United States District Court, D. Montana, Billings Division
P. WATTERS United States District Judge
the Court are two motions to exclude evidence (Docs. 41 and
43) filed by Defendants Woody's Trucking and Donald E.
Wood, Jr. For the foregoing reasons, the Court grants in part
and denies in part the first motion and denies the second
motion with leave to renew at trial.
Facts as alleged in indictment
Trucking is a commercial transportation business managed and
owned by Donald E. Wood, Jr.. (Doc. 1 at 3). In 2004,
Woody's Trucking obtained a commercial insurance policy
from Great West Casualty Company. (Doc. 1 at 4). The Great
West policy renewed annually. (Doc. 1 at 4). Prior to each
renewal, Woody's Trucking submitted to Great West an
insurance application which listed the commodities
transported by Woody's Trucking and whether any were
hazardous. (Doc. 1 at 4).
February 2012, Woody's Trucking entered into an agreement
with Saddle Butte Pipeline, LLC, to transport natural gas
condensate. (Doc. 1 at 12-13). At the same time, Woody's
Trucking obtained an endorsement from Great West to add
Saddle Butte as an insured party to the existing policy.
(Doc. 1 at 13). Woody's Trucking did not disclose to
Great West that it had begun transporting natural gas
condensate. (Doc. 1 at 13). In October 2012, Woody's
Trucking submitted its annual insurance application to Great
West. (Doc. 1 at 14). The October 2012 application stated
Woody's Trucking transported "KCL Water, "
"100%." (Doc. 1 at 14). The October 2012
application did not state Woody's Trucking transported
hazardous materials. (Doc. 1 at 14). Based upon the October
2012 application, Great West renewed Woody's
Trucking's policy. (Doc. 1 at 14).
February 2012 through December 29, 2012, Woody's Trucking
transported natural gas condensate for Saddle Butte. (Doc. 1
at 14-15). Woody's Trucking did not receive and/or
prepare hazardous material shipping papers, hazardous
material placards, or emergency response information for any
of the transports. (Doc. 1 at 15-16). Donald E. Wood, Jr. and
conspirators instead prepared Bills of Lading that falsely
described the materials transported as "slop oil and
water." (Doc. 1 at 16).
December 29, 2012, an explosion occurred while workers
unloaded natural gas condensate transported by Woody's
Trucking. (Doc. 1 at 16-17). Between December 29, 2012, and
January 8, 2013, a person, at the direction of Woody's
Trucking, prepared a Bill of Lading that falsely described
the contents of the December 29, 2012, transport as
"slop oil and water from condensate tanks." (Doc. 1
at 17). On January 9, 2013, the person, at the direction of
Woody's Trucking, placed the false Bill of Lading into
the cab of the truck that made the December 29, 2012,
transport. (Doc. 1 at 17).
December 31, 2012, Woody's Trucking faxed a claim to
Great West for repairs to the truck involved in the
explosion. (Doc. 1 at 20-21). On January 17, 2013, in
response to an OSHA investigation, Woody's Trucking faxed
a copy of the false bill of lading to OSHA. (Doc. 1 at 18,
21-22). On October 24, 2014, in response to a request by
Great West concerning the explosion, Woody's Trucking and
conspirators mailed a copy of the false bill of lading to
Great West. (Doc. 1 at 18, 22). On February 28, 2015,
Woody's Trucking emailed to its insurance agent and Great
West a complaint and summons filed against Woody's
Trucking by workers injured in the explosion. (Doc. 1 at
on the above facts, the indictment charged Woody's
Trucking and Donald E. Wood, Jr. with fourteen counts. Count
one alleges the Defendants, and other known and unknown to
the grand jury, knowingly conspired to: (a) defraud Great
West by wire fraud and mail fraud, (b) defraud the United
States by deceitfully obstructing the legitimate functions of
the DOT and OSHA in enforcing federal law, (c) recklessly
violate hazardous materials regulations, and (d) alter a
tangible object with the intent to obstruct the OSHA
investigation. Counts two, three, and five allege the
Defendants, for the purpose of executing a scheme to defraud,
transmitted a wire communication in interstate commerce.
Count five alleges the Defendants, for the purpose of
executing a scheme to defraud, caused a matter to be
deposited, sent, or delivered by United States mail. Counts
six, seven, eight, and nine allege the Defendants recklessly
violated Hazmat regulations by transporting and causing to be
transported a hazardous material without required placards.
Counts ten, eleven, twelve, and thirteen allege the
Defendants recklessly violated Hazmat regulations by
transporting and causing to be transported a hazardous
material without required shipping papers. Count fourteen
alleges the Defendants knowingly altered, destroyed, and
concealed a document with the intent to impede, obstruct, and
influence the investigation and proper administration of a
matter within the jurisdiction of OSHA.
in limine are procedural devices to obtain an early and
preliminary ruling on the admissibility of evidence. Judges
have broad discretion when ruling on motions in limine.
Jenkins v. Chrysler Motors Corp., 316 F.3d 663, 664
(7th Cir. 2002). A motion in limine should not be used to
resolve factual disputes or weigh evidence. C & E
Services, Inc., v. Ashland Inc., 539 F.Supp.2d 316, 323
(D.D.C. 2008). To exclude evidence on a motion in limine
"the evidence must be inadmissible on all potential
grounds." Ind. Ins. Co. v. K-Mart Corp., 326
F.Supp.2d 844, 846 (N.D. Ohio 2004). Courts have wide
discretion in considering and ruling on motions in limine.
See Luce v. U.S., 469 U.S. 38, 41 n.4 (1984).
Defendants filed two motions to exclude evidence. The first
motion concerns the admissibility of evidence under Rules
401, 402, and 403. The second motion concerns the
admissibility of evidence under Rule 802 and the
Motion to exclude under Rules 401, 402, ...