United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division
SUSAN E. JACKSON Plaintiff,
ASPLUNDH CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION,, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
RICHARD WEBBER SENIOR JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion in
Limine to Preclude Evidence of Defendant Anthony Rogers'
Prior Criminal Conviction or Sex Offender Status [ECF No.
76], Defendants' Motion in Limine to Preclude
“Reptile Theory” Argument or Evidence [ECF No.
77], Defendants' Motion in Limine to Preclude William
Hampton's Hearsay Testimony on Conversations and Site
Visit with Potosi Police Chief Roy Logsden [ECF No. 80],
Defendants' Consolidated Motions in Limine [ECF No. 81],
Plaintiff's Motions in Limine [ECF No. 84],
Defendants' Motion to Bifurcate Punitive Damages at Trial
[ECF No. 68], and Defendants' Motion in Limine Requesting
Exclusion or in the Alternative Limiting of Plaintiff's
Testimony of Injury and Causation by Virtue of the
“Sudden Onset” Doctrine [ECF No. 92].
Defendants' Motion in Limine to Preclude Evidence of
Defendant Anthony Rogers' Prior Criminal
Conviction or Sex Offender Status [ECF No. 76]
their motion, Defendants Anthony Rodgers and Asplundh
Construction Corporation (“Defendants”) ask the
Court to prohibit Plaintiff Susan Jackson
(“Plaintiff”) from mentioning or presenting
evidence regarding Defendant Rodger's past criminal
convictions or sex offender status. Defendant Rogers was
convicted of rape and sodomy charges in 1992 and is required
to register as a sex offender as a result. Defendants assert
this evidence is not relevant and the likelihood of unfair
prejudice outweighs any probative value of this evidence.
counsel will be permitted to ask Defendant Rogers if he has
every submitted any written documentation stating he is blind
in one eye. If Defendant Rogers answers in the negative, then
the Court will allow Plaintiff's counsel to introduce
evidence of the sex offender registry which states Defendant
Rogers is blind in his right eye. Otherwise, this evidence
will not be allowed. The prejudice of this evidence to
Defendant Rogers is substantial and the probative value is
minimal. Evidence of Defendant Rogers's eyesight can be
introduced through other means.
Defendants' Motion in Limine to Preclude “Reptile
Theory” Argument or Evidence [ECF No. 77]
their motion, Defendants assert Plaintiff should not be
permitted to present evidence or argument regarding the
“Reptile Theory.” According to Defendants,
Plaintiff intends to use the “Reptile Theory” to
improperly raise questions of community protection.
Defendants claim Plaintiff is attempting to spread the aroma
of fear in the community which is improper, focuses on
irrelevant evidence, and is intended to set up the jury as
protector of the community. Defendants argue Plaintiff's
counsel intends to use the theory to improperly misdirect the
jury on the proper standards of care. Finally, Defendants
assert the “Reptile Theory” is an impermissible
“Golden Rule” argument asking the jury to place
itself in Plaintiff's position. The Court will not issue
a ruling on this motion at this time. The Court will address
any objections as the evidence is introduced.
Defendants' Motion in Limine to Preclude William
Hampton's Hearsay Testimony on Conversations and Site
Visit with Potosi Police Chief Roy Logsden [ECF No.
their motion, Defendants ask the Court to preclude
Plaintiff's witness William Hampton's hearsay
testimony on conversations with Potosi Police Chief Roy
Logsden. Defendants state Mr. Hampton is designated as an
expert witness by Plaintiff to testify on the cause of the
accident, location of the accident, estimated speed at the
time of the accident, and his understanding of the
reconstruction of the accident. According to Defendants, Mr.
Hampton testified in his deposition, during his site visit,
Police Chief Logsden identified the area of impact and stated
the “truck pulled out in front of that little
girl.” Defendants argue this is inadmissible hearsay
and should be excluded.
police officer has more credibility than other witnesses due
to the nature of his authority and position as a law
enforcement officer. A statement by the Potosi Police Chief
“the truck pulled out in front of that little girl,
” is highly prejudicial. This will not be permitted.
The cause of an accident must be established by experts. The
expert witness will be permitted to testify as to other
information Chief Logsden provided him such as where the
scuff marks where located on the pavement.
Defendants' Consolidated Motions in Limine [ECF No.
their motion, Defendants assert eight motions in limine.
First, Defendants argue Plaintiff's expert witness
William Hampton should be precluded from offering any opinion
testimony about whether Anthony Roger's medical
certificate was valid. In his report, Mr. Hampton opinioned
Defendant Rogers falsified his medical examination and was
not medically qualified, thereby invalidating his commercial
driver's license. Defendants assert Mr. Hampton has no
specific knowledge as to this allegation and his assertion is
based on his own interpretations, not any actual regulation,
law, or precedent. Defendants argue Mr. Hampton's opinion
is based on speculation and conjecture and it is highly
prejudicial to Defendants.
Court will permit evidence from witnesses with specific
knowledge of the alleged falsification of the medical
certificate, but it will not permit Mr. Hampton to opine on
the matter. If Mr. Hampton is able to convince the Court, out
of the hearing of the jury, his opinions rely in some manner
on his conclusion the medical certificate was falsified, the
Court may permit the testimony.
Defendants assert no reference should be made as to any
post-accident alcohol or drug testing conducted in respect to
Anthony Rogers. In Mr. Hampton's report, he alleges
Defendant Rogers was required to be tested post-accident for
drugs and alcohol. Defendants argue post-accident testing is
only required when the accident results in a human fatality
or the driver is issued a citation in connection with the
accident, neither of which occurred here. Further, Defendant
claim Mr. Hampton admitted a drug test was not required and
he was not aware of any allegations there was alcohol or
controlled substances involved with either party to the
Court will permit other witnesses to introduce evidence
related to alcohol and drug testing and Defendant
Asplundh's company policies in relation to the testing,
but Mr. ...