Cooper v. City of St. Louis, Missouri, No. 19-2705 (8th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment following a jury verdict in favor of the City on plaintiff's claim of hostile work environment based on religion. At issue is whether the district court abused its discretion in precluding plaintiff from introducing testimony and a report by the City's retained but non-testifying expert psychiatrist who had conducted an independent medical examination of plaintiff.
The court concluded that the expert's report would have been cumulative with other testimony regarding causation and damages, and any discussion of damages was immaterial because the jury never reached that issue. Therefore, the exclusion did not result in fundamental unfairness in the trial of the case, and the court need not consider whether the district court abused its substantial case management and discovery discretion in excluding the expert's independent medical examination report and testimony, an issue the court has not previously addressed.