United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
CARLTON W. REEVES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
motions in limine are pending in this premises liability
case. The motions are briefed and ready for adjudication.
moves to exclude (1) a medical opinion that plaintiff's
injury proximately caused post-traumatic headaches,
post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic neck pain; (2)
evidence of future medical expenses; (3) emergency calls
unaccompanied by incident reports; (4) emergency calls and
incident reports pertaining to non-violent criminal activity;
(5) testimony regarding plaintiff's communication with a
store cashier following his stabbing; and (6) the net worth
of Wal-Mart Stores East, LP. Defendant also asks the Court to
bifurcate the issue of punitive damages. The Court considers
each request in turn.
Medical Opinion of Proximate Causation
seeks to exclude conclusions by plaintiff's treating
physician as to the cause of plaintiff's headaches,
post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic neck pain. The
Court has already ruled that Dr. Goel-designated by plaintiff
as his treating physician-will be allowed to testify to facts
as they relate to his examination and treatment of plaintiff.
Dr. Goel was not timely designated as an expert. Therefore,
he will not be permitted to provide expert testimony. Rulings
on objections to specific portions of Dr. Goel's
testimony are reserved for trial.
Future Medical Expenses
Court stated in its previous Order, plaintiff failed to
timely produce evidence establishing with reasonable
certainty any future medical expenses he will incur for
treatment, prescriptions, or rehabilitation. Docket No. 56.
Plaintiff's failure to timely designate an expert opinion
regarding future medical expenses precludes him from
proposing a specific dollar amount or estimate representing
the cost of such expenses at trial, as doing so would
necessarily rely on speculation. See Wall v.
Swilley, 562 So.2d 1252, 1256 (Miss. 1990)
(“Whatever the measure of damages, they may be
recovered only where and to the extent that the evidence
removes their quantum from the realm of speculation . . .
into the daylight of reasonable certainty.”). To the
extent that it pertains to future medical expenses,
defendant's motion is granted.
Emergency Calls Lacking Incident Reports
seeks to exclude all emergency calls that are unaccompanied
by a police incident report.
defendant's own cases show, the presence or absence of a
corroborating incident report certainly impacts the weight
assigned to an emergency call for service at trial, but it
does not preclude its introduction into evidence. Kroger
Co. v. Knox, 98 So.3d 441, 444 (Miss. 2012); Tillman
v. Wendy's Int'l, Inc., 252 F.3d 434 (5th Cir.
2001); see also Bennett v. Highland Park Apartments,
LLC, 170 So.3d 522, 528 (Miss. Ct. App. 2014)
(considering expert testimony on the number of calls for
emergency service-with no reference to corroborating police
reports- to determine that defendant had constructive
knowledge there existed an atmosphere of violence on its
premises). The trier of fact retains the duty of assigning or
discounting the importance of calls for service.
Emergency Calls and Reports Relating to Non-Violent Criminal
calls for service and incident reports produced in this case
related to a variety of suspected criminal activity, some of
which was non-violent. Wal-Mart objects to these calls and
reports as more prejudicial than probative or otherwise
irrelevant. The Court reserves ruling on specific objections