- Summary Judgment Granted As Plaintiff Failed To Disclose A Sufficient Expert Opinion; An Expert Disclosure Must Adequately State The Basis For Opinions Reached.
- July 14, 2017
The plaintiff filed a complaint in which he alleged he was injured while stepping into a hot tub at the defendant’s community center. He proposed several theories of negligence, including that the defendant failed to install a non-slip surface on the steps, failed to install a sufficient handrail and failed to properly maintain the hot tub. However, in the course of litigation, the plaintiff did not present a liability expert to opine on the standard of care for maintaining the hot tub. After the close of discovery, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that the plaintiff did not establish a prima facie case of negligence because there was no evidence or expert listed to opine that the handrails were insufficient or that the defendant owed a duty to provide a non-slip surface on the steps of the hot tub. The plaintiff then filed a supplemental response to discovery, listing a purported expert to testify as to the deficiencies. The court found that the plaintiff’s disclosure was untimely and substantively deficient. The “disclosure” came months after the plaintiff’s Rule 26(b)(4) deadline and did not give notice of the expert’s opinions or basis for those opinions. The court granted summary judgment, holding that the plaintiff failed to offer expert testimony regarding the standard of care as to both alleged defects.