Human Resources Expert Witnesses Not Allowed

Plaintiff sued defendant for employment discrimination.  The plaintiff hired a Human Resources Expert Witness to provide testimony, to which the defendant objected and filed a motion to exclude.  The court granted the motion

Facts:  This case (Georges v. Dominion Payroll Services, LLC – United States District Court – Eastern District of Virginia – May 4th, 2018) involves an alleged violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by the plaintiff.  The defendant claims that the plaintiff wrongfully terminated her based on her age and was in violation of the ADEA.  In order to prove her case, the plaintiff hired Human Resources Expert Witness, Dr. Deb Cohen.  Dr. Cohen was expected to testify about industry standards and practice regarding the ADEA.  The defendant filed a motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Cohen.

Discussion:   The defendant argues that Dr. Cohen’s expert testimony should be excluded because it: 1) fails to me Daubert standards; 2) it is not necessary to assist the jury and would cause confusion; and 3) her testimony includes matters that are outside of her expertise.  The plaintiff argues that the testimony is very helpful, based on reliable principles, and is based on sufficient facts.  In addition, the defendant argues that Dr. Cohen’s testimony would not confuse the jury.

The court opined that Dr. Cohen’s testimony are not admissible because they are not reliable nor relevant.  Her conclusory assertions should be excluded because she did not articulate any methodology that she relied on to reach her conclusions..  In addition, her testimony amounts to legal conclusions that are not helpful to the jury.

First, the court finds that Dr. Cohen does not provide any explanation of the basis of her opinions, which makes then unreliable.  In fact the “credible citations” that she used to form her opinions undermine her proffered testimony.

Second, the court opined that Dr. Cohen does not seek to offer scientific or technical insight, but she provides testimony that a jury can understand without the aid of an expert.

Conclusion:  The motion to exclude the expert witness testimony of Dr. Deb Cohen is granted.