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Caporaso v. Donnelly

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

August 19, 2019

CHRISTOPHER CAPORASO
v.
RAYMOND DONNELLY, TODD BROUILLETTE, and H. NELSON ABARZUA

          RULING ON DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE [DOCS. #72, #73, #76]

          HON. SARAH A. L. MERRIAM UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Defendants Raymond Donnelly and H. Nelson Abarzua[1](hereinafter the “firefighter defendants”) have filed a motion in limine seeking to preclude plaintiff from introducing at trial (1) any evidence of economic damages and (2) the report of Dr. Terrance Donahue. [Doc. #72]. Defendant Todd Brouillette (“defendant Brouillette”) has filed two motions in limine. [Docs. #73, #76]. The first motion seeks “to exclude any expert testimony of Dr. Balazs Somogyi, MD, or Doctor Terrance Donahue, MD, written or verbal[.]” Doc. #73 at 1. The second motion seeks “to exclude any evidence, testimony or argument that the Plaintiff has suffered economic loss or damages because no documentation or evidence of such has been disclosed in the discovery process[.]” Doc. #76 at 1. Plaintiff Christopher Caporaso (“plaintiff”) has not responded to defendants' motions in limine.[2] For the reasons articulated below, defendants' motions in limine [Docs. #72, #73, #76] are GRANTED, absent objection.

         However, the Court reserves ruling until the final pre-trial conference and/or trial concerning whether plaintiff may testify about his claimed economic damages related to the alleged loss of maple syrup.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Court presumes familiarity with the factual background of this matter, and details only that procedural background relevant to the below discussion.

         On April 1, 2016, plaintiff filed this action against defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. [Doc. #1]. On June 20, 2016, Judge Alfred V. Covello entered a Scheduling Order (hereinafter the “Scheduling Order”) in this matter. [Doc. #13]. The Scheduling Order required, in pertinent part, that: (1) all discovery, including depositions of expert witnesses, be completed on or before March 15, 2017; (2) plaintiff disclose the identity of any expert witness he may use at trial, along with that expert's written report, on or before October 15, 2016; and (3) any party with a claim for damages provide a damages analysis to the opposing party on or before October 15, 2016. See Doc. #13 at 1.

         The deadline by which plaintiff was to produce his damages analysis was extended to October 28, 2016. See Docs. #21, #22. The Scheduling Order was also extended to permit the parties until June 2, 2017, to depose fact witnesses. See Docs. #24, #25. The parties did not seek to extend any other deadlines. On July 6, 2017, the parties filed a Joint Trial Memorandum. [Doc. #33].

         On May 6, 2019, the parties filed a Consent to Jurisdiction by United States Magistrate Judge. [Doc. #56]. On that same date, this case was transferred to the undersigned. [Doc. #57]. On June 11, 2019, the undersigned entered a Final Pre-Trial Scheduling Order. [Doc. #62]. In pertinent part, that Order required that on or before the close of business on June 19, 2019, the parties file any amendments to the original Joint Trial Memorandum. Id. at 2. The Order also required that any motions in limine be filed by the close of business on August 1, 2019, and any oppositions to those motions be filed by the close of business on August 16, 2019. See Id. at 3.

         Defendants filed their motions in limine on July 31, 2019. See Docs. #72, #73, #76. On that same date, the Court entered an Order noting that in accordance with the Final Pre-Trial Scheduling Order, any responses to the motions in limine were due on or before August 16, 2019. See Doc. #74. The Court cautioned: “Failure to file an objection to the Motions in Limine may result in the motions being granted absent objection.” Id. (sic). Plaintiff has failed to file any objections to the pending motions in limine.

         Jury selection is scheduled for September 30, 2019, with trial to begin on October 1, 2019. See Doc. #61.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The purpose of a motion in limine is to allow the court to rule in advance of trial on the admissibility of anticipated evidence. See Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 40 n.2 (1984). “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 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) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). “Evidence should be excluded on a motion in limine only when the evidence is clearly inadmissible on all potential grounds.” Jean-Laurent v. Hennessy, 840 F.Supp.2d 529, 536 (E.D.N.Y. 2011). “Indeed, courts considering a motion in limine may reserve judgment until trial, so that the motion is placed in the appropriate factual context.” Id. “[T]he court's ruling regarding a motion in limine is ‘subject to change when the case unfolds, particularly if the actual testimony differs from what was [expected].'” Id. (quoting Luce, 469 U.S. at 41).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Defendants generally seek to preclude plaintiff from introducing at trial: (1) evidence of any economic damages; and (2) expert testimony (both written and verbal) and reports. See generally Docs. #72, #73, #76. Defendants contend that such evidence should be excluded from trial because it was not produced or otherwise disclosed during the ...


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