United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
L. HAYES JUDGE
A. DOUGHTY MAG. JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Groupo Rimar aka Suavinex's
(“Suavinex”) Omnibus Motion in Limine [Doc. No.
196]. Plaintiff Luv n' Care, Ltd. (“LNC”) has
opposed the motion in separate filings to address each issue
raised. [Doc. Nos. 210-12, 214-15, 222-26].
a breach of contract suit between LNC and Suavinex based on
the parties' 2012 Termination Agreement and Mutual
Release (“2012 Termination Agreement”). The 2012
Termination Agreement prohibited either party from copying,
utilizing, disclosing, or making accessible certain listed
items, including products, product designs, trade secrets,
formulae, patents, drawings, business plans, prototypes,
packaging, procedures and methods, and any other proprietary
designs or information, without the other party's
consent. LNC's Amended Complaint alleged that Suavinex
breached the 2012 Termination Agreement by selling products
that closely resembled its own. Thus, the issue to be
presented to the jury is whether Suavinex copied LNC's
proprietary products in violation of the 2012 Termination
presents eleven (11) motions in limine for the Court's
consideration. The Court will consider each in turn.
first moves the Court to exclude any evidence, testimony, or
argument concerning its size, wealth, overall revenues, or
profits, arguing that this type of evidence has no relation
to the issues and would be highly prejudicial. Suavinex
argues further that the jury might award LNC damages based
Suavinex's overall business or as a measure of punitive
responds that Sauvinex's own expert witnesses have made
its size and position in the Spanish pacifier market relevant
to their testimony. Further, LNC contends that this evidence
is relevant to the story behind the relationship between the
two companies and the breach of contract claim.
401 defines “‘[r]elevant evidence' . . . [as]
evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any
fact that is of consequence to the determination of the
action more probable or less probable than it would be
without the evidence.” Fed.R.Evid. 401. However, even
if relevant, under Rule 403, “evidence may be excluded
if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the
danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or
misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay,
waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative
evidence.” Fed.R.Evid. 403.
first Motion in Limine is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
To the extent that Suavinex intends to offer evidence of its
development of the products at issue and its longstanding
presence in the Spanish market as a baby products
distributor, the Court finds that LNC should be allowed to
offer a brief evidentiary presentation on the history of the
relationship between the companies and Suavinex's
subsequent growth in the Spanish market and that such
evidence is not unduly prejudicial. However, the Court will
otherwise exclude evidence, testimony, and argument with
regard to Suavinex's size, wealth, overall revenues, or
profits as irrelevant. While the Court is allowing some,
limited evidence on the general size and growth of Suavinex,
LNC is cautioned that the Court will not allow lengthy
presentation on this type of evidence, and, further, that the
focus on the evidence should be on the allegedly copied
products, not Suavinex's other products. The parties
should consider this ruling as a general guide, but the Court
will consider appropriate objections at trial.
Suavinex's Other Products
next moves the Court to exclude any evidence, testimony, or
argument concerning other products in its catalog of
offerings, arguing that this evidence has “no nexus to
the accused products or their features and is improper”
and “highly prejudicial.” [Doc. No. 196-1, p. 4].
Suavinex argues further that this evidence “may suggest
to the jury that it should award LNC damages based upon
Suavinex's overall business, the vast majority of which
has nothing to do with the accused products or the accused
responds that it does not intend to introduce evidence of the
range of Suavinex's products to mislead or prejudice the
jury, but that it should be allowed to “show that the
present litigation does not target the entirety of
Suavinex's product line.” [Doc. No. 211, pp. 3-4].
second Motion in Limine is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN
PART. The Court will allow limited evidence showing that the
parties had a contract on the distributorship of two of
Suavinex's products, but Suavinex retained the right to
sell other products in that market. Contrary to LNC's
arguments, it is the Court's province to determine
whether evidence is relevant, regardless of the parties'
arguments. Other than as indicated, ...