Ager v. Jane C. Stormont Hospital & Training School for Nurses Case Brief

Summary of Ager v. Jane C. Stormont Hospital & Training School for Nurses, 622 F.2d 496 (1980)

Facts: D, through interrogatories, wants to know the identities of all experts P consulted for the trial. P, after some objections, agreed to give the names of only those experts who were expected to testify at trial but refused to give the identities of experts who were not expected to testify at trial.

Procedure: P held in contempt for failing to comply with the discovery orders.

Issue: Can a party discover the identities of experts the other side consulted even if these experts are not expected to testify at trial?

Holding: No, but there are very rare exceptions.

Rationale: Under FRCP 26, discovery of experts who were informally consulted but will not be testifying at trial is not allowed. The court considered public policy reasons for this prohibition. Court stated that revealing the identities of experts will prevent experts from giving their free opinions on the matters. But there will be some cases where identities of experts who are not expected to testify may be discovered. For this, there has to be a case-by-case analysis.

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