Stock v. Rodriguez, 100219 NEDC, 4:17CV3038

Docket Nº4:17CV3038
Opinion JudgeMichael D. Nelson, United States Magistrate Judge.
Party NameROBERT STOCK, Plaintiff, v. ELIAS D. RODRIGUEZ, SR., and C.R. ENGLAND, INC., a Utah Corporation, Defendants.
Case DateOctober 02, 2019
CourtUnited States District Courts, 8th Circuit, District of Nebraska

ROBERT STOCK, Plaintiff,

v.

ELIAS D. RODRIGUEZ, SR., and C.R. ENGLAND, INC., a Utah Corporation, Defendants.

No. 4:17CV3038

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

October 2, 2019

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Michael D. Nelson, United States Magistrate Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the motions in limine filed by Plaintiff (Filing No. 74) and Defendants (Filing No. 81). The Court will grant the motions in part, and deny them in part, as set forth below.

I. Plaintiff's Motions in Limine

Plaintiff moves the Court for an order in limine to prevent Defendants from offering any evidence or testimony regarding: (1) Plaintiff's criminal history on the basis that any of his felony convictions are more than ten years old, Fed R. Evid. 609(b); (2) Plaintiff's work conduct at any job before or after this accident because Plaintiff is not presenting a claim for future wage loss, Fed.R.Evid. 401, 403; and (3) Plaintiff's alcohol detox and/or treatment, Fed.R.Evid. 403. (Filing No. 74).

As to (1), Defendants argue that it is premature for the Court to rule on the admissibility of Plaintiff's criminal history until the time of trial. Defendants further argue that Plaintiff's felony conviction will be admissible as impeachment evidence under Fed.R.Evid. 609(a)(1) because Plaintiff was released from confinement less than 10-years ago and the Rule 403 balancing test weighs in favor of its admissibility. (Filing No. 84). Rule 609(a)(1) provides that evidence of a crime “punishable by . . . imprisonment for more than one year . . . must be admitted, subject to Rule 403, in a civil case . . .” to attack a witness's credibility. Fed.R.Evid. 609(a)(1)(emphasis added). Rule 609(b) provides that, “if more than 10 years passed since the witness's conviction or release from confinement for it, whichever is later, ” a felony conviction may nevertheless be admissible if “its probative value, supported by specific facts and circumstances, substantially outweighs its prejudicial effect” and if the proponent provides the opposing party with reasonable notice of its use. See Fed.R.Evid. 609(b)(emphasis added). During the Final Pretrial Conference, counsel represented to the Court that Plaintiff's felony conviction, for burglary or other theft-related offense, was in 2008, but he was released from confinement from that conviction less than 10-years ago. Therefore, Rule 609(b) is inapplicable. Pursuant to Rules 609(a)(1) and 403, the Court finds that Plaintiff's credibility is important to the issues in the case and, at least at this time, it appears that evidence of this felony conviction is admissible to impeach Plaintiff as its probative value outweighs any prejudice. Accordingly, the Court will deny Plaintiff's motion as to (1) subject to reassertion at trial.

Defendants object to (2) because, although Plaintiff withdrew his claim for future lost wages, he still is claiming past lost wages in the amount of $110, 000. Defendants assert that testimony from Plaintiff's past employers as to the employability of Plaintiff is relevant to his claim that he would have stayed at his employer for the duration that he claims and to show the unreasonableness of the amount he seeks for past wages. The Court finds that Plaintiff's work performance and employability are relevant to his claim for past lost wages, and will therefore deny Plaintiff's motion as to (2) subject to reassertion at trial.

Defendants do not object to Plaintiff's motion as to (3) to the extent the topic is not admissible in and of itself. Therefore, the Court will grant Plaintiff's motion in limine as to (3), subject to reconsideration at trial if Plaintiff places its relevance at issue.

II. Defendants' Motions in Limine

Defendants move the Court for an order in limine to prevent Plaintiff from offering evidence or testimony regarding: (1) the existence of liability insurance or insurance coverage indemnifying Defendants or Plaintiff for damages that may be awarded as a result of a judgment in this matter, and regarding the payment of workers' compensation benefits to Plaintiff following the accident in this case, Fed.R.Evid. 411, 401, and 403; (2) the alleged danger or threat that semi-trucks or tractor-trailers pose to other drivers on public roadways, Fed.R.Evid. 411, 401, 403; (3) Plaintiff's claim for $110, 000 in past lost wages as it is speculative and unparticularized and was not pled; (4) Plaintiff's claim for loss of future earning capacity; (5) Plaintiff's claim for any property damage; (6) a certain video tape produced for Hoy Trial Lawyers;...

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