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Walden v. Maryland Casualty Co.
United States District Court, D. Montana, Missoula Division
December 10, 2018
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 is Defendant Maryland Casualty Company
("Maryland") 's Motions in
Limine. (Doc. 164.) Maryland seeks to exclude
seven categories of evidence from trial:
• Motion in Limine 1: Undisclosed expert opinions,
including but not limited to opinions concerning causation by
treating providers for whom required expert disclosures have
not been provided;
• Motion in Limine 2: Testimony by Plaintiffs and lay
witnesses as to medical causation;
• Motion in Limine 3: "Golden rule" and
"reptile theory" arguments;
• Motion in Limine 4: Reference to the parties'
• Motion in Limine 5: Evidence of emotional distress
caused by third parties;
• Motion in Limine 6: Evidence of a purported or real
intimate relationship between Morgan Heikkila and Philip
• Motion in Limine 7: Evidence of symptoms or emotional
reactions that do not constitute bodily injury or physical
Court grants the motions in part and denies the motions in
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. Ind. Ins. Co.
v. Gen. Elec. Co., 326 F.Supp.2d 844, 846 (N. D. Ohio -3
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: Undisclosed expert
Maryland asks the Court to exclude undisclosed expert
opinions, particularly (but not exclusively) causation
opinions from Plaintiffs' treating doctors. Maryland
refers to the Court's initial scheduling order (Doc. 9),
which explains the difference in disclosure requirements for
expert and treating physicians. As discussed in that order,
"[i]f [a] treating physician's testimony goes beyond
care, treatment and prognosis then there must be full
compliance with the discovery requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(a)(2)(B)." (Doc. 9 at 9-10.) Plaintiffs counter that:
(1) the Court's order denying Plaintiffs' earlier