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Landis v. Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District

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

September 27, 2019

CLARK LANDIS, ROBERT BARKER, GRADY THOMPSON, and KAYLA BROWN, Plaintiffs,
v.
WASHINGTON STATE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STADIUM PUBLIC FACILITIES DISTRICT, BASEBALL OF SEATTLE, INC., a Washington Corporation, MARINERS BASEBALL, LLC, a Washington limited liability Company, and THE BASEBALL CLUB OF SEATTLE, LLLP, a Washington limited liability limited partnership, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING AND DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS IN LIMINE

          BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Defendants, the collective owners and operators of T-Mobile Field, have submitted six motions in limine seeking to limit or exclude evidence. Dkt. No. 36. Plaintiffs oppose the motions. Dkt. No. 40. Having reviewed the motions, the opposition thereto, the record of the case, and the relevant legal authorities, the Court will grant some of the motions, and deny others.[1] The reasoning for the Court's decision follows.

         II. BACKGROUND

         The Court recently laid out the background of this case in depth in its order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Dkt. No. 32.

         III. MOTIONS

         A. Motion in Limine No. 1

         Defendants seek to exclude any opinions Plaintiffs' expert, James Terry, may proffer at trial addressing potential remedial measures for alleged barriers to access at T-Mobile Field. Dkt. No. 36 at 6-8. According to Defendants, Mr. Terry's expert report, Dkt. No. 20-1, is limited to identifying alleged architectural barriers, but does not offer any opinion regarding potential remediation measures. Id. at 4.

         Plaintiffs, in response, concede that Mr. Terry's report does not address specific remedial measures, but insist that he should be allowed to testify to "general solutions to similar problems, at other parks." Dkt. No. 40 at 2. They also claim that he should be allowed to rebut any claims, if made, that any particular remedial measure is not feasible. Id.

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("FRCP") 37(c)(1) provides that, where a party fails to provide information "required by Rule 26(a) or (e), " the party is "not allowed to use that information ... at a trial, unless the failure was substantially justified or is harmless." FED. R. Civ. Pro. 37(c)(1); see also Yeti by Molly, Ltd. v. Deckers Outdoor Corp., 259 F.3d 1101, 1106 (9th Cir. 2001). FRCP 26(a)(2)(B), in turn, provides that expert witnesses must provide a report, including "a complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the basis and reasons for them." Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 26(a)(2)(B)(i).

         Here, Mr. Terry's report did not include any opinions on potential remedial measures for T-Mobile Field. Additionally, Plaintiffs have provided no substantial justification for Mr. Terry's failure to include such opinions in his report. As such, Mr. Terry is barred from offering such testimony at trial.

         Mr. Terry, however, may identify "general solutions" that have been utilized in other stadiums based on his expertise. As Plaintiffs' point out, Defendants were given an opportunity to question Mr. Terry on the subject of general solutions during his deposition. See Dkt. No. 40 at 3; Dkt. No. 40-1. Mr. Terry may not, however, testify as to how those general solutions may suit T-Mobile Field, as he himself has admitted that he does not have a basis for such opinions. Dkt. No. 41-1 ("I have opinions about specific remedies, I have not compared those specific opinions and those specific solution types to this facility on a dimensional basis to know which ones of them will work in which locations, and which ones won't, because some of them you just have- to compare them to the specific conditions.").

         Accordingly, Defendants' motion to exclude evidence and argument concerning measures to remediate alleged barriers at T-Mobile Field is GRANTED.

         B. Motion ...


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