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Bell v. Sam's East, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

February 9, 2018

ROBIN LYNETTE BELL, Plaintiff,
v.
SAM'S EAST, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          SUSAN K. LEE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Before the Court are multiple motions in limine (sometimes “MIL” or “MILs”) filed by Sam's East, Inc. (“Sam's”) and Morgan's Striping Service, Inc. (“Morgan's”) (collectively “Defendants”). The motions addressed herein, some of which are jointly filed by Defendants, some of which are filed only by Sam's, and some of which are combined in a single motion are:

(1) Sam's' MIL #1 [Doc. 39] - to exclude evidence and argument about Sam's size, revenue, or profitability;
(2) Sam's' MIL #2 [Doc. 40] - to exclude certain portions of the deposition testimony of Quinn Schratz (“Schratz”);
(3) Sam's' MIL #3 [Doc. 41] - to exclude certain prior incident evidence;
(4) Sam's' MIL #6 [Doc. 43] - to deem certain medical records authenticated;
(5) Defendants' MIL #4 [Doc. 42]- to exclude testimony and argument by Plaintiff and other lay witnesses about what doctors have said to Plaintiff about her condition, about what Plaintiff has read about her condition, what persons with similar diagnoses have said to Plaintiff about her condition, and Plaintiff's beliefs and opinions about her condition, including the causes of the symptoms, her future, and what treatment is appropriate;
(6) Defendants' MIL #7 [Doc. 45] - to exclude any evidence and other evidence not previously identified by Plaintiff;
(7) Defendants' MILs #16-25 [Doc. 46] -
(a) MIL #16 - to prohibit use of displays/models/documentary evidence or other tangible evidence not previously identified as exhibits, provided to opposing counsel prior to trial, and admitted into evidence;
(b) MIL #17 - to require counsel to advise the Court of the order and presentation of proof so that counsel will know what witnesses will be called the following day;
(c) MIL #18 - to bar the introduction of any portion of the deposition of any individual to which an objection was made, unless the Court first considers and overrules the objection;
(d) MIL # 19 - to prohibit Plaintiff from adducing testimony or comments that the trial or an adverse verdict would not impact Defendants or their reputation;
(e) MIL #20 - to bar reference to whether medical malpractice lawsuits or adverse verdicts increase insurance premiums;
(f) MIL #21 - to prohibit “golden rule” arguments, i.e., telling jurors to put themselves in the position of Plaintiff;
(g) MIL #22 - to exclude improper references to the cost of the defense, including the resources of the law firm;
(h) MIL #23 - to exclude all witnesses from the courtroom at trial;
(i) MIL #24 - to exclude medical records or bills unless they have been properly introduced by the custodians of the records or another competent witness who can testify as to their admissibility; and
(j) MIL #25 - to bar Plaintiff from arguing or testifying that any violations of Defendants' own policies are proof of a violation of the applicable standard of care [Doc. 46].

         Plaintiff has filed various responses to the motions in limine and Defendants have filed various replies, all of which have been considered. Commendably, the parties have indicated mutual agreements regarding some of the issues raised in the motions in limine.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case involves an alleged slip and fall accident in Sam's' parking lot on August 31, 2014. Plaintiff claims she slipped on a painted line and that the company that painted the line, Morgan's, failed to put in additives to make the paint less slippery when wet. Plaintiff seeks $600, 000 in damages for “(a) Permanent injuries to her knee and body as a whole, past and future; (b) Pain, mental anguish and suffering, past and future; (c) Medical and hospital expenses, past and future; (d) Loss of the ...


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