Wise v. Southern Tier Express, Inc.

Filing 119

ORDER Granting in part and Denying in part Plaintiff's 84 Motion in Limine No. 8 (Liens, Loans, and Advances). Signed by Judge Andrew P. Gordon on 7/10/2017. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - SLD)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 3 *** 4 RODERICK WISE, an individual, 5 6 7 8 9 Plaintiff, v. SOUTHERN TIER EXPRESS, INC., a New York corporation; DOES I through X; and ROE CORPORATIONS I through X, inclusive, Case No. 2:15-cv-01219-APG-PAL ORDER GRANTING IN PART MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 8 (LIENS, LOANS, AND ADVANCES) (ECF No. 84) Defendants. 10 11 Plaintiff Roderick Wise seeks to exclude “any reference to any liens, loans, or pre- 12 settlement advances by Mr. Wise.” ECF No. 84. Whether Wise has had to borrow money 13 because he cannot work is irrelevant to the issues to be tried in this case. The defendant contends 14 that Wise’s loans show he “had a financial motivation for obtaining an attorney and treating (so 15 he could take loans out against his case that he needed immediately) and incentive to testify in a 16 certain manner to pay back those loans.” ECF No. 102 at 3. But injury victims often retain 17 attorneys and treat with physicians for legitimate purposes (e.g., physical and monetary recovery 18 from their injuries). The fact that Wise had financial difficulties because he could not drive after 19 this accident has little if any probative value. Thus, evidence of loans or advances is not 20 admissible at trial. 21 However, evidence of medical liens is admissible. The Supreme Court of Nevada has 22 held that evidence of medical liens is admissible to prove bias, and “does not invoke the collateral 23 source rule.” Khoury v. Seastrand, 377 P.3d 81, 94 (Nev. 2016). The existence of a lien could 24 implicate the lienholder’s credibility (i.e., whether the lien-holding witness is testifying a certain 25 way to help the plaintiff recover funds to pay the lien). I therefore will not preclude the defendant 26 from asking Wise’s witnesses whether they hold a medical lien and in what amount. Nor will I 27 preclude the defendants from arguing that lien-holding witnesses may be biased because they 28 1 have an incentive to assist Wise in maximizing recovery. An expert’s compensation is relevant 2 and admissible as it may impact bias. 3 4 5 6 7 Therefore, Wise’s motion in limine (ECF No. 84) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART as set forth above. DATED this 10th day of July, 2017. ANDREW P. GORDON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Page 2 of 2

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