United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE
PARTIES' MOTIONS IN LIMINE
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.
matter is before the parties' motions in limine.
Dkt. ## 137, 138, 139. For the reasons below, the Court
GRANTS in part, DENIES in
part, and TAKES UNDER ADVISEMENT
the parties' motions.
Ruth Jelinek is the policyholder of an automobile insurance
agreement with Defendant American National Property and
Casualty Co. (“ANPAC”). Her insurance policy
includes $10, 000 in medical payments (“MedPay”)
coverage and $100, 000 in underinsured motorist
(“UIM”) coverage. Dkt. # 1-1 at 11. On October
31, 2012, Jelinek was involved in a car accident caused by
another motorist. She reached a settlement with the at-fault
motorist for $100, 000. She also filed a claim for MedPay and
UIM coverage with ANPAC. ANPAC paid the $10, 000 limit of her
MedPay coverage, but declined to pay the limit of her UIM
coverage. Jelinek later filed this action, alleging ANPAC
committed tort violations and breach of contract by
mishandling her claim for UIM coverage. Her claims for breach
of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and for violations
of the Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act
(“IFCA”) and the Washington Consumer Protection
Act (“CPA”) (hereinafter, the
“extracontractual claims”) were dismissed on
summary judgment. Dkt. # 66.
trial on the breach of contract claim, Jelinek appealed from
the Court's order granting summary judgment in favor of
ANPAC on her extracontractual claims. Dkt. # 122. On October
5, 2018, the Ninth Circuit reversed the Court's grant of
summary judgment on Jelinek's extracontractual claims,
finding that a jury reasonably could draw inferences in favor
of either party based on the evidence presented. Dkt. # 128.
On December 6, 2018, the Court set the trial on Jelinek's
extracontractual claims for November 4, 2019. On October 7,
2019, the parties submitted motions in limine which
are now before the Court. Dkt. ## 137, 138, 139.
may file motions in limine before or during trial
“to exclude anticipated prejudicial evidence before the
evidence is actually offered.” Luce v. United
States, 469 U.S. 38, 40 n. 2 (1984). To decide on the
motions in limine, the Court is generally guided by
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 401 and 403. Specifically,
the Court considers whether evidence “has any tendency
to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without
the evidence, ” and whether “the fact is of
consequence in determining the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
401. However, the Court may exclude relevant evidence if
“its probative value is substantially outweighed by a
danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice,
confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay,
wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative
evidence.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 403.
findings and conclusions in this order, like all rulings
in limine, are preliminary and can be revisited at
trial based on the facts and evidence as they are actually
presented. See, e.g., Luce v. United
States, 469 U.S. 38, 41 (1984) (explaining that a ruling
in limine “is subject to change when the case unfolds,
particularly if the actual testimony differs from what was
contained in the proffer. Indeed even if nothing unexpected
happens at trial, the district judge is free, in the exercise
of sound judicial discretion, to alter a previous in limine
ruling.”). Subject to these principles, the Court
issues these rulings for the guidance of the parties.
AMPAC's Motions in Limine
Mutually Agreed Motions in Limine
Court accepts the parties' resolution of the following
disputed issues for trial and GRANTS the
following motions in limine:
parties agree not to refer to the “golden rule”
or similar themes, whether directly or indirectly. This
includes any argument that asks jurors to place themselves in
the position of either party or to grant relief that they
would feel entitled to if they were in the same position.
(Motion in Limine No. 1.)
parties agree to inform opposing counsel of their expected
witnesses for each day by close of business on the previous
day. (Motion in Limine No. 2.) Plaintiff to advise the
parties on the preceding Friday of the witnesses testifying
on November 4.
parties agree not to introduce witnesses and/or evidence at
trial not previously disclosed through discovery to date.
(Motion in Limine No. 3.)
parties agree not to introduce expert testimony or opinion
evidence not previously disclosed in the four corners of the
expert's report. (Motion in Limine No. 4.)
parties agree not to reference any “probable”
testimony in their opening statement of any witness who is
absent, unavailable, or not called to testify at trial.
(Motion in Limine No. 5.)
parties agree not to mention or disclose ANPAC's use of a
jury consultant in connection with any aspect of trial,
including the selection of the jury. (Motion in Limine No.
parties agree not to mention or disclose any evidence about
discovery disputes, discovery negotiations, or allegations of
misconduct involving discovery between the parties. (Motion
in Limine No. 9.)
parties agree to preclude evidence or argument about
ANPAC's post-litigation conduct, including settlement
discussions. (Motion in Limine No. 21.)
Disputed Motions in Limine