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Wyckoff v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

November 13, 2006

ROBERT G. WYCKOFF, PLAINTIFF,
v.
METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY AND KENNETH F. KACZMAREK, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Chief District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER OF COURT

Defendants Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ("MetLife") and Kenneth F. Kaczmarek ("Kaczmarek") (collectively, "Defendants") have filed Objections to Plaintiff's Deposition Designations for James Rayl. (Docket No. 88).*fn1 Plaintiff opposes these objections. (Docket No. 122). After careful review, Defendants' objections are sustained in part and overruled in part as follows.*fn2

As an initial matter, Defendants argue that proposed trial exhibit 115, Rayl's April 13, 1998 deposition transcript, is inadmissible because Plaintiff failed to designate any portion of the testimony contained therein to be read at trial. I agree. All deposition designations by the parties in this matter were due on September 27, 2006. See Docket No. 46. Although Plaintiff timely designated portions of Rayl's February 25, 1998 deposition transcript to be read at trial (Docket No. 48), he did not file any designations with respect to the April 13, 1998 transcript.*fn3 Accordingly, Defendants' objections are sustained with respect to Plaintiff's proposed exhibit 115 in its entirety. For the same reasons, any portions of Rayl's February 25, 1998 deposition testimony (proposed trial exhibit No. 114) that Plaintiff has not designated to be read at trial are likewise excluded.

With respect to the portions of trial exhibit 114 that Plaintiff has designated to be introduced at trial, I rule as follows:

1. Transcript Pages 6:14-8:25; 20:7-21:9; 31:1-32:25; 42:1-44:25; 102:2-105:4: Defendants' objections are overruled as moot. Plaintiff did not properly designate these portions of Rayl's deposition to be read at trial. See Docket No. 48.*fn4

2. Transcript Pages 9:24-10:3:

Defendants' objections to this testimony are overruled. The testimony is relevant background information to establish the extent of Rayl's preparation for the deposition and that he reviewed certain documents. Even if such probative value is minimal, this brief excerpt is not prejudicial to Defendants.

3. Transcript Pages 52:9-23; 59:25-60:8; 77:18-79:18: Defendants' objections to this testimony as irrelevant are overruled. The testimony is relevant background regarding Rayl's work history with MetLife and position within the company.

4. Transcript Pages 105:5-106:2; 107:13-108:24; 169:9-22: Defendants' objections to this testimony are sustained. The testimony is irrelevant to the issues in this case. Even if the testimony were minimally probative, such probative value would be outweighed by prejudice to Defendants. See Fed. R. Evid. 401, 402, 403.

5. Transcript Pages 173:25-174:3; Deposition Exhibit 22: Defendants' objections to this testimony and exhibit are sustained in part and overruled in part. The testimony at pages 173:25-174:3 is admissible as an identification of deposition exhibit 22. I disagree with Defendants that the documents contained in deposition exhibit 22 are irrelevant in their entirety. Rather, the documents are relevant to the extent they pertain to Rayl's concerns regarding sales practices similar to Plaintiff's "vanishing premium" allegations at issue in this case. Such evidence is probative as to a pattern and practice on the part of MetLife, or a corporate culture encouraging similar deceptive sales techniques. This probative value is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to Defendants.*fn5

6. Transcript Pages 253:24-254:18; 259:2-16; 268:25-269:20: Defendants' objections to this testimony are overruled. This testimony pertains directly to Rayl's complaints and concerns regarding sales practices similar to Plaintiff's "vanishing premium" allegations and, thus, is relevant to the issues in this case. I find that this probative value is not substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice to Defendants.*fn6

7. Transcript Pages 254:19-255:20; 257:17-25; 258:7-13: Defendants' objections to the testimony set forth on these transcript pages are overruled to the extent such testimony identifies relevant deposition exhibits. Defendants' specific objections to the deposition exhibits are addressed below.

8. Rayl Deposition Exhibits 37, 39, 40, 41: Plaintiff indicates in his response to Defendants' objections that he does not intend to introduce these deposition exhibits at trial. See Docket No. 122. Thus, ...


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