Amantea v. Westfield America, Inc. et al
ORDER granting 29 motion to compel. Signed by Judge Alfred V. Covello on March 26, 2014. (Meskill, J)
3:13-cv-49 (AVC) March 26th, 2014. The defendants’ motion
to compel the deposition of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses is
This is an action for damages in which the plaintiff,
Robert Amantea, asserts that the defendants are liable for
injuries he sustained in a trip and fall at their store.
The defendants argue that “[w]hile Plaintiff is entitled to
use whatever qualified testifying expert he chooses — including
treating physicians — he cannot foist upon Defendants an
unreasonable expense in order for Defendants to depose those
experts.” Specifically, the defendants “respectfully submit that
Plaintiff should be compelled to produce for a deposition Drs.
Foster and Zimmering, and that a reasonable rate to reimburse
these orthopedic surgeons be fixed at $400 per hour, not the
$1,500 per hour they are demanding.”
The plaintiff responds that “[t]he depositions in this case
of Drs. Zimmering and Foster should not be compelled because
plaintiff’s experts, his treating physicians, have made
themselves available for deposition in this case but such
depositions were cancelled by defendants.” As to the fees, the
plaintiff argues that “the doctors’ fees of $1,500 per hour are
reasonable” but if the “fees are deemed unreasonable by the
Court, plaintiff urges that a reasonable rate for such testimony
is $750 per hour.”
“Unless manifest injustice would result, the court must
require that the party seeking discovery . . . pay the expert a
reasonable fee for time spent in responding to discovery . . .
and . . . pay the other party a fair portion of the fees and
expenses it reasonably incurred in obtaining the expert's facts
and opinions.” Fed. R. Civ. P 26(b)(4)(E).
The court concludes that the $1,500 per hour rate for the
deposition is too high. See e.g. Flis v. Conn., Gastroenterology
Consultants, P.C., 2007 WL 2244110 at *2 (Conn. Super. Ct. July
13, 2007) (finding “[a] fee approaching $1,200 an hour is simply
too high” and concluding that the doctors “should be paid $700
per hour. . .”). Here, a more reasonable rate to reimburse the
orthopedic surgeons is $750 per hour and, therefore, the motion
to compel with respect to these depositions is GRANTED.
Alfred V. Covello, U.S.D.J.
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