United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Steven Whalen United States Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION IN
D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Carolyn Leroy brings this negligence and vicarious liability
action against Defendants Morinda USA, Inc.
(“Morinda”) and Todd Bagley. She
alleges that she suffered severe injuries at a convention
sponsored by Defendant Morinda when Defendant Bagley
(allegedly Defendant Morinda's employee) pulled a chair
out from under her as she was sitting down, causing her to
fall to the ground.
the Court is Plaintiff's Motion in Limine.
Through it, Plaintiff seeks an order excluding any
documentary or testimonial evidence regarding her Social
Security Disability (“SSD”)
benefits and the disabilities for which she receives them.
For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's Motion in
Limine will be denied.
is a Michigan resident. (ECF No. 1, Compl. ¶ 1.)
Defendant Morinda is a foreign corporation with its principal
place of business in Utah. (Compl. ¶ 2.) Defendant
Bagley is a resident of Utah, and was employed by Defendant
Morinda at the time of the events in this action. (Compl.
20, 2013, Plaintiff attended a Health Awareness Seminar
sponsored by Defendant Morinda at the Hilton Garden Inn in
Southfield, Michigan. (Compl. ¶ 9.) Plaintiff alleges
that as she was attempting to sit down at a table, Defendant
Bagley negligently pulled a chair out from under her, causing
her to fall to the ground. (Id.) Plaintiff further
alleges that as a result of the fall, she suffered injuries
to her hip, back, and neck, some or all of which required
filed this action on April 20, 2016. (ECF No. 1, Compl.) Her
Complaint asserts two causes of action: negligence against
both Defendants (Count I), and vicarious liability against
Defendant Morinda only (Count II). (Compl. ¶¶
8-21.) This Court's jurisdiction over Plaintiffs
claims-both of which arise under state law-is premised on
complete diversity of the parties, which Plaintiff has
sufficiently alleged and which Defendants have not disputed.
(Compl. ¶¶ 1-3; ECF No. 7, Answer at 2.) As part of
her negligence claim, Plaintiff asserts that “should it
be determined that Plaintiff suffered from any pre-existing
relevant diseases or conditions, then such diseases or
conditions were accelerated and/or exacerbated by the
incident complained of in this action.” (Compl. ¶
dispositive motions have been filed in this case. After
discovery closed and a jury trial was scheduled for October
2017, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion in Limine
on June 26, 2017. (ECF No. 18, Pl.'s Mot.) Defendants
filed a belated Response on August 17, 2017. (ECF No. 20,
Defs.' Resp.) Plaintiff did not file a reply. Because
neither party's brief contained citation to case law, the
Court ordered supplemental briefing at the August 23, 2017
hearing on the instant Motion. The parties complied. (ECF No.
23, Pl.'s Supp. Br.; ECF No. 24, Defs.' Supp. Br.)
The Court now denies Plaintiffs Motion for the reasons below.
procedural and evidentiary rules, as well as the cases
interpreting them, “all encourage, and in some cases
require, parties and the court to utilize extensive pretrial
procedures - including motions in limine - in order
to narrow the issues remaining for trial and to minimize
disruptions at trial.” United States v.
Brawner, 173 F.3d 966, 970 (6th Cir. 1999); see also
Louzon v. Ford Motor Co., 718 F.3d 556, 560 (6th Cir.
2013) (“A motion in limine is any motion, whether made
before or during trial, to exclude anticipated prejudicial
evidence before the evidence is actually offered.”)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
in limine typically involve matters which ought to
be excluded from the jury's consideration due to some
possibility of prejudice or as a result of previous rulings
by the Court.” Provident Life & Acc. Ins. Co.
v. Adie,176 F.R.D. 246, 250 (E.D. Mich. 1997). District
courts have broad discretion over matters involving the
admissibility of evidence at trial. See United States v.
Seago,930 F.2d 482, 494 (6th Cir. 1991).
“[I]n limine rulings are not binding on the
trial judge, and the judge may always change his mind ...