United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RICHARD L. BOURGEOIS, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Submit the
Final Expert Report of Dr. George Smith After the Expert
Deadline. (R. Doc. 27). The motion is opposed. (R. Doc. 31).
before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Leave to File
Complete Autopsy Report Under Seal. (R. Doc. 29) (filed under
April 13, 2018, Joseph Savoy commenced this civil rights
action alleging that on July 31, 2017, while incarcerated in
the Dixon Correctional Institute (“DCI”), he was
attacked while in his wheelchair by Lt. Col. Douglas
Stroughter and Sgt. Haver Durr (collectively,
“Defendants”). (R. Doc. 1 at 2-4). Mr. Savoy
alleged that as a result of the attack he suffered multiple
pinched nerves and dizziness, weakness, and blurry vision
from head injuries and aggravation of his pre-existing
injuries. (R. Doc. 1 at 5).
Savoy died on December 3, 2018, and was survived by his
mother, Theresa Savoie, who has been substituted as the
Plaintiff in this action. (R. Docs. 18, 19). There is no
dispute that Mr. Savoy was incarcerated in the Elayn Hunt
Correctional Center (“EHCC”) at the time of his
Scheduling Order provides, in pertinent part, that Plaintiff
must provide expert reports on October 31, 2019, Defendants
must provide expert reports on November 29, 2019, and expert
discovery must be completed by January 15, 2019. (R. Doc.
23, 2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to compel responses to
certain written discovery requests, including the production
of complete certified medical records including Mr.
Savoy's autopsy report. (R. Doc. 22).
October 30, 2019, Plaintiff sought an extension of the
deadline of the expert report deadline with respect to Dr.
George Smith so that he could have the opportunity to
consider Mr. Savoy's complete medical records if ordered
produced. (R. Doc. 27).
October 31, 2019, the Court considered the foregoing motion
to compel and motion for extension of deadline. (R. Doc. 28).
In pertinent part, the Court ordered Defendants to produce to
Plaintiff, and file under seal, the complete and final
autopsy report, as well as any other withheld medical
records, by November 7, 2019. (R. Doc. 28 at 3). The Court
also ordered Defendants to file any opposition to
Plaintiff's motion pertaining to Dr. Smith's expert
report by November 7, 2019. (R. Doc. 28 at 3).
Court has reviewed the complete autopsy report and medical
records to be filed under seal. In opposition to
Plaintiff's request for an extension of the deadline for
Dr. Smith to provide an expert report, Defendants assert that
these documents are irrelevant. (R. Doc. 31).
16(b)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allows for
the modification of a scheduling order deadline upon a
showing of good cause and with the judge's consent. The
Fifth Circuit has explained that a party is required
“to show that the deadlines cannot reasonably be met
despite the diligence of the party needing the
extension.” Marathon Fin. Ins. Inc., RRG v. Ford
Motor Co., 591 F.3d 458, 470 (5th Cir. 2009) (quoting
S&W Enters., LLC v. Southtrust Bank of Ala., NA,
315 F.3d 533, 535 (5th Cir. 2003)). The Court considers four
factors in determining whether to allow a party to submit an
expert report beyond the deadline set in the court's
scheduling order: “(1) the explanation for the failure
to submit a complete report on time; (2) the importance of
the testimony; (3) potential prejudice in allowing the
testimony; and (4) the availability of a continuance to cure
such prejudice.” Reliance Ins. Co. v. Louisiana
Land & Expl. Co., 110 F.3d 253, 258 (5th Cir. 1997)
(citing Geiserman v. MacDonald, 893 F.2d 787, 791
(5th Cir. 1990)).
reviewed the record, the Court finds good cause to extend the
deadline for Dr. Smith to provide an expert report in light
of the recent production of Mr. Savoy's complete autopsy
report and medical records. The Court is award that there is
no dispute that Mr. Savoy's death occurred at a different
facility approximately 16 months after the events complained
of in this litigation. That said, the Court is not in a
position to determine whether Mr. Savoy's death bears any
causal relation to the injuries alleged in the Complaint.
Plaintiff has provided a satisfactory explanation for the
requested extension, and there is no dispute regarding the
importance of Dr. Smith's testimony. Furthermore, there
will be no prejudice by allowing this extension because
Defendants will be provided a corresponding extension to
address Dr. Smith's expert report.
on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that
Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Complete Autopsy
Report Under Seal. (R. Doc. 29) is GRANTED.
The Clerk's Office shall file ...