United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana
PEGGY MAYS ET AL.
CHEVRON PIPE LINE CO. ET AL.
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Chevron Pipe Line Company's Motion
in Limine (Doc. 195) to limit the testimony of
Plaintiffs' economist. For the reasons that follow, the
Motion (Doc. 195) is
dispute arises from a pipeline accident on a drilling
platform in Louisiana territorial waters. (Doc. 1). James
Mays was killed when components of a pressurized valve
dislodged and struck him in the head. (Id.). Members
of his family sued the pipeline operator, Chevron, for
hired Dr. Anthony Greco to estimate Plaintiffs'
economic-loss damages. (Doc. 195). Dr. Greco prepared two
economic-loss estimates. (Doc. 195-2 at pp. 4-5). The first
uses the United States Department of Labor's work-life
expectancy figure and assumes that Mays would have worked to
the age of 63.99. (Id. at p. 4).
second assumes that Mays would have worked to the full Social
Security Administration retirement age of 66.33.
(Id. at p. 5). Chevron asks the Court to prohibit
Dr. Greco from using the second estimate. (Doc. 195).
expert qualified by knowledge, skill, experience, training or
education may present opinion testimony if (1) the
expert's specialized knowledge will help the jury
understand the evidence or determine a fact in issue; (2) the
testimony is based on sufficient facts or data; (3) the
testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods;
and (4) the expert has reliably applied the principles and
methods to the facts of the case. Fed. R. EVID. 702. The
party offering expert testimony bears the burden of showing
that the testimony is reliable. Sims u. Kia Motors of
Am., Inc., 839 F.3d 393, 400 (5th Cir. 2016).
asks the Court to prohibit Dr. Greco from offering an
economic-loss estimate that assumes Mays would have worked to
his full Social Security Administration retirement age of
66.3. (Doc. 159). Chevron argues that any such estimate is
irrelevant and unreliable because it does not use the United
States Department of Labor's work-life expectancy average
of 63.99. (Id.). Plaintiffs disagree. (Doc. 171).
They rejoin that the basis of any economic-loss estimate is
best addressed on cross-examination, and that trial testimony
will support the use of Mays's Social Security
Administration retirement age. (Id.).
Court must use Mays's work-life expectancy average to
calculate Plaintiffs' damages for Mays's future lost
wages, unless evidence supports a variation from that
average. Deperrodil v. Bozovic, 842 F.3d 352, 361
(5th Cir. 2016). To support a variation, Plaintiffs must show
that Mays, "by virtue of his health or occupation or
other factors, is likely to live and work a longer . . .
period than the average." Madore v. Ingram Tank
Ships, Inc., 732 F.2d 475, 478 (5th Cir. 1984) (Rubin,
J.). Testimony that Mays intended to work until his
full Social Security Administration retirement age will not
suffice. See Barto v. Shore Const, L.L.C., 801 F.3d
465, 475 (5th Cir. 2015).
have not indicated that they will offer evidence at
trial-other than testimony from Mays's family members
about Mays's intention to continue working until
retirement age-to support a variation from Mays's
work-life expectancy average of 63.99. (Doc. 171 at p. 3).
Because Dr. Greco's second estimate assumes that Mays
would have worked to his full Social Security Administration
retirement age of 66.33, and because Plaintiffs have not
pointed to facts supporting that assumption, Dr. Greco's
second estimate is not relevant and will not assist the jury.
See Guillory v. Domtar Indus., Inc., 95 F.3d 1320,
1331 (5th Cir. 1996). The Court therefore GRANTS
Chevron's motion to limit Dr. Greco's testimony: Dr.
Greco shall not offer an economic-loss estimate that is based
on the assumption that Mays would have worked to his full
Social Security Administration retirement age.