United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
D. Mariani United States District Judge
before the Court are Plaintiff's following motions in
1. Motion to Preclude Irrelevant Personal Matters of
Plaintiff, Jonathan Botey (Doc. 189);
2. Motion to Preclude Irrelevant Personal Matters of Maria
Isabelle Lopez-Lake (Doc. 183);
3. Motion to Preclude Testimony of Trooper Joseph H. Nalepa
Regarding Accident Reconstruction and the Cause of the
Subject Accident (Doc. 179);
4. Motion to Preclude Defendants from Introducing Evidence or
Making Comments or Argument Regarding any Adverse Effect of
the Accident on Defendants and/or a Verdict Against the
Defendants (Doc. 187).
Court will address each request in turn. Before doing so,
however, the Court notes at the outset that it exercises its
discretion to rule in limine on evidentiary issues "in
appropriate cases." In re Japanese Elec. Prods.
Antitrust Litig., 723 F.2d 238, 260 (3d Cir.1983),
rev'd on other grounds sub nom. Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). While motions in
limine may serve as a useful pretrial tool that enables a
more in-depth briefing than would be available at trial, a
court may defer ruling on such motions "if the context
of trial would provide clarity." Frintner v.
TruePosition, 892 F.Supp.2d 699, 707 (E.D. Pa. 2012)
(citing Japanese Bee. Proofs., 723 F.2d at 260).
in limine often present issues for which final decision is
best reserved for a specific trial situation."
Walden v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 126 F.3d 506, 518
n. 10 (3d Cir 1997). Thus, certain motions, "especially
ones that encompass broad classes of evidence, should
generally be deferred until trial to allow for the resolution
of questions of foundation, relevancy, and potential
prejudice in proper context." Leonard v. Stemetech
Health Scis., Inc., 981 F.Supp.2d 273, 276 (D. Del.
2013). Specifically, "pretrial Rule 403
exclusions should rarely be granted[A] court cannot fairly
ascertain the potential relevance of evidence for Rule 403
purposes until it has a full record relevant to the
putatively objectionable evidence." In re Paoli R.R.
Yard PCB Litig., 916 F.2d 829, 859 (3d Cir. 1990)
(emphasis original). Finally, it is important to note that
"in limine rulings are not binding on the trial judge,
and the judge may always change his mind during the course of
a trial." Ohler v. United States, 529 U.S. 753,
758 n.3, 120 S.Ct. 1851, 146 L.Ed.2d 826 (2000).
these principles in mind, the Court now turns to Plaintiffs
Motion to Preclude Irrelevant Personal Matters of Plaintiff,
Jonathan Botey (Doc. 189)
requests that the Court preclude the following information,
which he deems to be "irrelevant personal matters of
• Childhood injuries such as fractured ribs, fractured
arm, fractured ankles, broken wrist, fractured foot;
• Diagnosis of sleep apnea;
• Childhood epilepsy and ...