United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
LEONA MCCONATHY, ET AL.
WAL-MART LOUISIANA, LLC, ET AL.
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a merchants' liability case in which Plaintiffs Leona and
Eddie McConathy allege that Mrs. McConathy was injured when
she fell after tripping over a water hose at the Wal-Mart
store in Jonesboro, Louisiana. Plaintiffs brought suit
against Defendants Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC, and Wal-Mart
before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine [Doc.
No. 41] in which they move to exclude three categories of
evidence. Defendants responded to the motion. [Doc. No. 43].
For the following reasons, the motion is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART.
COLLATERAL SOURCE EVIDENCE
Plaintiffs move to exclude from evidence any reference to the
payment of Mrs. McConathy's medical expenses by
collateral sources by Medicare, private health insurance, or
others. Defendants have responded that they do not
intend to offer this type of evidence. The parties have
agreed to stipulate that any judgment Plaintiffs obtain is
subject to a lien or liens by Medicare, Medicaid, and/or
insurers. The parties further agree that the stipulation need
not be read to the jury.
Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine is GRANTED in this regard,
and any testimony and/or evidence related to collateral
source payments is EXCLUDED from trial.
PRIOR, UNRELATED INJURIES
pursuant to Federal Rules of Evidence 401, 402, and 403,
Plaintiffs move to exclude any evidence of Mrs.
McConathy's “prior, unrelated injuries, ”
including her life-long chronic kidney condition which has
resulted in multiple surgeries and her surgeries for hip pain
and hip replacements. They argue that these conditions,
surgeries, and injuries are unrelated to the accident at
issue in this case, and, thus, are irrelevant. Alternatively,
even if there is some degree of relevance, Plaintiffs argue
that the relevance would be greatly outweighed by unfair
prejudice to their case and confusion to the jury. Plaintiffs
do not seek to exclude evidence of Mrs. McConathy's
surgeries, treatments, and/or injuries to her back and
respond that Plaintiffs' motion is premature and overly
broad. Defendants contend that evidence of Mrs.
McConathy's medical condition is relevant to
Plaintiffs' claims for general damages and to Mr.
McConathy's loss of consortium claim. They point out
that, in part, Mrs. McConathy will claim that she is now
limited in her ability to care for Mr. McConathy, who is
to Federal Rule of Evidence 401, to be admissible, evidence
must be “relevant.” “Evidence is relevant
if: (a) it has any tendency to make a fact more or less
probable than it would be without the evidence; and (b) the
fact is of consequence in determining the action.”
“Relevant evidence is admissible” unless the
United States Constitution, a federal statute, the Federal
Rules of Evidence, or other rules prescribed by the Supreme
Court provide otherwise. Fed.R.Evid. 402. However,
The court may exclude relevant evidence if its probative
value is substantially outweighed by a danger of one or more
of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing the issues,
misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly
presenting cumulative evidence.
Fed. R. Evid. 403.
time, Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine to exclude evidence of
her prior kidney condition and related treatments and her
prior hip condition and related treatment is DENIED. The
Court agrees with Defendants that such evidence is admissible
for the purposes of establishing her general health condition
prior to the accident at Wal-Mart and to her spouse's
consortium losses. To the extent that Defendants attempt to
offer evidence outside of ...