Compensation Expert Witness Testimony Not Allowed in Employment Discrimination Litigation

Summary:  Compensation Expert Witness expert witness testimony not allowed even though the plaintiff blamed the defendant for the plaintiff’s failure to supplement the expert’s July 2020 report.

Facts:  This case (Robles v. Eminent Medical Center LLC et al – United States District Court – Northern District of Texas – August 3, 2022) involves an employment discrimination claim.  the plaintiff, April Robles, alleges that her former employer, Eminent Medical Center, fired her because she asked for benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act and due to her alleged disability.  In addition, she claims that the defendants failed to accommodate her alleged disability.  She filed sued, seeking damages for lost compensation and benefits as well as liquidated damages prejudgment interest, and attorney’s fees.  In order to prove her case, Robles hired Compensation Expert Witness Dr. Allyn Needham, Ph.D to provide expert witness testimony.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude Dr. Needham’s testimony.

Discussion:  Eminent Medical Center argues that Dr. Needham’s expert witness testimony should be excluded because it is unreliable and irrelevant.  The defendants state that Needham opined on Robles’ lost earning capacity based on her alleged physical injury and not economic damages based on her alleged wrongful termination claim.  In addition, the defendants also claim that Dr. Needham’s expert testimony is unreliable and irrelevant because Robles has found comparable employment.  Also, the defendants argue that Dr. Needham’s analysis does not include a supplement to his July 2020 report to include the last years of her employment history.

The court opines that Dr. Needham’s July 2020 was put together as part of early settlement attempts and it was supposed to reflect economic damages for her medical malpractice claims as well as her employment-related legal action.  The court also states that Dr. Needham’s expert witness report has periods of disability as part of his lost earning and back pay analysis. The court states that these claims are not recoverable in actions brought under the FMLA and ADA and concludes that Dr. Needham’s expert witness testimony is irrelevant, unreliable, and will not be of assistance to the trier of fact in this case.

In addition, the court opines that Dr. Needham’s report shows damages through her retirement age, even though she has obtained a higher paying job. Thus, the court concludes that Dr. Needham’s expert witness testimony is unreliable and would confuse the jury.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Allyn Needham, Ph.D is granted.