United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
ALECIA M. RIDEAU, M.D.
LAFAYETTE HEALTH VENTURES, INC., ET AL.
PATRICK J. HANNA MAG. JUDGE.
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
here is Plaintiff Alecia M. Rideau, M.D.'s
(“Plaintiff” or “Dr. Rideau”) Motion
to Exclude Evidence (Report) and Testimony of Defendants'
Expert, Timothy W. Stanley [Doc. No. 64]. Defendants
Lafayette Health Ventures, Inc. (“LHVI”);
Lafayette General Health System, Inc. (“LGHS”);
Lafayette General Medical Center, Inc. (“LGMC”)
(collectively the “LGH Defendants”), and Al Patin
(“Patin”), have filed an opposition [Doc. No.
following reasons, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Rideau filed this lawsuit against Defendants under the Family
and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. § 2601, et
seq. (“FMLA”), alleging two claims for
relief: (1) interference under the FMLA, in that Defendants
illegally denied her FMLA leave; and (2) retaliation under
the FMLA, in that Defendants retaliated against Plaintiff for
exercising her FMLA rights, culminating in her termination
from employment. [Doc. No. 1].
Rideau is a radiologist whose specialty is interpreting
breast imaging. [Id. at ¶ 12]. From December 1,
2014, to September 1, 2016, Plaintiff worked at the Breast
Center at LGMC. [Id. at ¶ 13]. Dr. Rideau
alleges that, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer,
took FMLA leave to have a double mastectomy, complained about
retaliation associated with exercising FMLA rights, and
requested a second FMLA leave for breast reconstructive
surgery, Defendants terminated her employment. [Id.
at ¶¶ 14, 22, 34 and 35].
the affirmative defenses which Defendants intend to assert at
trial is that Dr. Rideau did not mitigate her damages. Toward
that end, they have retained Timothy J. Stanley
(“Stanley”) as an expert in the field of
“physician job placement.” Defendants intend to
have Stanley give opinion evidence as to whether
substantially equivalent work is available to Dr. Rideau and
as to whether Dr. Rideau has failed to use reasonable
diligence to obtain it. Stanley is additionally expected to
testify as to market physician salary medians.
Dr. Rideau seeks an order prohibiting Defendants, their
counsel, or any witness from attempting to introduce either
the testimony of Stanley or his January 21, 2019 report
(“the Report”). Dr. Rideau contends that
Stanley's opinions are inadmissible because he fails to
meet the standards for expert testimony under FED. R. EVID.
702 and 704, in that he is not qualified to render his
opinion in this case and his opinions are based upon
insufficient facts with no analytical methods related to the
facts of this case.
Rideau further contends that, to the extent any of
Stanley's testimony or the Report is deemed admissible,
the limited probative value of such testimony is
substantially outweighed by the dangers of unfair prejudice
and waste of time, and should, therefore, be excluded
pursuant to FED. R. EVID. 403.
respond that Stanley's skill, knowledge, and experience
spanning twenty-five years establish that he is qualified to
testify as an expert in the field of physician job placement.
Defendants further contend that, under post-Daubert
standards, Stanley need not meet the same standards as
scientific experts; instead, he need only demonstrate that
his experience qualifies him, and that his methodology was
reliable and will assist the trier of fact.
additionally assert that Stanley's opinions as to
prominent physician job boards and market physician salary
medians are reliable under FED. R. EVID. 702 and 704.
Finally, Defendants argue that Stanley's experience and
expertise would assist the trier of fact without any
prejudice or waste of time.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
Evid. 702 establishes the standards for admissibility of
expert testimony to assist a trier of fact in understanding
evidence or determining a fact in issue. In determining
whether expert testimony is reliable and relevant, the
district court's role in applying Rule 702 is that of a
gatekeeper. See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 597-598, 113 S.Ct. 2786');">113 S.Ct. 2786, 125 L.Ed.2d
469 (1993). However, as gatekeeper, the district court is not
intended to replace the adversary system: “Vigorous
cross-examination, presentation of contrary evidence, and
careful instruction on the burden of proof are the
traditional and appropriate means of attacking shaky but
admissible evidence.” United States v. 14.38 Acres
of Land, More or Less Situated in Lefore County, Miss.,
1074');">80 F.3d 1074, 1078 (5th Cir. 1996) (quoting
Daubert, 509 U.S. at 596.
determining whether to allow expert opinion testimony, the
court must first decide whether the witness is qualified as
an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or
education. See Moore v. Ashland Chemical, Inc.,126
F.3d 679, 684 (5th Cir. 1997). A district court
should refuse to allow an expert witness to testify if it
finds that the witness is not qualified to testify in a