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Almendarez v. Bnsf Railway Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

April 2, 2014

ARMANDO ALMENDAREZ, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
BNSF RAILWAY COMPANY, Defendants.

ORDER RE: PENDING MOTIONS

MARY ALICE THEILER, Chief Magistrate Judge.

INTRODUCTION AND DISCUSSION

There are several motions pending before the Court, including defendant BNSF Railway Company's (BNSF) Motion to Bifurcate (Dkt. 68) and Motion in Limine (Dkt. 74), and plaintiffs' Motion in Limine (Dkt. 76). Now, having considered those motions, and the documents submitted in support and in opposition, the Court hereby finds and ORDERS:

A. Motion to Bifurcate

BNSF moves to bifurcate the trial on the issues of liability and compensatory damages from the issue of punitive damages. However, the Court concludes bifurcation would not be appropriate in this case. Accordingly, BNSF's Motion to Bifurcate (Dkt. 68) is DENIED.

B. Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine

1. Motive or intent of Kasie Holle:

Plaintiffs' request to exclude testimony, argument, or other evidence of the motive and/or intent of Kasie Holle is DENIED. The Court finds this evidence relevant, see Fed.R.Evid. 401, 402, and an absence of prejudice established, see Fed.R.Evid. 403.

2. Attorney's Fees:

Plaintiffs' request to exclude testimony, argument, or evidence regarding a potential claim for attorney's fees is GRANTED. A determination as to reasonable attorney's fees to which plaintiffs may be entitled will be made by the Court. The Court EXCLUDES testimony, argument, or evidence regarding a potential claim for attorney's fees based on the risk of unfair prejudice posed to plaintiffs, see Fed.R.Evid. 403.

C. BNSF's Motion in Limine

1. Evidence of accord between BNSF and OSHA:

BNSF's request to exclude evidence of a January 2013 accord between BNSF and OSHA ("OSHA Accord") is GRANTED. The OSHA Accord is EXCLUDED as an inadmissible settlement document, Fed.R.Evid. 408, ...


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