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Brian and Michelle Sadler, Individually and On Behalf of Their Minor Child, B.S. v. Advanced Bionics

April 1, 2013

BRIAN AND MICHELLE SADLER, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF THEIR MINOR CHILD, B.S. PLAINTIFFS
v.
ADVANCED BIONICS, LLC
DEFENDANT



MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court upon Defendant Advanced Bionics, LLC's "Motion In Limine No. 8 -- Omnibus Motion." (ECF No. 113.) Plaintiffs Brian and Michelle Sadler, individually and on behalf of their minor child B.S., have responded, (Docket No. 136), and Defendant has replied, (ECF No. 158). This matter is now ripe for adjudication. In their instant omnibus Motion, Defendants move to exclude evidence of, or reference to, each of the following nine items:

(1) Any request or suggestion that the jury put themselves in Plaintiffs' position;

(2) Commentary about the size of either legal team;

(3) Commentary about out-of-state parties or witnesses;

(4) Opinions of counsel;

(5) Commentary regarding discovery or discovery issues;

(6) Reference to Defendant's insurance coverage;

(7) Commentary regarding absent witnesses for the defense;

(8) Use of videotaped deposition excerpts during opening statements or

(9) Evidence of other lawsuits or failures.

ECF No. 113, at 1.

Plaintiffs agree or have no objection to item #1 (the so-called "Golden Rule"), item #2 (the size of either legal team), and item #6 (references to insurance coverage), so long as the exclusion is reciprocal. ECF No. 136, at 1, 4. Accordingly, the Court need not address item numbers 1, 2, and 6, and Defendants Motion relative to these items will be sustained insofar as both parties agree to the reciprocal exclusion of this evidence.

The remaining items Defendant seeks to exclude are, to varying degrees, more contentious and thus will be addressed individually in the numerical order they are presented.

I. Item # 3 -- Commentary about out-of-state parties or witnesses Defendant seeks to exclude any reference to the out-of-state residence of the Defendant and its employees, and of Defendant's counsel. ECF No. 113-1, at 3. In essence, the Court reads Defendant's Motion as seeking to prohibit Plaintiffs from attempting to prejudice the jury by characterizing Defendant as "an out-of-state outsider," appealing to local bias against Defendant on account of it being an out-of-state resident, or developing an "'us-against-them' argument that attempt[s] to pit the community against a nonresident ...


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