Bio Med Technologies Corporation et al v. ELA Medical, Inc.
ORDER on Pretrial Evidentiary Motions denying 110 Motion to Exclude; granting in part and denying in part 117 Motion in Limine. Plaintiff shall be precluded from presenting evidence of any damages theory not previously disclosed, by Judge William J. Martinez on 11/19/2015.(cthom, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge William J. Martínez
Civil Action No. 14-cv-0154-WJM-CBS
BIO MED TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION,
SORIN CRM USA, INC., f/k/a ELA MEDICAL, INC.,
ORDER ON PRETRIAL EVIDENTIARY MOTIONS
Plaintiff Bio Med Technologies Corporation (“Plaintiff” or “Bio Med”) brings this
action against Defendant Sorin CRM USA, Inc. (“Defendant” or “Sorin”) arising out of an
agreement under which Plaintiff was to sell Defendant’s products. (ECF No. 1.) The
only remaining claim is Plaintiff’s claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair
dealing. (ECF No. 109.) This matter is before the Court on two pretrial evidentiary
motions: (1) Defendant’s Motion to Exclude the Opinions and Testimony of Jon
Karraker, brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 702 (“702 Motion”) (ECF No.
110), and (2) Defendant’s Motion in Limine (ECF No. 117). For the reasons set forth
below, the 702 Motion is denied, and the Motion in Limine is granted as to any
undisclosed damages theories but denied in all other respects.
Defendant is a medical device company that develops, manufactures, and sells
medical technologies for the treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders. (ECF No. 76 at 2.)
Plaintiff and Defendant executed an Independent Sales Representative Agreement
(“Agreement”) with an effective date of August 1, 2009. (Id. at 3.) Under the
Agreement, Plaintiff sold cardiac rhythm management products for Defendant. (Id.)
Plaintiff was operated by Jack Oliver, a medical device sales representative, who
signed the Agreement on Plaintiff’s behalf. (Id.; ECF No. 95-1 at 15.) Plaintiff filed this
action on January 21, 2014, bringing claims of breach of contract, fraud, conversion,
and interference with business relations. (ECF No. 1.) The Agreement terminated on
August 1, 2014 when Defendant provided Plaintiff a non-renewal notice. (ECF No. 76
On January 30, 2015, the Court granted in part Defendant’s Early Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment, finding in Defendant’s favor as to Plaintiff’s conversion and
interference with business relations claims. (ECF No. 73.) Defendant subsequently
moved for summary judgment as to Plaintiff’s remaining claims. (ECF No. 79.) On
August 17, 2015, the Court granted summary judgment in Defendant’s favor as to
Plaintiff’s express breach of contract claim and fraud claim, as well as the portion of
Plaintiff’s claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that
relied on the exclusion of Drs. Kutalek and Blumberg from Plaintiff’s territory. (ECF No.
109.) The Court denied summary judgment as to the remainder of Plaintiff’s claim for
breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing based on a finding that factual
disputes existed as to: (1) Defendant’s alleged bad faith refusal to approve subrepresentatives and technicians; (2) Defendant’s alleged bad faith interference with
Plaintiff’s sales efforts in the Barbados market; and (3) interference by Joe Dobis,
Defendant’s Sales Manager, in accounts within Plaintiff’s assigned sales territory by
way of direct sales and underpricing. (Id. at 8–16.)
Defendant filed its 702 Motion on September 14, 2015. (ECF No. 110.) Plaintiff
filed a Response (ECF No. 115) and Defendant a Reply (ECF No. 116). Defendant’s
Motion in Limine (ECF No. 117) was filed on November 2, 2015, and Plaintiff’s
Response (ECF No. 119) was filed one week later. Both Motions are fully briefed and
ripe for disposition.
Defendant’s 702 Motion seeks to exclude testimony by Plaintiff’s damages
expert, Jon Karraker, a certified public accountant. (ECF No. 110.) Defendant argues
that Karraker’s opinions are irrelevant to Plaintiff’s sole remaining claim, and are
unreliable because they are based on insufficient facts or data and fail to consider
alternative causes. (Id.)
A district court must act as a “gatekeeper” in admitting or excluding expert
testimony. Bitler v. A.O. Smith Corp., 400 F.3d 1227, 1232 (10th Cir. 2004). Adm ission
of expert testimony is governed by Rule 702, which provides:
If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will
assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to
determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by
knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may
testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if
(1) the testimony is based upon sufficient facts or data,
(2) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and
methods, and (3) the witness has applied the principles and
methods reliably to the facts of the case.
Fed. R. Evid. 702. The proponent of the expert testimony bears the burden of proving
the foundational requirements of Rule 702 by a preponderance of the evidence. United
States v. Nacchio, 555 F.3d 1234, 1241 (10th Cir. 2009) (en banc).
To qualify as an expert, the witness must possess such “knowledge, skill,
experience, training, or education” in the particular field as to make it appear that his or
her opinion would rest on a substantial foundation and would tend to aid the trier of fact
in its search for the truth. LifeWise Master Funding v. Telebank, 374 F.3d 917, 928
(10th Cir. 2004). To establish that the proffered testimony is reliable, the proponent
must show that the reasoning or methodology underlying the testimony is valid and is
properly applied to the facts in issue. See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharm., Inc., 509
U.S. 579, 592–94 (1993). W hile an expert witness’s testimony must assist the jury to
be deemed admissible, Fed. R. Evid. 702(a), it may not usurp the jury’s fact-finding
function. Specht v. Jensen, 853 F.2d 805, 808 (10th Cir. 1988).
Ultimately, “the rejection of expert testimony is the exception rather than the
rule.” Fed. R. Evid. 702 advisory committee’s note. “[T]he trial court’s role as
gatekeeper is not intended to serve as a replacement for the adversary system. . . .
Vigorous cross-examination, presentation of contrary evidence, and careful instruction
on the burden of proof are the traditional and appropriate means of attacking shaky but
admissible evidence.” Id.
Defendant first argues that Karraker’s opinions are excludable because they are
irrelevant to Plaintiff’s sole remaining claim. (ECF No. 110 at 6–9.) Defendant relies on
the Court’s Summary Judgment Order (ECF No. 109), arguing that only the three
factual disputes identified in the Order remain for trial. Based on this position,
Defendant contends that Karraker’s opinion is not helpf ul to the jury because Karraker
opines as to damages resulting from all of Plaintiff’s allegations, not solely the damages
resulting from the three factual bases discussed in the Summary Judgment Order.
(ECF No. 110 at 6–9.)
In the conclusion of the Summary Judgment Order, the Court “DENIED
[summary judgment] as to Plaintiff’s claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and
fair dealing as described in detail above.” (ECF No. 109 at 24.) The Court’s “above”
discussion of Plaintiff’s claim for breach of good faith and fair dealing began by noting
that Plaintiff’s opposition brief was imprecise and lacked evidentiary citations, and
“[m]ost of Plaintiff’s allegations are so vague that the Court cannot possibly link them
with certainty to evidence in the record. The Court has nonetheless tried to divine the
basis for Plaintiff’s claims from the evidence before it.” (Id. at 8 n.4.) Based on its
review of the evidence presented in the briefing on Defendant’s Motion for Summary
Judgment, the Court identified four factual bases for Plaintiff’s claim that were
supported by evidence in the record. (Id. at 8–16.) The Court concluded that, as to
three of the four, there were material factual disputes about Defendant’s actions and
their timing and motivation that prevented summary judgment. (Id.) As to Plaintiff’s
allegation that Drs. Kutalek and Blumberg should have been added to its territory,
however, the Court found no material factual dispute because these doctors were
explicitly excluded from Plaintiff’s territory under the Agreement between the parties,
and it was undisputed that the Agreement was never properly amended in writing. (Id.
at 12–14.) As such, the Court granted summary judgment solely on the portion of
Plaintiff’s good faith and fair dealing claim that relied on Defendant’s failure to add
Drs. Kutalek and Blumberg to its territory. (Id. at 14.)
Given the above recitation, Defendant’s reading of the Summary Judgment
Order does not comport with the legal standard for summary judgment or with the
language of the Order itself. Summary judgment is appropriate only if there is no
genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). Finding no issue of material fact as to the portion of the
claim based on Drs. Kutalek and Blumberg, the Court granted summary judgment on
that portion and denied it as to the remainder of the claim. (ECF No. 109.) Plaintiff’s
failure to present additional evidence of other factual disputes in the briefing on
summary judgment might have been a poor strategic decision, but Plaintiff did not as a
consequence waive its right to present such evidence in support of that claim at trial.
As such, the Court concludes that Plaintiff is not limited to presenting evidence on the
three factual disputes discussed in the Summary Judgment Order, and may litigate its
remaining claim in full, with the exception of the portion relying on Drs. Kutalek and
Given the scope of Plaintiff’s remaining claim, the Court now considers
Defendant’s argument that Karraker’s opinions are unhelpful to the jury because they
are based on allegations that are no longer relevant to the remaining claim. Karraker’s
Report calculates Plaintiff’s losses resulting from Defendant’s actions, and states that
the following actions were considered:
Specific Sorin interference includes:
Dr. Kutalek was not added back to Bio Med accounts
when Denny Penny left Sorin.
Dr. Blumberg was not added back to Bio Med
accounts when Kimo Shefte left Sorin.
St. Mary’s Hospital collections interference.
Hahnemann Hospital pricing and collections
Christiana Hospital account taken and ultimately lost
Other accounts taken by Sorin.
Territory taken by Sorin and given to Andrew Turk
and Ron Gerhart.
Other territory encroachments by Sorin.
Barbados and Trinidad sales orders not filled by
General Sorin interference includes:
Not supporting Bio Med in hiring technicians.
Not supporting Bio Med in hiring sub-reps.
Not supporting Bio Med with marketing to surgeons.
Other interference by Sorin.
(ECF No. 115-4 at 4.) Of these alleged actions, only the first two regarding Drs. Kutalek
and Blumberg are clearly not part of the remaining claim pursuant to the Summary
Judgment Order. The allegations regarding interference with hospital accounts and the
scope of Plaintiff’s territory, the Barbados sales orders, and the failure to hire
technicians and sub-representatives were all discussed in the Summary Judgment
Order, and the Court found factual disputes for trial as to these bases for Plaintiff’s
claim. (See ECF No. 109 at 8–16.) The Order did not discuss the Trinidad sales
orders, marketing to surgeons, and “[o]ther interference,” but summary judgment was
not granted as to these issues. Therefore, the Court concludes that Karraker’s report is
unhelpful to the jury only to the extent that the allegations regarding Drs. Kutalek and
Blumberg cannot be removed from the damages projections.
Defendant correctly points out that Karraker’s Report does not separately
calculate damages flowing from each alleged act. (See ECF No. 110 at 7; ECF No.
115-4 at 4.) However, Schedule 6 attached to Karraker’s Report does identif y
component losses related to three of Plaintiff’s allegations:
Component Losses – Summary
Dr. Blumberg – As much as $370,000 or more sales
of Sorin products per year.
Dr. Kutalek – As much as $200,000 or more sales of
Sorin products per year.
Barbados/Trinidad – As much as $360,000 or more
sales of Sorin products per year.
Component losses will be supplemented and updated
after receipt of Sorin documents requested (see
Schedule 11). 1
(ECF No. 115-4 at 12.) Because Karraker did calculate the portion of Plaintiff’s
projected sales that (at least in his view) was attributable to Drs. Kutalek and Blumberg,
and this opinion was properly disclosed to Defendant as part of Karraker’s Report, the
Court finds that this portion of Karraker’s opinion can be updated to reflect the current
status of the case. The Court therefore concludes that Karraker’s opinion remains
relevant to the case, although in order to be adm itted at trial, Karraker’s calculations
must be revised to exclude the portion of the projected sales revenues attributed to Drs.
Kutalek and Blumberg as depicted in Schedule 6.
Defendant next argues that, even if relevant, Karraker’s opinions are unreliable
Schedule 11 lists “Documents Requested from Defendant Sorin,” but there is no
indication of whether such documents were eventually produced. (ECF No. 115-4 at 17.)
Karraker’s Supplemental Report does not update the summary of component losses. (See
generally ECF No. 111-2.)
and unhelpful to the jury because they are based on insufficient facts or data and fail to
consider alternative causes of Plaintiff’s damages. (ECF No. 110 at 9–15.) Defendant
primarily objects to Karraker’s reliance on Oliver’s statements and opinions of Plaintiff’s
projected sales, sub-representative commissions, expenses, and compensation of
Defendant’s in-house and independent sales representativ es, arguing that he did not
corroborate them with other data sources. (Id. at 9–14.) Defendant argues that these
were “self-serving opinions and speculation” that cannot properly serve as the basis for
expert testimony, and that it is improper for an expert to adopt a party’s position
wholesale. (Id. at 10.)
The Court does not dispute the impropriety of expert testimony that speculates
or merely mirrors the legal position of the proponent party. However, Defendant has
failed to show that Karraker’s opinions are excludable on either basis. Karraker’s
expertise is in accounting, and his qualifications and methodology—calculating
Plaintiff’s projected losses by comparing projected and actual revenues—are not
challenged here. Defendant’s 702 Motion accuses Oliver of speculation, not Karraker;
Defendant faults Karraker merely for using the data Oliver provided. Similarly,
Defendant has not shown that Karraker adopted wholesale a damages calculation
Plaintiff provided without performing any analysis himself; at best, Defendant has
shown that Karraker performed sound calculations using questionable underlying data.
In short, and in the terminology of Rule 702, Defendant does not challenge Karraker’s
qualifications, whether he used reliable principles and methods, or whether he applied
those methods reliably. Cf. Fed. R. Evid. 702. Nor does Defendant truly challenge the
sufficiency of the facts or data on which Karraker relies; instead, Defendant challenges
the accuracy of those facts and data. This challenge may provide strong fodder for
cross-examination, but it does not make Karraker’s opinions unreliable or otherwise
excludable. Rather, Karraker’s opinions could be helpf ul to a jury that finds Oliver
credible and believes that his statements regarding his business prospects are wellfounded based on his experience, and could therefore utilize Karraker’s calculations in
Defendant also argues that Karraker failed to consider alternative explanations
for Plaintiff’s losses, citing the advisory committee notes to Rule 702. See id., advisory
committee’s note (“Courts . . . have found other factors relevant in determining whether
expert testimony is sufficiently reliable . . . includ[ing] . . . [w]hether the expert has
adequately accounted for obvious alternative explanations.”). Defendant argues that
there are numerous alternative factors that could have caused Plaintiff’s losses,
including competition, customer preferences and requirements, product features, and
“most obvious[ly]” Oliver’s four-year hiatus from medical device sales prior to joining
Sorin in 2009. (ECF No. 110 at 14–15.) However, Defendant admits that Karraker
discussed this hiatus with Oliver. Defendant merely disapproves of Karraker’s
explanation as to why he did not believe it caused Plaintiff’s losses. The Court rejects
these arguments and finds that Defendant has not shown that Karraker’s failure to
include any of these alternative causes in his report is sufficient to render his
calculations unreliable for purposes of Rule 702.
The Court concludes that Defendant’s arguments in the 702 Motion go to the
weight the jury should afford Karraker’s testimony, rather than the admissibility of such
testimony. “Vigorous cross-examination, presentation of contrary evidence, and careful
instruction on the burden of proof are the traditional and appropriate means of attacking
shaky but admissible evidence.” Fed. R. Evid. 702 advisory committee’s note. As
such, the Court denies the 702 Motion in its entirety, with the admonition that Karraker’s
opinions at trial must exclude any lost revenue flowing from Drs. Kutalek and Blumberg.
Nothing in this Order prevents Defendant from vigorously cross-examining Karraker
about the basis for his opinions and the conclusions he draws therefrom.
Motion in Limine
Defendant’s Motion in Limine challenges four categories of evidence, which the
Court will discuss in turn: (1) Karraker’s Supplemental Report; (2) any other previously
undisclosed damages theories; (3) testimony from former Sorin sales representatives;
and (4) evidence of internal communications between Sorin employees regarding
Oliver. (ECF No. 117.)
Karraker’s Supplemental Report
As discussed above, Karraker’s initial Report was timely disclosed on September
5, 2014, which was the deadline for such disclosures under the Scheduling Order.
(See ECF No. 17 at 10.) Defendant then timely disclosed its Rebuttal Expert Report on
October 6, 2014. (See ECF No. 111-1.) On November 1, 2014, Plaintiff served on
Defendant Karraker’s Supplemental Report, which disclosed Karraker’s informal
interviews with four additional former Sorin sales representatives. (ECF No. 111-2.)
Defendant now argues that the Supplemental Report was not a proper supplement, and
was instead an untimely expert opinion that must be excluded from evidence. (ECF No.
117 at 1–4.)
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2) mandates disclosure of expert
testimony via a written report containing a complete statement of the expert’s opinions,
the bases for them, and the data and exhibits supporting them, as well as
supplementation of such disclosures when required by Rule 26(e). Rule 26(e) imposes
an obligation on a party to “supplement or correct its disclosure or response . . . in a
timely manner if the party learns that in some material respect the disclosure or
response is incomplete or incorrect,” and such supplementation must be made “by the
time the party’s pretrial disclosures . . . are due.”
Pursuant to Rule 37(c)(1), “[i]f a party fails to provide information . . . as required
by Rule 26(a) or (e), the party is not allowed to use that information . . . to supply
evidence on a motion, at a hearing, or at a trial, unless the failure was substantially
justified or is harmless.” “The determination of whether a Rule 26(a) violation is justified
or harmless is entrusted to the broad discretion of the district court.” Woodworker’s
Supply, Inc. v. Principal Mut. Life Ins. Co., 170 F.3d 985, 993 (10th Cir. 1999). The
Tenth Circuit has identified four factors for consideration in determining whether the
failure to disclose is substantially justified or harmless: (1) the prejudice or surprise to
the impacted party; (2) the ability to cure the prejudice; (3) the potential for trial
disruption; and (4) the erring party’s bad faith or willfulness. Id.
The first question here is whether Karraker’s Supplemental Report was proper as
a supplement under Rule 26(e), or whether it was instead a new expert opinion that
was untimely disclosed. The Court agrees with Defendant that the Supplemental
Report does not correct misleading or false information based on a finding that the
initial disclosure was “incomplete or incorrect,” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(e); indeed, the
Supplemental Report does the opposite: it cites additional inf ormation to bolster the
opinions contained in the initial Report. (See ECF No. 111-2 at 2 (noting that, after
reviewing additional evidence and information, “my opinions in my report dated
September 5, 2014 have not changed. Further, the interviews and depositions provide
additional support for my opinions . . . .”).) As such, the Supplemental Report was not a
proper Rule 26(e) supplement, and was instead an additional expert opinion that was
untimely filed two months after the September 5, 2014 deadline.
Accordingly, the next question is whether the untimely Supplemental Report
must be excluded from evidence under Rule 37(c), or whether the untimeliness “was
substantially justified or is harmless.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(c)(1). After carefully
considering the four Woodworker’s Supply factors, the Court concludes that substantial
justification for the tardy submission of the Supplemental Report exists here, and that
as a result said Report need not be excluded. Defendant argues that it was prejudiced
by the late disclosure two months after the deadline and two days before Karraker’s
deposition was scheduled to take place, because it had “no opportunity to seek
discovery of these non-parties, to have its rebuttal expert opine on the late-disclosed
information, or to adequately prepare to depose Karraker on the new bases in the
Supplemental Report.” (ECF No. 117 at 3.) Defendant also argues that “curing this
prejudice would require setting a new rebuttal expert deadline and reopening fact
discovery at great expense to Sorin,” which would disrupt the upcoming trial. (Id.)
Plaintiff argues that its untimeliness was justified because the identities of the
four former Sorin sales representatives were not disclosed until the depositions of
certain Sorin management personnel in September and October 2014, and that
Defendant continued to produce documents as late as December 5, 2014, once the
parties’ discovery disputes were resolved. (ECF No. 119 at 1–2.) W hile this does not
automatically excuse the Supplemental Report’s untimeliness, the Court finds that
Plaintiff’s explanation demonstrates a lack of bad faith or willfulness, one of the factors
for consideration under Woodworker’s Supply.
As for the prejudice or surprise to Defendant and ability to cure, the Court rejects
Defendant’s argument that the Supplemental Report’s untimeliness deprived it of
discovery opportunities. The Supplemental Report was disclosed four days prior to the
discovery cut-off and two days prior to Karraker’s deposition, and Defendant could have
moved to extend discovery, to reschedule Karraker’s deposition, or to convene a
second deposition of Karraker in light of the Supplemental Report. Defendant declined
to do so despite ample opportunity, as the Final Pretrial Conference was not scheduled
for four more months (it ultimately took place on June 3, 2015, see ECF No. 106), and
no trial date had yet been set. The Court further notes that, at a hearing on Plaintiff’s
Motion to Compel, the discovery deadline was extended to January 9, 2015 for Plaintiff
to take Defendant’s deposition, but Defendant sought no such extension. If timely
sought, these remedies would not have disrupted the trial.
To the extent that Defendant was prejudiced by the late disclosure, that
prejudice was sufficiently minimal that Defendant chose not to mitigate it through
seeking a minor extension of discovery. This minimal prejudice to Defendant does not
defeat the remaining factors under Woodworker’s Supply, which weigh in favor of
finding Plaintiff’s untimeliness substantially justified. Consequently, the Court finds that
the opinions in the Supplemental Report need not be excluded under Rule 37(c), and
the Motion in Limine is denied in that respect.
Undisclosed Damages Theories
Defendant argues that, apart from the damages theory presented through
Karraker’s testimony, Plaintiff has not disclosed any other damages theories, and
therefore any evidence of such undisclosed theories must be excluded. (ECF No. 117
at 4–5.) Surprisingly, Plaintiff has completely failed to discuss this portion of the Motion
in Limine in its Response. (See ECF No. 119.) Accordingly, the Court concludes that
Plaintiff has confessed this portion of the Motion. The Court therefore grants this
portion of the Motion in Limine and will exclude from evidence at trial any evidence of
Plaintiff’s damages based on a theory that was not previously disclosed to Defendant.
Former Sales Representative Testimony
Defendant moves to preclude three former Sorin sales representatives from
testifying at trial, arguing that their testimony will be irrelevant to Plaintiff’s remaining
claim and that evidence of other sales representatives’ experiences would
impermissibly suggest that Plaintiff’s experience was or should have been similar.
(ECF No. 117 at 5–6.)
Defendant admits that the evidentiary bar for relevance is extremely low:
evidence is relevant if it has “any tendency” to make a fact of consequence more or
less probable than it would be without the evidence. Fed. R. Evid. 401. The Court is
unpersuaded that the testimony of these witnesses fails to meet this standard. Plaintiff
asserts that these witnesses’ testimony will provide information regarding, among other
things, the “financial effects of Sorin’s actions on Plaintiff and Sorin’s sales
representatives,” and argues that the witnesses’ testimony will provide evidence in
support of damages. (ECF No. 117 at 6; ECF No. 119 at 4.) This suffices for relevance
under Rule 401.
Defendant also argues that this testimony should be excluded under Rule 403,
because it would impermissibly suggest that Plaintiff’s experiences were similar to
those of the witnesses. (ECF No. 117 at 6.) The Court has little difficulty rejecting this
argument. Like Plaintiff, the challenged witnesses served as sales representatives for
Defendant, and the extent to which their experiences differed based on territories,
customers, or contracts can be explored in cross-examination. Defendant’s Motion in
Limine does not support a finding that the risk of misleading the jury substantially
outweighs the probative value of this evidence for damages purposes, which is the
relevant legal standard. Fed. R. Evid. 403.
Accordingly, the Court denies the Motion in Limine as to the testimony of these
three former sales representatives.
Finally, Defendant moves to exclude from evidence four exhibits, each of which
is an e-mail between Sorin personnel that contains a disparaging reference to Oliver.
(ECF No. 117 at 7–8.) Defendant argues that these communications are irrelevant to
Plaintiff’s claim because the subject matter of the e-mails is unrelated to the parties’
performance under the Agreement, and that the introduction of this evidence would only
improperly influence the jurors’ emotions, making it excludable under Rule 403. (Id.)
Plaintiff argues that these e-mails, sent by Sorin personnel Joe Dobis (Sales
Manager) and Tim Dougherty (Vice President of Sales), reflect Defendant’s negative
attitude toward Oliver and support Plaintiff’s claim that Defendant was unwilling to work
with Plaintiff in good faith. (ECF No. 119 at 3.) The Court agrees that this evidence is
relevant under Rule 401.
As to Rule 403, Defendant cites numerous cases excluding evidence that unduly
suggested to the jury that they make a decision based on emotion. (ECF No. 117 at 8.)
However, none of the cited cases are analogous; one excluded a grand jury report that
applied a different standard of proof regarding a homicide, another excluded a phone
conversation suggesting the plaintiff brought suit solely to scare off the defendant, and
a third case discussed evidence that a gunshot victim died, deferring ruling on the Rule
403 argument until trial. (Id. (citing cases).) The Court is particularly disconcerted by
Defendant’s attempt to support its argument with a citation to an order in a prior case
before the undersigned that excluded evidence of anonymous internet surveys under
Rule 403 because, to the extent that the surveys were non-hearsay, they contained
unidentified customer opinions about the defendant’s products that could prejudice the
defendant, confuse the issues, and waste time because the evidence was duplicative.
(Id. (citing SolidFX, LLC v. Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc., 2014 WL 1319361, at *5 (D.
Colo. Apr. 2, 2014)).) None of these cases involved evidence remotely close to the
exhibits at issue here, nor were any of the court rulings on point.
The Court concludes that Defendant has failed to show that any of the Rule 403
dangers substantially outweighs the probative value of this evidence, and therefore the
Motion in Limine is denied in this respect.
For the reasons set forth above, the Court ORDERS as follows:
Defendant’s Motion to Exclude the Opinions and Testimony of Jon Karraker
(ECF No. 110) is DENIED;
Defendant’s Motion in Limine (ECF No. 117) is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART; and
Plaintiff shall be precluded from presenting evidence of any damages theory not
Dated this 19th day of November, 2015.
BY THE COURT:
William J. Martínez
United States District Judge
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?