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In re Asbestos Litigation

Supreme Court of Montana

January 14, 2019

IN RE ASBESTOS LITIGATION, Consolidated Cases.

         Applicable to Hutt v. Maryland Casualty Co., et al., Cascade County Cause No. DDV-18-0175

          Roger M. Sullivan, Allan M. McGarvey, Jon L. Heberling, John F. Lacey, Ethan Aubrey Welder, Dustin Alan Richard Leftridge (Attorney)

          Jeffrey R. Kuchel, Danielle A.R. Coffman, Gary M. Zadick, Gerry P. Fagan, G. Patrick HagEstad, Jennifer Marie Studebaker, Joshua Alexander Leggett, Vernon M. McFarland, Jean Elizabeth Faure, Jason Trinity Holden, Chad E. Adams, Katie Rose Ranta, Stephen Dolan Bell, Dan R. Larsen, Kelly Gallinger, Charles J. Seifert, Robert J. Phillips, Emma Laughlin Mediak, Daniel Jordan Auerbach, Leo Sean Ward, Robert B. Pfennigs, Rick A. Regh, Mark Trevor Wilson, Murry Warhank, Ben A. Snipes, Mark M. Kovacich, Ross Thomas Johnson, Randy J. Cox, Zachary Aaron Franz, M. Covey Morris, Robert J. Sullivan, Dale R. Cockrell, Vaughn A. Crawford, Tracy H. Fowler, Martin S. King, Maxon R. Davis, Tom L. Lewis, Keith Edward Ekstrom, William Rossbach, Kennedy C. Ramos, Edward J. Longosz, Chad M. Knight, Anthony Michael Nicastro, Nadia Hafeez Patrick, Kevin A. Twidwell, Jinnifer Jeresek Mariman, Stephanie A. Hollar, James E. Roberts, Jacy Suenram, Michael Crill (Other), Conor A. Flanigan, Fredric A. Bremseth, Walter G. Watkins, Jason Eric Pepe, Peter A. Moir, Mark A. Johnston, Erik H Nelson, Michael E. Wise (Attorney)

          ORDER RE: MCC'S MOTION IN LIMINE: ON PUNITIVE DAMAGES

          Amy Eddy, Asbestos Claims Court Judge.

         Pending before the Court Maryland Casualty Company's Motion in Limine on Punitive Damages, filed November 9, 2018. Hutt filed his Response on November 26, 2018, to which Maryland Casualty Company filed a Reply on December 7, 2018. Oral argument was not requested by the parties and was not deemed necessary by the Court. Having reviewed the file and being fully apprised, the Court hereby finds as follows:

         ORDER

         Maryland Casualty Company's Motion in Limine on Punitive Damages is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part consistent with the below Rationale.

         RATIONALE

         A. Factual Background

         The Court's Order Re: Defendant Maryland Casualty Company's Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, dated 1/13/19, fully recites the factual background of this matter and will not be reiterated herein. Relevant facts will be incorporated into the legal analysis as necessary.

         Relevant to this analysis, Maryland Casualty Company was acquired by or merged with Zurich American Insurance Company (ZAIC) in 2015.

         B. Legal Analysis

         The authority to rule on motions in limine "rests in the inherent power of the court to admit or exclude evidence so as to ensure a fair trial." Meek v. Mont. Eighth Judicial Dist. Court, 2015 MT 130, ¶9, 379 Mont. 150, 349 P.3d 493. "The purpose of a motion in limine is to prevent the introduction of evidence which is irrelevant, immaterial, or unfairly prejudicial." City of Missoula v. Asbury, 265 Mont. 14, 17, 873 P.2d 936, 937 (quoting Feller v. Fox, 237 Mont. 150, 153, 772 P.2d 842, 844).

         Maryland Casualty Company has brought the following motions in limine, ...


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