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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
January 3, 2020, Filed
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Rules of this Court, and Standing Order 13-02.
Now before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Preclude the Testimony of Timothy Wilhelm [Doc. 45], Defendant's Motion to Preclude the Testimony of Brooks Rugemer [Doc. 47], and Plaintiffs' Motion to Recover Expert Fees Related to Plaintiffs' Experts' Deposition Testimony [Doc. 60]. The parties appeared before the Court on August 27, 2019, for a motion hearing. Attorneys Trevor [*2] Sharp and Jackson Tidwell appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs. Attorney David Draper appeared on behalf of Defendant. No testimony from Plaintiffs' expert witnesses was presented. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below, the Court DENIES Defendant's Motion [Doc. 45], GRANTS Defendant's Motion [Doc. 47], and GRANTS IN PART Plaintiffs' Motion [Doc. 60].
The Court will first begin with the allegations in the Complaint and then turn to the challenged opinions.
This case concerns whether a fire in Plaintiffs' building on March 1, 2016, was the result of Defendant's alleged improper packaging. The Complaint states that the fire occurred at a terminal when a pallet of Valken Tactical Green Gas ("Green Gas") ignited while being loaded by a forklift. Plaintiff Central Transport, LLC leases the terminal from Plaintiff Crown Enterprises, Inc. [Doc. 1 at ¶ 5]. The Complaint avers that a spark at floor level occurred when the fork of the forklift struck the dock plate while loading the Green Gas. [Id. at ¶ 6]. A massive fire quickly ensued and spread through the Central Transport trailer and warehouse facility. [Id.].
The Complaint states that under local, state, and federal [*3] law, Defendant owed Plaintiffs a duty to exercise reasonable care in the packaging, supervision of packaging and handling, and inspection of the Green Gas to ensure that it was safe for shipment. [Id. at ¶ 7]. The Complaint states that the proximate cause of the fire and resulting damage was the result of Defendant's negligent acts, more specifically pled as follows:
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 781 *; 111 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. (Callaghan) 259; 2020 WL 50393
CENTRAL TRANSPORT, LLC, and CROWN ENTERPRISES, INC., Plaintiffs, v. THERMOFLUID TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Defendant.
pallet, wrap, deposition, photograph, Plaintiffs', trailer, packaging, stretch, forklift, ignition, bottom, spark, shrink, plate, shipment, boxes, dock, expert testimony, expert opinion, tiers, load, opines, crush, reliability, shrink-wrap, scientific, argues, top, expert's fees, inspected