Watson-Florence v. 21st Century Centennial Insurance Company et al
ORDER AND REASONS denying 66 Motion to Bifurcate. FURTHER ORDERED that the 70 Motion for Extension of Deadlines is GRANTED. The plaintiff's expert report deadline is extended until 10 days from the date of this Order; the defendants' report will be due 28 days after the plaintiff's due new deadline. Signed by Judge Martin L.C. Feldman on 5/15/2017. (clc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
CARLOS SOTO, ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court are two motions: (1) Defendants’ Rule 42(b)
motion to bifurcate the issues of liability and damages for the
August 28, 2017 trial; and (2) Plaintiff’s unopposed motion to
extend export report deadlines.
The defendants seek a bifurcation of liability and damages
issues because of the risk of prejudice in allowing the jury to
plaintiff’s expert report deadline to 10 days after a ruling on
the motion to bifurcate, and for the defendants’ expert report to
be due 28 days after the plaintiff’s new expert report deadline.
IT IS ORDERED: that the defendants’ motion to bifurcate is
DENIED. Rule 42(b) gives the trial Court significant discretion in
bifurcating trial issues. See Laitram Corp. v. Hewlett-Packard
The plaintiff responds that she does not oppose bifurcation, but
does so on different grounds. Specifically, the plaintiff submits
that bifurcation is appropriate because the plaintiff’s treating
physicians and employer are located out of state. Therefore, it
would promote efficiency to only incur costs of perpetuating the
trial testimony should it be necessary after determining
Co., 791 F. Supp. 113, 114 (E.D. La. 1992) (Feldman, J.) (“[C]ourts
have repeatedly emphasized that whether to bifurcate a trial . .
. is always a question committed to the sound discretion of the
trial court….”). Here, the Court finds that the defendants will
not suffer undue prejudice in denying bifurcation, and it also
finds that judicial economy is not promoted by a bifurcation. See
id. at 115 (“[T]he Fifth Circuit has correctly cautioned district
courts . . . that the issue to be tried separately must be so
distinct and separable from the others that a trial of it alone
may be had without injustice.”) (internal quotations omitted).
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED: that the plaintiff’s unopposed motion
to extend the plaintiff’s expert report deadline is GRANTED. The
plaintiff’s expert report deadline is extended until 10 days from
the date of this Order; the defendants’ report will be due 28 days
after the plaintiff’s due new deadline.
New Orleans, Louisiana, May 15, 2017
MARTIN L. C. FELDMAN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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