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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sierra Pacific Industries

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


October 6, 2010

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF, AHMED ELSHENAWY, PLAINTIFF-INTERVENOR,
v.
SIERRA PACIFIC INDUSTRIES, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Exclude the testimony of Defendant's designated vocational rehabilitation expert, Gregory Sells. Plaintiff asks the Court to prevent MrSells from testifying on grounds that his proposed testimony is irrelevant. Plaintiff further contends, on an even more fundamental basis, that Sells' testimony lacks any basis in specialized knowledge so that it would assist the jury in considering the issues presented by this case. Plaintiff cites the Court's function as gatekeeper with respect to admissibility in that regard.

See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 589 (1993).

The Court is unpersuaded by Plaintiff's claim that Mr. Sells' expected testimony is by nature so unreliable that it runs afoul of Daubert standards. Sells' credentials show that he has some thirty-eight years of experience as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, and has been qualified as an expert on such issues some nineteen times since 2005. On the basis of that experience, Mr. Sells is more than qualified to offer his opinion with respect to whether Elshenawy should have been able to find suitable employment following his termination, and how long that job search should reasonably have taken. That testimony is plainly relevant with respect to whether Elshenawy properly mitigated his claimed damages, and may assist the jury in deciding this case.

To the extent that Plaintiff claims that the basis for Sells' opinions are incomplete and/or erroneous, those contentions can adequately be addressed through vigorous cross-examination. They are not properly the subject of a motion to exclude his testimony altogether. Plaintiff's Motion to Exclude Sells' testimony (ECF No. 56) is accordingly DENIED.*fn1

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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