United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
HORNSBY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MAURICE HICKS, JR., CHIEF JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Starbucks Corporation's
(“Defendant”) “Motion in Limine
and Motion for Summary Judgment.” Record Document 17.
Plaintiff Martha Villareal (“Plaintiff”) opposes
the motion. See Record Document 19. Defendant seeks
dismissal of all of Plaintiff's claims. For the reasons
set forth below, Defendant's Motion in Limine is
DENIED IN PART AND DEFERRED IN PART and
Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.
brings this action seeking damages for injuries she allegedly
sustained as a result of a slip and fall incident at
Defendant's Starbucks location on Beene Boulevard in
Bossier City, Louisiana. See id. at 1; see
Record Document 28 at 2. Plaintiff claims that she slipped on
Defendant's wet floor and struck her head on a display
before falling to the ground. See Record Document 19
at 1; Record Document 17-2 at 4. She also alleges that
Defendant's employees, in violation of its procedures and
policies, mopped said floor two hours before closing and
failed to have the appropriate wet floor signs in place.
See Record Document 19 at 1.
the alleged incident, Plaintiff was taken to the emergency
room and diagnosed with a concussion. See id.;
see Record Document 17-9 at 2. Thereafter, Plaintiff
underwent treatment from Dr. John Reeves, a neurosurgeon, and
Dr. Jane Savells, a chiropractor, among others. See
Record Document 28 at 2. Plaintiff alleges that she sustained
several injuries as a result of the incident, including neck
and back injuries, a concussion and post-concussion syndrome,
headaches, and depression, and further maintains that such
harm entitles her to damages and past and future medical
expenses. See Record Document 1 at 3.
6, 2018, Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court. See
id. Thereafter, Defendant filed the instant
“Motion in Limine and Motion for Summary
Judgment” asserting various arguments regarding
Plaintiff's alleged lack of evidence and inability to
prove her injuries, all of which, according to Defendant,
entitle it to a judgment in its favor dismissing
Plaintiff's claims. See Record Document 17 at
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Defendant's Motion in Limine
Court first addresses Defendant's Motion in
Limine in which it asserts, inter alia, that
Plaintiff's treating physicians should be precluded from
“opin[ing] as to causation due to [Plaintiff's]
failure to comply with the expert disclosure
requirements” and thus should be confined to testifying
only as fact witnesses regarding their treatment of
Plaintiff. Record Document 17-1 at 5. Plaintiff responds that
no expert reports or disclosures were required because it
intends for the physicians to testify only as to matters
learned through their actual treatment of Plaintiff.
See Record Document 19 at 2.
contrast to “retained” expert witnesses under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(B), courts generally
do not require expert reports for a party's treating
physicians. See, e.g., Butler v. Louisiana,
No. 12-0420, 2014 WL 7186120, at *2 (M.D. La. Dec. 16, 2014)
(citing cases); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(2)(B)
advisory committee's note (1993) (stating that treating
medical professionals may be “called to testify at
trial without any requirement for a written report”).
Furthermore, courts within this Circuit have permitted
treating physicians to testify regarding issues such as
causation if such matters were learned through their
treatment of the party. See Dauterive v. Guilbeau Marine
Logistics LLC, No. 15-2182, 2018 WL 3414595, at *3 (W.D.
La. July 12, 2018); Knorr v. Dillard's Store Servs.
Inc., No. 04-3208, 2005 WL 2060905, at *3 (E.D. La. Aug.
22, 2005) (“A treating physician may testify to his
opinions about a plaintiff's injuries if his testimony is
based on knowledge acquired during the course of his
treatment of the plaintiff.”).
case, the Court finds that Plaintiff did not fail to comply
with expert disclosure requirements regarding her treating
physicians as she was only required to disclose their medical
reports and bills, which Defendant does not dispute occurred
here. See Record Document 19 at 2; see
Record Document 17-1 at 8. Further, while the Court is
unclear as to Plaintiff's intentions regarding the full
extent of her treating physicians' testimony at trial,
the Court will allow such testimony as long as it relates to
matters that were learned through their treatment of
Plaintiff, including the issue of causation. Accordingly,
insofar as Defendant objects to the testimony of
Plaintiff's treating physicians based on Plaintiff's
alleged violation of the expert disclosure requirements,
Defendant's Motion in Limine is
addition, the parties briefly make arguments as to whether
Plaintiff's treating physicians from the Veterans Affairs
Medical Center (the “VA”) should be permitted to
testify at trial. See Record Document 17-1 at 8;
Record Document 19 at 3-4. Defendant maintains that upon
requesting the depositions of several VA physicians, it was
allegedly informed by a VA official that “any attempt
to subpoena any V.A. medical provider would be
quashed.” Record Document 17-1 at 8. However, because
this issue has only been presented to the Court via the
parties' briefing as opposed to the appropriate discovery
motion, Defendant's Motion in Limine is
DEFERRED to the extent it concerns this