United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
MICHAEL P. MILLS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE NORTHERN
DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
before the Court are eight motions in limine filed
by defendant Union Insurance Company (“Union”).
Plaintiff Anthony Smith (“Smith”) filed a
response as to each motion, conceding some of them and
setting forth his arguments in opposition to many of them.
The Court has reviewed the parties' submissions, in
conjunction with relevant authorities, and is now prepared to
“The purpose of a motion in limine is to allow
the trial court to rule in advance of trial on the
admissibility and relevance of certain forecasted
evidence.” Harkness v. Bauhaus U.S.A., Inc.,
2015 WL 631512, at *1 (N.D. Miss. Feb. 13, 2015) (additional
citations omitted). In this context, “[e]vidence should
not be excluded . . . unless it is clearly inadmissible on
all potential grounds.” Id.
(quoting Fair v. Allen, 2011 WL 830291, at *1 (W.D.
La. Mar. 3, 2011)) (emphasis added).
rulings “should often be deferred until trial so that
questions of foundation, relevancy and potential prejudice
can be resolved in proper context.” Rivera v.
Salazar, 2008 WL 2966006, at *1 (S.D. Tex. July 30,
2008) (citing Sperberg v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber
Co., 519 F.2d 708, 712 (6th Cir. 1975)). Moreover, the
“[d]enial of a motion in limine does not
necessarily mean that all evidence contemplated by the motion
will be admitted at trial. Denial merely means that without
the context of trial, the court is unable to determine
whether the evidence in question should be excluded.”
Gonzalez v. City of Three Rivers, 2013 WL 1150003,
at *1 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 8, 2013) (quoting Hawthorne
Partners v. AT&T Tech., Inc., 831 F.Supp. 1398, 1400
(N.D. Ill. 1993); Luce v. United States, 469 U.S.
38, 41 n.4, 105 S.Ct. 460, 83 L.Ed.2d 443 (1984)).
Court has previously emphasized that “[t]he purpose of
motions in limine is not to re-iterate matters which
are set forth elsewhere in the Rules of Civil Procedure or
Rules of Evidence, but, rather, to identify specific
issues which are likely to arise at trial, and which, due to
their complexity or potentially prejudicial nature, are best
addressed in the context of a motion in
limine.” Maggette v. BL Development
Corp., 2011 WL 2134578, at *4 (N.D. Miss. May 21, 2011)
(emphasis in original); see also Estate of Wilson v.
Mariner Health Care, Inc., 2008 WL 5255819, at*1 (N.D.
Miss. Dec. 16, 2008) (“[M]otions in limine
should be narrowly tailored to address issues which will
likely arise at trial and which require a pre-trial ruling
due to their complexity and/or the possibility of prejudice
if raised in a contemporaneous objection.”).
Additionally, a motion “set[ting] forth a lengthy
laundry list of matters, most of them of a highly vague
nature . . . constitutes an improper ‘shotgun'
motion which fails to meet this court's standards for
motions in limine.” Estate of Wilson,
2008 WL 5255819, at *1.
Court will address each of Union's eight motions in turn.
Motion to exclude testimony or other evidence regarding
any physical injury :
motion, Union argues that the Court should exclude any
evidence relating to Smith's physical injuries or
physical limitations, stating that the complaint
“alleges that Union's actions resulted in pain,
discomfort and emotional distress, including worry and axiety
[sic]. . . [but] does not make a claim for any physical
injury, exacerbation of physical injury and/or permanent
physical limitations as a result of Union's alleged
delay.” Union additionally emphasizes multiple
responses to interrogatories, wherein Smith makes no mention
of any physical injury or limitations.
response, Smith avers that “[t]o the extent that
[Union's] Motion seeks to exclude damages for the
physical aspect of worry, anxiety, emotional distress
together with unnecessarily incurred pain and discomfort
caused by [Union's] delay and constructive denial for
medical care[, Union's] Motion is misplaced. It is
conceded that there is no allegation of any permanent
physical limitation but Plaintiff has plainly alleged
unnecessarily incurred pain and discomfort caused by delay in
medical care and immense and ongoing worry, anxiety and
emotional distress caused by that delay that are indeed
physical injuries and should not be stricken.”
extent it is opposed, Union's motion will be denied. In
his prayer for relief, Smith requests compensation for, among
other things, “[p]ast unnecessarily incurred pain and
discomfort caused by Defendants [sic] delay and constructive
denial for medical care[.]” In the Court's view,
this prayer for relief shows Smith's intent, from the
outset, to seek recovery for physical injuries suffered due
to Union's conduct-specifically, pain and discomfort.
Although his stated cause of action was for
intentional/negligent infliction of emotional distress, he
never stated that he did not wish to seek damages for the
physical manifestations of his emotional injuries, and
Union's assertions to the contrary are erroneous. As a
result, this request will be denied. Union may, however,
submit proposed jury instructions concerning damages that
address its concerns, and the Court will entertain those
submissions at the appropriate time. Nevertheless, at the
present time, the Court will grant the motion to the extent
it is unopposed and deny it in all other respects.
to exclude evidence concerning the Mississippi Workers'
Compensation Act not specifically pled in the complaint
Court now turns to Union's request that the Court exclude
“any testimony or other evidence regarding the denial
or delay in authorizing or paying any benefits in the
underlying workers' compensation claim that have not been
specifically pled in the [c]omplaint.” In the motion,
Union contends that although this action has been narrowed to
four specific alleged instances of delay, Smith will likely
attempt to offer evidence concerning other delays in
reply, Smith states that “[t]o the extent [Union] seeks
to exclude damages not pled, the Motion is conceded.”
Accordingly, the motion will be granted, and Smith will not
be permitted to introduce evidence concerning damages that
were not pled.
to exclude evidence regarding forty-five day period for
scheduling and completion of employer medical evaluations
next motion, Union asks the Court to exclude any testimony or
other evidence concerning a forty-five day requirement for
scheduling or completing an employer medical evaluation
(“EME”). Union contends that “[t]here is no
such requirement contained in any statute, rule, fee schedule
or other applicable authority that applies to the issues
raised in [Smith's] complaint.” This motion stems
from Smith's response to Union's motion for summary
judgment, wherein Smith made reference to a forty-five day
requirement for conducting an EME in the 2013 medical fee
schedule. However, the parties agree that the 2007 fee
schedule-not the 2013 schedule-is applicable to this action.
Therefore, Union argues that any reference to the new
requirement in the 2013 fee schedule is irrelevant and should
states that he does not contest the motion. He does
emphasize, however, that in referencing the 2013 fee
schedule, he was simply responding to Union's motion for
summary judgment and pointing out that the conduct at issue
in this case has now been banned by the Mississippi
Workers' Compensation Commission.
Court appreciates the point Smith made in his response to
Union's summary judgment motion and recognizes that the
2013 fee schedule is not applicable in the case at hand.
Consequently, it will grant the motion and exclude any
references to the requirements of the 2013 fee schedule.