(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this bus accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
The issue before the Court was not whether Dr. Mitchell could testify to areas into which opposing counsel had failed to delve but rather whether he could testify on accident reconstruction issues about which he was specifically asked and had stated he had no opinion. The Court stated:
The decisive fact in the present case is the appellant’s failure to disclose Mitchell’s expected testimony … either at Mitchell’s deposition or as required by Sec??ion 2037.3. This failure deprived respondent to prepare for Mitchell’s cross-examination.
The Court went on to say that respondent was entitled to rely on Mitchell’s disclaimer [regarding the scope of his testimony] until such time as appellants disclosed that Mitchell had conducted further investigation and had reached additional opinions in a new area of inquiry. (Id. at 919.)
Here, Defendants are not citing any particular problem with the expert testimony and are asking the Court to impose a very broad order not mandated by either C.C.P § 2034 or case law. Indeed, in Meyer v. Cooper, 233 Cal. App. 2d 750, 754 (1965), a case cited with approval in Kennemur, the court stated as follows concerning the scope of required deposition testimony:
The party who is examined is required to answer fairly all proper questions which are put to him but he is under no obligation to volunteer information or to disclose relevant material matters which are not asked for.
To the extent that an expert was asked a specific question and provided no answer, it is appropriate to limit that expert to their deposition testimony. However, the requested motion in limine is far too broad and erroneously excludes the opportunity for rebuttal opinions and does not consider prejudice, if any, in allowing the expert’s testimony.
In this case, neither Plaintiff nor her experts have not engaged in any abuse of discovery, or any activity that could be construed as waiver or warrant ?? estoppel. The Defendant’s motion is clearly a shotgun attempt at excluding relevant expert testimony based upon an overbroad reading of existing case law. To allow the exclusion of Plaintiff’s experts’ testimony would only serve to harm the Plaintiff and reward the Defendant for taking incomplete depositions.
Plaintiff respectfully requests the Court deny defendants’ motion in limine to limit plaintiff’s experts to heir designations and deposition testimony.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.