Jenkins v. Duffy Crane and Hauling, Inc. et al
ORDER regarding Plaintiff's Motion in Limine No. 7. It is ORDERED that 375 Plaintiff's Motion in Limine No. 7 is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. SO ORDERED by Judge Christine M. Arguello on 6/16/2019. (cmalc3)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Christine M. Arguello
Civil Action No. 13-cv-00327-CMA-KLM
FRANKLYN A. JENKINS,
IMMEDIA, INC., a Minnesota corporation.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF’S MOTION IN
LIMINE NO. 7
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Franklyn Jenkins’s Motion in Limine
(Doc. # 375), and, specifically, Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine No. 7. (Doc. # 375 at 4.)
Plaintiff moves to exclude any reference or suggestion by Defendant Immedia,
Inc. (“Immedia”) that the incidents on February 10, 2010 and February 12, 2010 are
within scope of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (“FMCSRs”). (Doc. # 375 at
4.) Plaintiff argues that the FMCSRs do “not apply to Immedia’s conduct in the
packaging, dismantling, loading, inspection or unloading of equipment, and any
reference or comment that the FMCSR applies should be strictly prohibited” and that
any such reference would “be highly improper and prejudicial and in direct conflict with
FMCSR.” (Id. at 4.)
Immedia contends that the “Savage Doctrine1 and the FMCSRs that “form the
basis of the doctrine apply to unsecuring and unloading accidents.” (Doc. # 381 at 3.)
Immedia further asserts that the FMCSRs “are still highly relevant to Immedia’s defense
of the comparative negligence of Plaintiff” and “pertinent to the allocation of fault to nonparty Duffy.” (Id. at 4.) Additionally, Immedia emphasizes that Plaintiff’s own expert, Dr.
Ziernicki, has opined on the relevance of the FMCSRs as a “reference for how cargo
should be safely and properly loaded for transport.” (Doc. # 321-1; Doc. # 381 at 4.)
The Court finds that the FMCSRs are relevant to Immedia’s defense of
comparative negligence. Minn. Stat. § 221.605, subd. 1 provides that “Interstate carriers
and private carriers engaged in interstate commerce shall comply with the federal motor
carriers regulations in Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, parts 40, 382, 383, 387,
and 390 through 398, which are incorporated by reference . . . .” Minn. Stat. § 221.605,
subd. 1(a). Minn. Stat. § 221.012, subd. 20 provides that “interstate carrier” means “any
person engaged in transporting property . . . for hire in interstate commerce in
Minnesota, from or into Minnesota, or between any point in the state of Minnesota and
the Dominion of Canada.” There is no dispute that Plaintiff was an interstate carrier.
Plaintiff, thus, was required to abide by the FMCSRs as part of Minnesota law.
Although a violation of the FMCSRs does not constitute negligence per se, the
violation can represent evidence of negligence. Ruhland v. Smith, Case Nos. C7-91-
The Court has issued an Order ruling that, under Minnesota law, the Minnesota Supreme
Court would not apply the Savage rule to this case, and as such, the Savage rule will not apply
to Plaintiff’s claims against Immedia. (Doc. # 403.)
668, 64-91-675, 1991 WL 257962, at *3 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); see also Soo Line R.R.
Co. v. Werner Enters., 825 F.3d 413, 419 (8th Cir. 2016) (explaining that Minnesota
courts have extended the rule that violations of Minnesota’s traffic regulations do not
constitute negligence per se to violations of the FMCSRs).
If Immedia can convince the jury that Duffy or Plaintiff violated any of these
regulations during transportation, and that such violations were a cause of Plaintiff’s
injuries, under Minnesota’s comparative fault scheme, the jury should be permitted to
attribute a percentage of fault, if any, to Duffy or Plaintiff as a result of these violations.
Nonetheless, for the reasons set forth in Court’s Order at Doc. # 403 relating to
the inapplicability of the Savage rule, although the Court will not exclude all evidence or
references to the FMCSRs at trial, it does GRANT IN PART Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine
No. 7 and will preclude Immedia from arguing that either (1) the FMCSRs establish a
no-duty rule for Immedia that would absolve it of all liability in the instant action, or (2)
that Plaintiff’s alleged violations of the FMCSRs absolve Immedia of all liability.
For the foregoing reasons, it is ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine No. 7
(Doc. # 375) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
DATED: June 16, 2019
BY THE COURT:
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO
United States District Judge
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