United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ALLAH S. BEY
SUZANNE E. HILL
RULING ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE
B. FITZSIMMONS, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
are the parties' Motions in Limine. [Doc. #62, 66, 74,
86]. Oral argument was held on September 6, 2017.
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.
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).
Motion in Limine Regarding Dr. Gina Glass [Doc. #62]
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].
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.
record, plaintiff's Motion in Limine [Doc.
#62] is DENIED.
Motion in Limine Regarding Opinions of Cause of Accident
Contained in Medical Records [Doc. #66]
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].
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.
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).
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.