SCOTT STEPHENSON and DANIELLE STEPHENSON Individually and as Guardian ad Litem for her Minor Daughters, AVA STEPHENSON, and LILLIAN STEPHENSON, Plaintiffs,
BIG OAKS TRAILER PARK, INC, d/b/a BIG OAKS CAMPGROUND, and BOYER'S TREE SERVICE Defendants.
Submitted: June 14, 2019
Defendant Big Oaks Trailer Park Inc. 's Motion in Limine
to Exclude the Testimony of Dr. Nicole Gable, Dr. Steven
Grinder, Allegra Hamman and Jacqueline Blair
Defendant Big Oak Trailer Park Inc. 's Motion for Summary
P. Gambogi, Esquire, Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz &
O'Neill, Newark, Delaware, Attorney for Plaintiffs.
Michael I. Silverman, Esquire and Adrienne M. McDonald,
Esquire, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Defendants.
L. SCOTT, JR., JUDGE
Scott and Danielle Stephenson bring this personal injury
claim on behalf of themselves and their minor daughters, Ava
and Lillian Stephenson, against Defendants Big Oaks Trailer
Park, Inc. and Boyer's Tree Service.
3, 2015 Scott, Danielle, Ava, and Lillian Stephenson were
camping at campsite PV-1 on the property of Big Oaks
Campground. Plaintiffs allege that on or about 9:30 pm on
July 3, 2015, a large tree limb from an oak tree near
campsite PV-1 broke and fell into the Stephenson family's
campground, bringing smaller tree limbs from a nearby hickory
tree down with it. Plaintiffs allege that they were hit by
some of the falling tree limbs and suffered physical and
mental injuries as a result.
allege that Defendant Big Oaks Trailer Park, Inc.
("Defendant") acted negligently by failing to
properly inspect, maintain, and remove trees on its property,
creating an unsafe condition. Plaintiffs assert that
Defendant's negligence proximately caused the
accident. The complaint requests general and special
damages for physical and mental injury, property damage, and
loss of consortium in an amount to be determined by the
Plaintiffs identified their medical experts in a disclosure
on December 18, 2018. Defendant now moves to exclude the
testimony of Plaintiffs' medical expert witnesses Dr.
Nicole Gable, Dr. Steven Grinder,  Allegra Hamman, and
Jacqueline Blair. Concurrently, Defendant moves for summary
judgment. For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion
in Limine to Exclude the Expert Testimony is
DENIED and Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment is DENIED.
20, 2019, Defendant filed a Motion in Limine to Exclude the
Testimony of Dr. Nicole Gable, Dr. Steven Grinder, Allegra
Hamman, and Jacqueline Blair, arguing that Plaintiffs failed
to comply with the Trial Scheduling Order by not providing
Defendant with the experts' reports. Defendant argues
that the "treatment notes" provided by Plaintiffs
did not contain the experts' opinion on the cause of
Plaintiffs' injuries and thus, do not constitute expert
reports. Defendant asks the Court to exclude
Plaintiffs' medical experts' testimony.
20, 2019, Defendant also filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
arguing that Plaintiffs cannot establish causation, a
prima facie element of their claim, without the
medical experts' testimony.
14, 2019, Plaintiffs filed their Response to Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment and Defendant's Motion in
Limine to Exclude the Testimony of Dr. Nicole Gable, Dr.
Steven Grinder, Allegra Hamman, and Jacqueline Blair, arguing
that their disclosures comply with the requirements of the
Trial Scheduling Order. Plaintiffs contend that medical
records suffice as expert reports and ask the Court to deny
Defendant's Motion in Limine and Motion for Summary
Court may grant summary judgment if "the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to summary judgment as a matter of
law." The moving party bears the initial
burden of showing that no material issues of fact are
present. Once such a showing is made, the burden
shifts to the non-moving party to demonstrate that there are
material issues of fact in dispute. In considering a motion
for summary judgment, the Court must view the record in a
light most favorable to the non-moving party. The Court
will not grant summary judgment if it seems desirable to
inquire more thoroughly into the facts in order to clarify
the application of the law.
Defendant's Motion in Limine
to Delaware Superior Court Rule 26(b)(4)(A)(i):
A party may through interrogatories require any other party
to identify each person whom the other party expects to call
as an expert witness at trial, to state the subject matter on
which the expert is expected to testify, and to state the
substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert is