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Radiologix, Inc. v. Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, LLC

United States District Court, D. Kansas

January 4, 2018

RADIOLOGIX, INC. and RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE IMAGING PARTNERS, INC., Plaintiffs,
v.
RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          Daniel D. Crabtree, United States District Judge

         Defendant Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, LLC (“RNM”)[1] has filed a Motion to Exclude the Damage Opinions of Plaintiffs' Designated Expert Marc Vianello. Doc. 284. Defendant asserts that the court should exclude Dr. Vianello's damage opinions under Fed.R.Evid. 702 because, defendant contends, his opinions “will not help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.” Fed.R.Evid. 702(a). Plaintiffs have filed a Response opposing defendant's Motion to Exclude. Doc. 289. And, defendant has filed a Reply. Doc. 293. For reasons explained below, the court denies defendant's Motion to Exclude.

         I. Factual Background

         This lawsuit arises from RNM's termination of a long-term management service agreement that it had entered with plaintiffs Radiologix, Inc. (“Radiologix”) and Radiology and Nuclear Medicine Imaging Partners, Inc. (“RNMIP”). Plaintiff Radiologix is a national provider of imaging services based in California. Plaintiff RNMIP is a wholly owned subsidiary of plaintiff Radiologix. Radiologix is a wholly owned subsidiary of RadNet Management, Inc. (“RadNet Management”).

         Defendant RNM is a Kansas limited liability company whose shareholders are Kansas licensed physicians who provide radiology or radiation oncology services at hospitals and clinics in northeast Kansas, including Topeka.

         In 2002, plaintiffs and defendant executed an Amended and Restated Service Agreement (“the Agreement”). Under the Agreement, plaintiffs agreed to provide certain management services to defendant in exchange for specified fees. The parties agreed to a 40-year term for the Agreement's duration. But, in 2014, defendant terminated the Agreement for cause because, defendant contends, plaintiffs had defaulted materially in performing their obligations under the Agreement.

         In response, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit. They assert three claims: (1) breach of contract, (2) conversion, and (3) unjust enrichment. Defendant responded to plaintiffs' Complaint by asserting a Counterclaim for breach of contract.

         To support plaintiffs' claims against defendant, plaintiffs have designated Marc Vianello as an expert witness to provide testimony about the damages plaintiffs allegedly sustained from defendant's termination of the Agreement. Defendant asks the court to exclude Mr. Vianello's opinions because, it contends, they are inadmissible under Fed.R.Evid. 702. The court considers defendant's request below.

         II. Legal Standard

         The court has a “gatekeeping obligation” to determine the admissibility of expert testimony. Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137, 147 (1999) (citing Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 589 (1993)). When performing this gatekeeping role, the court has broad discretion when deciding whether to admit expert testimony. Kieffer v. Weston Land, Inc., 90 F.3d 1496, 1499 (10th Cir. 1996) (quoting Orth v. Emerson Elec. Co., 980 F.2d 632, 637 (10th Cir. 1992)). The admissibility of expert testimony is governed by Federal Rule of Evidence 702. It provides:

A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert's scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the ...

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