United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division
BREANNE WALDEN, DANIELLE DESCHENES AZURE, JESSICA BLACKWEASEL, SABRINA REMUS COYNE, BRITTANY DEAN, JENNIFER DEMENT, DANIELLE DUNCAN, JACKIE GREAVU, BETH HAYES, JANA HEILIG, KEALLIE LIETZ, JACKIE MULLENNAX, SARA ONSAGER, ANNA RADFORD, BARBARA SLOAN, MOLLY STILSON, and KYRA TILSON, Individually and as Assignees of DB&D, LLC d/b/a DAHL'S COLLEGE OF BEAUTY, Plaintiffs,
MARYLAND CASUALTY COMPANY, and DOES 1-5, inclusive, Defendants.
L. CHRISTENSEN, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court are Defendant's Motions in Limine (Doc. 88). At
the outset, it is important to note that the Court's
overriding goal in this case is to facilitate efficient
presentation of the relevant evidence and, to the extent
possible, preclude irrelevant and extraneous matters at the
time of trial. With this goal in mind, and for the reasons
briefly explained below, the Court grants the motion in part,
denies the motion in part, and reserves ruling in part.
AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND
a Mandate of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in this case
on July 7, 2017, this matter is now back before this Court.
On October 7, 2015, this Court granted Defendant Maryland
Casualty Company's ("Maryland") motion for
summary judgment, and denied all other pending motions as
moot. The Ninth Circuit reversed this Court's ruling. The
parties submitted a joint status report on August 18, 2017,
pursuant to the Court's request, outlining the motions
that are now ripe and need to be resolved.
August 28, 2015, Defendants filed their motions in limine
• Motion in Limine 1 - Excluding any reference to the
consent judgment in the underlying case
• Motion in Limine 2 - Excluding evidence of or
testimony regarding Maryland's alleged bad faith, duty to
defend, duty to indemnify, or that insurer did not pay
• Motion in Limine 3 - Excluding or limiting the
testimony of Plaintiffs' expert Katy Nicholls
• Motion in Limine 4 - Excluding or limiting the
testimony of Plaintiffs' expert Dr. Barak Gaster
• Motion in Limine 5 - Excluding any unexpressed expert
opinions by Dr. Gaster or Nicholls, including, but not
limited to, any reference to or discussion of the article
concerning the effect of stress on asthma identified by Dr.
Gaster during his deposition
• Motion in Limine 6 - Excluding any argument that
Dahl's was negligent
• Motion in Limine 7 - Excluding evidence or testimony
regarding the amount of the Plaintiffs' tuition payments
and/or student loans
• Motion in Limine 8 - Excluding any reference to or
testimony about Dahl's alleged failure to keep proper
• Motion in Limine 9 - Excluding any reference to or
testimony about alleged inadequate instruction by Dahl's
or Ms. Heikkila
Court will address the merits of each motion below.
motion in limine is used to preclude prejudicial or
objectionable evidence before it is presented to the jury.
The decision on a motion in limine is consigned to the
district court's discretion-including the decision of
whether to rule before trial at all. United States v.
Bensimon, 172 F.3d 1121, 1127 (9th Cir. 1999). A motion
in limine "should not be used to resolve factual
disputes or weigh evidence." BNSF Ry. v. Quad City
Testing Laboratory, Inc., 2010 WL 4337827, at *1 (D.
Mont. Oct. 26, 2010). Evidence shall be excluded in limine
only when it is shown that the evidence is "inadmissible
on all potential grounds." See, e.g.Jnd. Ins. Co. v.
Gen. Elec. Co., 326 F.Supp.2d 844, 846 (N. D. Ohio
2004). "Unless evidence meets this high standard,
evidentiary rulings should be deferred until trial so that
questions of foundation, relevancy and potential prejudice
may be resolved in proper context." BNSF, 2010
WL 4337827 at * 1. "This is because although rulings on
motions in limine may save time, costs, effort and
preparation, a court is almost always better situated during
the actual trial to assess the value and utility of
evidence." Id. Rulings on motions in limine are
provisional and the trial judge may always change his mind
during the course of trial. Luce v. United States,
469 U.S. 38, 41 (1984).
Motion in Limine 1 - Excluding any reference to the consent
judgment in the underlying case
contends that the underlying stipulated judgment is no longer
of any consequence and is irrelevant to the issues to be
decided in this case at trial. (Doc. 91 at 7 (citing to
Hardesty v. Barcus, 2012 WL 5906797, at *2 (D. Mont.
Nov. 26, 2012)). Plaintiffs do not oppose this motion. (Doc.
93 at 7.) Thus, Maryland's Motion in Limine 1 is granted.
Motion in Limine 2 - Excluding evidence of or testimony
regarding Maryland's alleged bad faith, duty to defend,
duty to indemnify, or ...