United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah
OPINION AND ORDER
B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE
matter is before the Court upon Defendant Wal-Mart Stores
East L.P.'s Motion in Limine. (R. 34). Plaintiff, Ronnie
Sanderson, has responded. (R. 36). This matter is now ripe
for adjudication. For the following reasons, Defendant's
motion is GRANTED.
November of 2016, Ronnie Sanderson slipped and fell at a
Wal-Mart in McCracken County, Kentucky. (R. 1). With the
trial date approaching, Wal-Mart now files the instant motion
in limine. (R. 24).
in limine provided in advance of trial are appropriate if
they eliminate evidence that has no legitimate use at trial
for any purpose. Jonasson v. Lutheran Child & Family
Servs., 115 F.3d 436, 440 (7th Cir.1997); Bouchard
v. Am. Home Products Corp., 213 F.Supp.2d 802, 810
(N.D.Ohio 2002) (“The court has the power to exclude
evidence in limine only when evidence is clearly inadmissible
on all potential grounds.” (citing Luce v. United
States, 469 U.S. 38, 41 n. 4, 105 S.Ct. 460, 83 L.Ed.2d
443 (1984))). Only where the evidence satisfies this high bar
should the court exclude it; if not, “rulings [on
evidence] should be deferred until trial so that questions of
foundation, relevancy and potential prejudice may be resolved
in proper context.” Gresh v. Waste Servs. of
Am., Inc., 738 F.Supp.2d 702, 706 (E.D.Ky.2010)
(quoting Ind. Ins. Co. v. GE, 326 F.Supp.2d 844, 846
(N.D.Ohio 2004)). Even if a motion in limine is denied, the
court may revisit the decision at trial when the parties have
more thoroughly presented the disputed evidence. See
Id. (“Denial of a motion in limine does not
guarantee that the evidence will be admitted at trial, and
the court will hear objections to such evidence as they arise
its Motion in Limine Wal-Mart “moves the [C]ourt for an
order that the [P]laintiff may introduce no evidence of
future medical expenses because there is no expert testimony
in the record that any future medical expenses are probable
of being incurred.” (R.34). Sanderson responds simply
that he is competent to testify as to future medical
expenses. (R.36). The Court disagrees.
determine what evidence is required for future medical costs,
the Court looks to Kentucky substantive law.”
Highley v. 21st Century Ins. Co., Civil Action No.
5:17-cv-213-CHB, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133192, at *7 (E.D.
Ky. Aug. 8, 2018) (citing Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins,
304 U.S. 64, 58 S.Ct. 817, 82 L.Ed. 1188 (1938)). Under
Kentucky law, future medical expenses must be proven by more
than speculation-they must be proven by “positive and
satisfactory evidence.” Id. (citing Howard
v. Barr, 114 F.Supp. 48 (W.D. Ky. 1953)). The
Plaintiff's own testimony that his injuries will require
future medical expenses is not positive and satisfactory
evidence. Howard, 114 F.Supp. at 50. (denying
damages for future medical costs because plaintiff's
testimony alone was not positive and satisfactory evidence).
Court finds Boland-Maloney Lumber Co. v. Burnett
instructive on the matter. 302 S.W.3d 680, (Ky. Ct. App.
2009). In Boland the trial court granted
Boland-Maloney's motion in limine to exclude any evidence
concerning future medical expenses because such evidence was
not supported by an expert. Id. at 691. The Kentucky
Court of Appeals overturned the trial court's decision,
but only to the extent that Burnett had an expert testify as
to Burnett's need for future medications. Id. at
691-2. Notably, the appellate court only reversed on the
future medication expenses-which Burnett supported with
expert testimony-not all future medical expenses. See
Curtis v. Grigsby, No. 2013-CA-000676-MR, 2014 Ky. App.
Unpub. LEXIS 196, at *6-7 (Ct. App. Mar. 7, 2014).
and unlike Burnett, Sanderson has no expert witness to
support any claims of future medical costs, and his own
testimony is not positive and satisfactory evidence of future
medical costs. As such, any recovery for future medical
expenses would be improper. Thus, because it is unsupported
by an expert, any evidence presented by Sanderson regarding
future medical costs cannot rise to the level of positive and
satisfactory as required by Kentucky law. Therefore, it is
excluded as irrelevant.
reasons stated herein, Wal-Mart's Motion in Limine (R.
34) is hereby GRANTED.
matter remains set for trial Oct. 1, 2018. Counsel shall