Parker v. Leaf River Cellulose, LLC
ORDER denying 90 Motion in Limine; denying 92 Motion in Limine Signed by District Judge Keith Starrett on 8/9/17 (dtj)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
JOSEPH EDWARD PARKER
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:14-CV-9-KS-MTP
LEAF RIVER CELLULOSE, LLC
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the Motion In Limine Regarding Punitive Damages
Evidence (“Motion on Punitive Damages)  and the Motion In Limine to Exclude Evidence
Regarding Special Damages (“Motion on Special Damages”)  filed by Defendant Leaf River
Cellulose, LLC (“Defendant”). After considering the submissions of the parties, the record, and
the applicable law, the Court finds that neither motion is well taken and both should be denied.
Motion on Punitive Damages 
Much of Defendant’s arguments for the exclusion of punitive damages in this case were
addressed in its previous motion for summary judgment and are premised on the fact that no court
has ever interpreted § 45-9-55(2) before. However, as the Court noted in a previous Order ,
“[t]he only reasonable reading of the language of the statute is the one adopted by this Court. This
reading further comported with the legislative history behind the statute.” (Order  at p. 4.)
Though the Court may have employed certain interpretative tools to further articulate the meaning
of the statute, on its face, § 45-9-55(2) unambiguously requires a physically restricted parking area
in order for employers to lawfully prohibit the storage of guns in their employees’ personal
vehicles. Therefore, as the Court previously acknowledged, to obtain punitive damages, Plaintiff
must establish that Defendant showed a “ruthless disregard” for his rights under § 45-9-55(2). The
Court finds that Plaintiff should have his chance at trial to do so. The Motion on Punitive Damages
, then, will be denied.
Motion on Special Damages 
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(g), “[i]f an item of special damage is
claimed, it must be specifically stated.” The Court agrees that Plaintiff has failed to plead
emotional distress and reputational damage with the particularity required by Rule 9(g). However,
the Fifth Circuit has stated that “[f]ailure to plead special damages does not bar recovery if the
defect can be cured by amendment.” Crosby v. Old Republic Ins. Co., 978 F.2d 210, 211 n.1 (5th
Cir. 1992) (citing 5 Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1312
(1990)). In Crosby, the special damages claim was not advanced until the pretrial conferences,
and the Fifth Circuit held that the district court did not err in considering the claim as if the
pleadings had been amended. Id. Here, it is clear from the record that Plaintiff can set forth
specific allegations to support his special damages, and that Defendant will not be prejudiced if
amendment is allowed because it has had ample notice of these claims. The Court will therefore
allow for the amendment of his pleadings to reflect these particularities in order to comply with
Rule 9(g), and the Motion on Special Damages  will be denied.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Motion on Punitive Damages
 is denied.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Motion on Special Damages 
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED on this the __9th___ day of August, 2017.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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