United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
PEREZ-MONTES MAG. JUDGE
DRELL JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the court are two motions in limine filed by the
defendant, Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC's. Wal-Mart's
first motion is a Daubert motion (Doc. 54) which
seeks to exclude the testimony of plaintiffs' expert
witness, Russell Kendzior, and the second is a motion to
exclude various evidence and argument at trial (Doc. 61).
seeks to exclude Kendzior from testifying under Federal Rule
of Evidence 702 because Kendzior's testimony will not
"help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or
determine a fact in issue...." We agree.
expert may offer an opinion [i]f scientific, technical, or
other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to
understand the evidence or to determine a fact in
issue." Fed.R.Evid. 702. The rule has been interpreted
to "permit expert opinion even if the matter is within
the competence of the jurors if specialized knowledge will be
helpful, as it maybe in particular situations. U.S. v.
Wiley, 57 F.3d 1374 (5th Cir.1995), citing 1
McCormick on Evidence §13 at 54 (1992)
(footnote omitted). Ms. Foster has not sufficiently explained
how Kendzior's testimony will assist the jury in
understanding the standards of care. Though she states he
will testify regarding the following:
1. "Why the unreasonably dangerous condition was allowed
to be present.
2. For many years the retail industry itself has recognized
this as an unreasonably dangerous condition.
3. There are widely recognized "proper methods" to
address and prevent this type of unreasonably dangerous
4. These "proper methods" consist of reasonable
means to eliminate or reduce the unreasonably dangerous
5. The defendant did not address the unreasonably dangerous
condition the right way.
these questions requires specialized knowledge to answer.
instant lawsuit is a standard slip and fall tort case,
According to Ms. Foster, August 2016 was a particularly rainy
month. On the day she visited her local Wal-Mart, August 12,
2016, three inches of rain fell. Due to a roof leak, a puddle
of water accumulated in a well traversed area. Though
employees were nearby, no one marked the area as wet nor made
attempts to dry the floor. Thus, as she made her way through,
she slipped in the water, fell, and injured herself. These
alleged facts alone answer much of the questions Ms. Foster
wants her expert to answer. The questions that are not
answered can be by exercising common sense. There are no
facts, nor anything contained in either Wal-Mart's
procedures or the standard practices outlined by the American
Society of Testing and Materials, that the jury needs
the jury instructions that will be provided at the close of
evidence furnish the jurors with sufficient guidance
regarding the consideration of these factors. As such,
enhancement by an expert witness is not necessary and Russell