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Garriott v. Western Medical Associates, PLLC

United States District Court, D. Idaho

October 4, 2017

JUSTIN T. GARRIOTT and SUSAN GARRIOTT, husband and wife; JASPYN GARRIOTT, JUSTIN GARRIOTT JR., JMG1, a minor, and JMG2, a minor, Plaintiffs,
v.
WESTERN MEDICAL ASSOCIATES, PLLC, an Idaho corporation; PAUL PASCHALL, MD; ERIC CHUN, MD, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          Honorable Candy W. Dale United States Magistrate Judge.

         INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court are the parties' respective motions in limine. The Court conducted a hearing on the motions on October 2, 2017, at which the parties appeared and presented oral argument. Consistent with the Court's statements on the record during the hearing, the Court issues this Memorandum Decision and Order on the two motions.

         The Court's ruling herein is preliminary and may be subject to revision upon consideration of particular evidentiary issues presented within the context of trial. An eight-day jury trial is set to begin on October 30, 2017.

         Plaintiffs seek to exclude the following evidence from trial: (1) evidence of collateral source payments; (2) evidence of Plaintiffs' bankruptcy filing; (3) extrinsic statements of Plaintiffs' expert, Dr. Richard Cummins; and (4) the testimony of Defendants' expert, Dr. Rabih Darouiche. Defendants seek to limit the scope of testimony of Justin Garriott's treating physicians pursuant to Fed. Rule Civ. P. 26(a)(2)(C). The Court will discuss each evidentiary issue below.

         ANALYSIS

         1. Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine

         A. Collateral Source Payments

         Plaintiffs assert that, pursuant to Idaho Code § 6-1606 and the collateral source rule, it is not appropriate for Defendants to present any collateral source evidence to the jury. This includes benefits related to health insurance, social security, and disability.

         Idaho Code § 6-1606 prohibits double recoveries from collateral sources in any action for personal injury. The statute provides that judgment may be entered “only for damages which exceed amounts received by the claimant from collateral sources as compensation for the personal injury…. For the purposes of this section, collateral sources shall not include benefits paid under federal programs which by law must seek subrogation…and benefits paid which are recoverable under subrogation rights created under Idaho law or by contract.”

         Defendants did not contest this argument, and confirmed the same during the hearing. Accordingly, the Court will GRANT the motion with respect to collateral source evidence, reserving application of Idaho Code § 6-1606 to post trial proceedings regarding damages, if appropriate.

         B. Plaintiffs' 1998 Bankruptcy

         During her deposition, Susan Garriott acknowledged that in 1998 she and Justin filed bankruptcy as a result of “bad financial decisions.” Plaintiffs argue that, although the evidence is perhaps relevant under Fed.R.Evid. 401, under Fed.R.Evid. 403, this evidence should be excluded because its probative value is outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.

         Defendants did not contest this argument, and confirmed the same during the hearing. Accordingly, the Court will GRANT the motion with regard to ...


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