of a workplace accident. Plaintiff Darry
Lewis was transferring diesel fuel to the M/V LACONIC, a
vessel owned and operated by defendants, when he was hit on
the head by a hard hat thrown by a crew member of the M/V
LACONIC. Plaintiff sued to recover for injuries
sustained as a result of the incident.
have hired engineering and biomechanical experts to give
opinions on the force with which the hard hat could have hit
Lewis given the distance it fell, and the tissue damage that
such a force would typically cause. Plaintiff now seeks to
exclude portions of the liability experts' reports and
prevent testimony by these experts on whether the force of
the hard hat could have caused plaintiff's claimed
Scheduling Order in this case provides, “[m]otions
in limine regarding the admissibility of expert
testimony shall be filed and served in sufficient time to
permit hearing thereon no later than October 24,
2018.”Plaintiff filed his motion on November 9,
2018, over four weeks late,  and only three weeks before
trial. Plaintiff admits that his motion is
untimely, but he argues that good cause exists for the Court
to modify its deadline for filing motions in
16(b) provides that “[a] schedule may be modified only
for good cause and with the judge's consent.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). The “good cause standard
requires the party seeking relief to show that the deadlines
cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party
needing the extension.” S&W Enters., LLC v. S.
Trust Bank of Ala., NA, 315 F.3d 533, 535 (5th Cir.
2003) (internal citations omitted). District courts have
“broad discretion to preserve the integrity and
purpose” of scheduling orders. Geiserman v.
MacDonald, 893 F.2d 787, 790 (5th Cir. 1990) (quoting
Hodges v. United States, 597 F.2d 1014, 1018 (5th
Cir. 1979)). Courts specifically consider “(1) the
explanation for the failure [to timely submit the motion];
(2) the importance of the [motion]; (3) potential prejudice
in allowing the [motion]; and (4) the availability of a
continuance to cure such prejudice.” Id.
has failed to show good cause for his untimely motion. His
explanation for his failure to submit the motion earlier is
As with most cases, this matter has become more active as
trial approached. Such activity included fully considering
all opinions of experts as well as their
Waiting until trial looms to engage in activities scheduled
earlier is not an excuse for an untimely motion. This factor
weighs against good cause.
second factor-importance of the motion-also weighs against a
finding of good cause. Plaintiff's motion itself cites
authority that would support the admission of these
experts' testimony on the hard hat's probable effect
on the human body based on its force. Further,
plaintiff can use cross-examination to point out the
experts' lack of medical training to support his argument
that they are unqualified to reach conclusions about what
caused plaintiffs' injury. Given that significant
portions of the report are likely admissible under
plaintiff's own authority, and that the remaining issues
can be dealt with on cross-examination, the Court need not
extend its deadline due to the motion's importance.
consideration of plaintiffs' motion would prejudice
defendants, and a continuance is not available to cure the
prejudice. This case is only slightly more than two weeks
away from trial, with the Thanksgiving holiday falling in the
middle of those two weeks. Defendants will be prejudiced if
they must take time away from their planned preparations to
respond to this motion on the eve of trial. A continuance is
impractical because it would involve moving the trial date,
which would be disruptive and would needlessly increase the
cost of litigation. See Filgueira v. U.S. Bank Nat.
Ass'n,734 F.3d 420, 424 (5th Cir. 2013) (holding
that a continuance could not cure ...