Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bey v. Hill

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

October 4, 2017

ALLAH S. BEY
v.
SUZANNE E. HILL

          RULING ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE

          HOLLY B. FITZSIMMONS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pending are the parties' Motions in Limine. [Doc. #62, 66, 74, 86]. Oral argument was held on September 6, 2017.

         Standard of Review

         “The purpose of an in limine motion is ‘to aid the trial process by enabling the Court to rule in advance of trial on the admissibility and relevance of certain forecasted evidence, as to issues that are definitely set for trial, without lengthy argument at, or interruption of, the trial.'” Palmieri v. Defaria, 88 F.3d 136, 141 (2d Cir. 1996) (quoting Banque Hypothecaire Du Canton De Genève v. Union Mines, 652 F.Supp. 1400, 1401 (D. Md. 1987)); see Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 40 n.2 (1984) (“We use the term [“in limine”] in a broad sense to refer to any motion, whether made before or during trial, to exclude anticipated prejudicial evidence before the evidence is actually offered.”). “A district court's inherent authority to manage the course of its trials encompasses the right to rule on motions in limine.” Capital Mgmt., L.P. v. Schneider, 551 F.Supp.2d 173, 176 (S.D.N.Y. 2008).

         “Evidence should be excluded on a motion in limine only when the evidence is clearly inadmissible on all potential grounds.” Levinson v. Westport Nat'l Bank, No. 3:09-CV-1955(VLB), 2013 WL 3280013, at *3 (D. Conn. June 27, 2013) (quoting Highland Capital Mgmt., L.P. v. Schneider, 379 F.Supp.2d 461, 470 (S.D.N.Y. 2005)). Courts considering a motion in limine may reserve judgment until trial, so that the motion is placed in the appropriate factual context. See Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. L.E. Meyers Co. Grp., 937 F.Supp. 276, 287 (S.D.N.Y. 1996).

         Plaintiff's Motion in Limine Regarding Dr. Gina Glass [Doc. #62]

         Plaintiff seeks to preclude any and all expert testimony by defendant's expert, Gina Glass, M.D., due to untimely disclosure. Specifically, Dr. Glass was disclosed on August 24, 2017, after discovery closed and only one day before the parties' Joint Pretrial Memorandum was due. Dr. Glass is defendant's primary care physician and had been disclosed to testify. Plaintiff was aware, however, that “defendant had instances of dizziness or light headedness prior to the accident and at least two prior instances where she lost consciousness: one that occurred during her childhood and one that occurred just six months prior to the car accident. It is the plaintiff's position that one of the manners in which the defendant was negligent was her decision to continue driving after experiencing prior instances of sudden loss of consciousness.” [Doc. #62-1at 2; Compl. at ¶¶9 (g-j)]. Nevertheless, plaintiff claims that he has been “severely prejudiced by defendant's untimely disclosure, ” arguing he has been deprived of the opportunity to depose Dr. Glass or to have the expert opinion evaluated by he own expert. [Doc #62-1 at 4].

         Defendant states she has provided all the medical records so, although the disclosure was late, there is nothing new. Moreover, any prejudice may be overcome as the parties planned to depose Dr. Glass before the trial. Defendant intends to play the video deposition at trial in lieu of live testimony.

         On this record, plaintiff's Motion in Limine [Doc. #62] is DENIED.

         Plaintiff's Motion in Limine Regarding Opinions of Cause of Accident Contained in Medical Records [Doc. #66]

         Plaintiff next moves to exclude certain statements from defendant's medical records that reflect her medical condition at the time of the accident, which defendant intends to offer as exhibit 118. Plaintiff also filed, under seal, a copy of exhibit 118, which is the medical record from St. Vincent Medical Center dated December 29, 2012-January 9, 2013, highlighting the entries he seeks to redact. [Doc. #86].

         Plaintiff argues that certain statements are inadmissible hearsay, and are improper statements of medical opinion without a disclosed expert to explain them. [Doc. #66-1 at 1]. To the extent that the medical records contain statements, the statements may be admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(4). A hearsay statement “that is made for-and is reasonably pertinent to-medical diagnosis or treatment; and describes medical history; past or present symptoms or sensations; their inception; or their general cause” is admissible under Rule 803(4)'s exception to the hearsay rule. Fed.R.Evid. 803(4). The Advisory Committee Notes regarding the medical diagnosis exception provide that statements of the patient's condition are exempted from the hearsay rule because of the patient's strong motivation to be truthful in order to obtain the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Fed.R.Evid. 803(4), Advisory Comm. Notes, 1972 Proposed Rules; see White v. Illinois, 502 U.S. 346, 356 (1992) (“[A] statement made in the course of procuring medical services, where the declarant knows that a false statement may cause misdiagnosis or mistreatment, carries special guarantees of credibility that a trier of fact may not think replicated by courtroom testimony.”). The Notes further explain that statements that go beyond causation, however, and assign fault for a medical condition are not excepted. Id.

         The records in question are medical/hospital records and contain defendant's statements regarding her medical condition made for medical treatment immediately following the accident. Statements made by defendant in furtherance of obtaining a medical diagnosis would be admissible. Similarly, statements recording the observations of the emergency medical responders regarding her medical condition would be admissible. However, to the extent that defendant's record includes a statement regarding the cause of the accident, in other words, statements made to defendant about what occurred while she was unconscious, or to the emergency medical responders, would not be admissible. See Def. Ex. 118 at 54, 59, 61, 68, 69, 71, 75 (in part), 79 (in part).

         Accordingly, plaintiff's Motion in Limine Regarding Opinions of Cause of Accident Contained in Medical Records [Doc. #66] is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiff's Motion for Redactions to Defendant's Exhibit 118 [Doc. #86] is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.