Abernathy v. Union Pacific Railroad Company
ORDER denying 108 Motion in Limine. Signed by Judge Billy Roy Wilson on 5/5/11. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
WINFER “D.D.” ABERNATHY
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY
Pending is Defendant’s Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Prior Injury Reports or
Claims (Doc. No. 108). Plaintiff has responded.1 For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is
Defendant seeks an order excluding evidence of prior injury reports or claims of other
employees on the grounds of (1) irrelevance, because Plaintiff cannot make the required showing
that these other injuries were substantially similar to the events at issue here, and (2) that the
probative value would be outweighed by the risks of unfair prejudice and jury confusion, as well
as considerations of undue delay and waste of the Court’s time and resources. Defendant
contends that without a blanket exclusion “[t]he trial would become needlessly mired in
mini-trials on each and every one of these other claims.”2
Reports or claims of substantially similar injuries by other employees could be relevant
to whether Defendant was negligent. Specifically, this evidence could show that Defendant had
notice of unsafe work conditions—i.e., that it was reasonably foreseeable that employees
working in Plaintiff’s capacity were at risk of cumulative injury. I find that a complete exclusion
of potentially relevant evidence is not appropriate.
Doc. No. 143.
Doc. No. 109.
Accordingly, Defendant’s Motion is DENIED, as I will be in a better position to rule on
the admissibility of reports or claims of similar injuries to at trial.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 5th day of May, 2011.
/s/Billy Roy Wilson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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