Nobles v. LogiCore Corporation
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER that the 65 MOTION in Limine is GRANTED IN PART AND DENEID as more fully set out in order. Signed by Judge C Lynwood Smith, Jr on 4/1/2016. (AHI)
2016 Apr-01 PM 12:58
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
Civil Action No. 5:13-CV-2318-CLS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This case is before the court on defendant’s motion in limine.1 Defendant asks
the court to exclude nine categories of evidence from presentation during the bench
trial set to commence on April 11, 2016.
Defendant first asks the court to exclude “evidence and testimony regarding
claims of alleged race discrimination made by other former employees of LogiCore,”
Damiun Cox and Wintry Drake.2 The Eleventh Circuit has held that evidence of
discriminatory acts suffered by other employees can be used, under certain
circumstances, to prove an employer’s intent to discriminate. Goldsmith v. Bagby
Elevator Co., Inc., 513 F.3d 1261, 1286 (11th Cir. 2008).3 Typically, such “me too”
Doc. no. 65. Plaintiff did not file a motion in limine.
Id. at 1.
This holding is consistent with Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b), which states that while
evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or other acts is not admissible “to prove a person’s character in
order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character,” it is
evidence will be allowed if it involves employment decisions made by the same
person who made the decisions affecting the plaintiff, and if the witness (the other
employee offering evidence of alleged discrimination) held a position similar to the
plaintiff’s, and experienced an employment situation similar to the plaintiff’s. Id.
More specifically, another judge in this district has stated that the following factors
should be considered in determining whether to admit “me too” evidence:
whether the allegations of discrimination occurred close in time to [the
plaintiff’s] allegations, whether the other employees alleging
discrimination had similar job positions as [the plaintiff], whether they
were demoted or terminated for reasons similar to Defendants’ proffered
reason for demoting [the plaintiff], and whether there was a common
Davis v. Dunn Construction Co., 872 F. Supp. 2d 1291, 1318 (N.D. Ala. 2012)
(Proctor, J.) (alterations supplied). It must also be remembered that, “[e]ven when
‘me too’ evidence is relevant under Rule 401, the district court retains the discretion
to exclude that evidence, under Rule 403, if it is unduly prejudicial, confusing,
misleading, or cumulative.” Adams v. Austal, U.S.A., L.L.C., 754 F.3d 1240, 1258
(11th Cir. 2014) (alteration supplied).
Both Mr. Cox and Ms. Drake have filed cases against LogiCore in this district.
In Mr. Cox’s case, which involves claims of race discrimination and retaliation,
admissible for other purposes, “such as proving motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan,
knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident.” Fed. R. Evid. 404(b).
LogiCore’s motion for summary judgment remains pending.4 Ms. Drake’s claims for
gender discrimination and retaliation have been dismissed, but her remaining claim
for race discrimination is set for trial on June 13, 2016.5 After reviewing those cases,
the court concludes that, even though the discrimination allegedly suffered by Mr.
Cox and Ms. Drake occurred close in time to the discriminatory acts about which
plaintiff complains in this case, the positions occupied by Mr. Cox and Ms. Drake,
and the circumstances surrounding the termination of their employment, are too
different from Ms. Nobles’ situation. Thus, any probative value to be found in
testimony from Mr. Cox and Ms. Drake about their own claims of discrimination
would be substantially outweighed by the risk of unfair prejudice, confusing the
issues, undue delay, and, particularly, waste of time. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 403. There
is no need to conduct “mini-trials” on Mr. Cox’s and Ms. Drake’s claims during the
course of Ms. Nobles’ trial. Mr. Cox and Ms. Drake will have their own days in
court. Accordingly, defendant’s motion in limine is GRANTED with regard to “me
too” evidence from Mr. Cox or Ms. Drake, and no such evidence will be allowed at
See Damiun Cox v. LogiCore Corporation, Civil Action No. 5:13-cv-2132-MHH, doc. nos.
1 (Complaint) and 21 (Motion for Summary Judgment).
See Wintry Drake v. LogiCore Corporation, Civil Action No. 5:14-cv-0493-CLS, doc. nos.
1 (Complaint), 46 (Memorandum Opinion and Order on Motion for Summary Judgment), and 54
Because this will be a bench trial, there is no need for the other evidentiary
issues raised in defendant’s motion to be addressed in limine. See Harris v. Rivera,
454 U.S. 339, 346 (1981) (“In bench trials, judges routinely hear inadmissible
evidence that they are presumed to ignore when making decisions.”). Accordingly,
except as set forth in the preceding paragraph, the motion in limine is DENIED.
DONE this 1st day of April, 2016.
United States District Judge
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