United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana
PEGGY MAYS ET AL.
CHEVRON PIPE LINE CO. ET AL.
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is the Motion in Limine (Doc. 174)
filed by Plaintiffs. For the reasons that
follow, the Motion (Doc. 174) is
dispute arises from an accident on a drilling platform in
Louisiana territorial waters. (Doc. 1). James Mays was killed
when components of a pressurized valve on a pipeline
dislodged and struck him in the head. (Id.). Members
of his family sued the pipeline operator, Chevron, for
negligence. (Id.). Trial will begin on January 28,
2019. (Doc. 163).
Plaintiffs move to exclude evidence of (1) an OSHA citation
issued to Mays's employer, Furmanite America, Inc.; (2)
Mays's post-accident blood alcohol content; (3) Longshore
and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) benefits
Plaintiffs received; (4) Mays's 2013 car accident; (5)
Mays's 2010 transient ischemic attack; and (6) the
percentage of time Mays worked offshore or on the outer
Continental Shelf (OCS). (Doc. 174).
party objecting to the admissibility of evidence bears the
burden of showing that the evidence is inadmissible.
Lyondell Chem. Co. v. Occidental Chem. Corp., 608
F.3d 284, 295 (5th Cir. 2010).
move to exclude the OSHA citation issued to Furmanite on the
ground that the citation is inadmissible
hearsay. (Doc. 174-1 at 5). The OSHA citation is
hearsay, and hearsay is generally not admissible. See
Fed.R.Evid. 802. But Chevron argues that the citation is
admissible as a public record under Federal Rule of Evidence
803(8). (Doc. 183 at 2). The Court disagrees.
statement of a public office is not barred by the rule
against hearsay if the statement contains factual findings
from a legally authorized investigation and the
statement's opponent does not give the Court reason to
question the source's trustworthiness. FED. R. Evid.
OSHA citation does not fall under the public record
exception. The citation is non-final, and it contains no
"factual findings." See Williams u. Manitowoc
Cranes, LLC, No. 1:14-CV-383-HSO-JCG, 2016 WL 7666142,
at *8 (S.D.Miss. Oct. 7, 2016) (citing Smith v. Isuzu
Motors Ltd., 137 F.3d 859, 862 (5th Cir. 1998)). Even if
the citation contained factual findings, the Court would
conclude that the citation is not admissible because the
Court has reason to question the trustworthiness of the
information in the citation. See Lacey v. Arkema
Inc., No. 3:10-CV-00669-BAJ, 2014 WL 1327792, at *5
(M.D. La. Mar. 31, 2014) (holding that OSHA citation did not
qualify as a public record under Federal Rule of Evidence
803(8) due to trustworthiness concerns).
the OSHA citation is hearsay not subject to the public record
exception, and because Chevron offers no other basis for
admitting it, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion to
exclude the citation.