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Celento v. Mon River Towing

January 10, 2007

STEPHEN CELENTO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MON RIVER TOWING, INC., DEFENDANT.



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

Magistrate Judge Caiazza

ORDER

The Defendant's Motion to bifurcate liability and damages at trial (Doc. 44) will be denied.*fn1

The court does not agree with Defense counsel that the Plaintiff presents "a precariously thin liability case." Compare Def.'s Br. (Doc. 45) at 1 (stating same and suggesting failure to bifurcate would unduly prejudice Defendant) with R&R dated Aug. 25, 2006 (Doc. 22) (recommending denial of summary judgment based on questions "regarding [the] adequacy of [the] Plaintiff's training and his supervision") (footnotes omitted), adopted by Dist. Ct. through Mem. Order dated Sept. 25, 2006 (Doc. 28).

As to efficiency and judicial economy, the Defendant has failed to show how this case is any different from the run-ofthe-mill Jones Act case. Compare, e.g., Def.'s Br. at 1 (positing that, because liability case is so weak, "a trial on the damages issue will likely not be needed") with discussion supra (rejecting notion that Plaintiff has put forth weak evidence regarding liability).*fn2

For these reasons, the Defendant's Motion to bifurcate (Doc. 44) is hereby DENIED.

IT IS SO ...


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