MEYERL v. CARRINGTON MORTGAGE COMPANY
ORDER granting in part and denying in part 44 Motion in Limine; granting 46 Motion in Limine; denying 47 Motion in Limine. Signed by Judge Arthur J. Schwab on 2-8-17. (nam)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
ROY J. MEYERL,
CARRINGTON MORTGAGE COMPANY,
Memorandum Order on Motions in Limine
This is an action brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) 15 U.S.C. 1681, et.
seq. Plaintiff Roy J. Meyerl brings claims against Defendant Carrington Mortgage Company
(“Carrington”), a mortgage servicer, for alleged violations of the FCRA. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant wrongfully reported a discharged loan as late and carrying a balance due, and not as
discharged. As a result, Plaintiff’s credit profile was inaccurate, and he suffered consequent
harm in that he was unable to secure a construction loan to build a home. Accordingly, Plaintiff
claims that Defendant failed to conduct a reasonable investigation, in violation of 15 U.S.C. §
1681s-2(b), and that he is entitled to punitive damages pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1681n(a).
Defendant has denied those allegations. A jury trial of this matter is scheduled for March 13,
2017. Pending before this Court are the parties Motions in Limine (doc. 44, 46 and 47) and
responses in opposition thereto (doc. 45 and 48).
Plaintiff’s Motion In Limine to Exclude Introduction of Irrelevant Evidence and Preclude
Improper Arguments (doc. 44)
Plaintiff files a Motion in Limine seeking to exclude evidence or argument: (1) that
Plaintiff previously had a lawsuit against Equifax; (2) that any note existed after 2006; (3) that
Plaintiff was late on any payments made after 2006; and/or, (4) that Plaintiff’s payment in return
for Carrington’s Satisfaction of Mortgage in 2016 was an admission that the noted existed or that
he was personally obligated to pay the same. The Court agrees that, with the exception of
number 3 (evidence of history of late mortgage payments after 2006), all of the matters listed
above are not relevant, would unduly complicate and confuse the issues before the jury, and
inject issues that would cause unfair prejudice to Plaintiff.1 Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion in
Limine (doc. 44) is GRANTED as to arguments (1)(2) and (4) and DENIED WITHOUT
PREJUDICE as to (3).
Defendant’s Motion in Limine (doc. 46) Seeking to Exclude Purported Expert Opinion
Regarding Psychological Damages
Defendant files a Motion in Limine (doc. 46) seeking to exclude the purported expert
opinion of Chris McConville regarding alleged psychological damage suffered by Plaintiff as a
result of Defendant’s actions. In Mr. McConville’s report, a purported expert on credit reporting,
he also renders what appears to be an “expert” opinion on the alleged psychological damages of
Plaintiff. In his deposition, Mr. McConville explained that he is not a trained psychologist and
has no medical background. On this basis, Defendant seeks to preclude any testimony regarding
alleged psychological effects of the alleged actions of Defendant on Plaintiff. Federal Rule of
Evidence 702(a) permits the testimony of an expert so long as they have scientific, technical or
other specialized knowledge that will help the finder of fact to determine a factual issue.
The Court rules that while Mr. McConville may testify regarding issues surrounding
credit reporting, he is not qualified to venture an expert opinion on any alleged psychological
On the current record, the Court finds that Defendant is not precluded from introducing evidence of postbankruptcy late payments on the Plaintiff’s mortgage (regardless of discharge on the Note), because it may
be relevant to the issue of causation on liability. The Court will deny the Motion in Limine on this point,
without prejudice for Plaintiff to re-raise this issue, with appropriate citation to authority, by addressing the
distinction (if any) between the Note being discharged and any continuing obligation on the mortgage. Any
such renewed Motion in Limine shall be filed by noon on 2/10/17.
impact on Plaintiff. While Plaintiff himself, and others, can testify as a fact witness regarding
Plaintiff’s alleged psychological impact of the alleged actions of Defendant under Fed. R. Evid.
701, Mr. McConville may not do so without crossing an impermissible boundary between expert
opinion and lay testimony. This Court therefore GRANTS Defendant’s Motion in Limine (doc.
Defendant’s Motion in Limine (doc. 47) Seeking to Exclude Purported Expert
Opinion Regarding Loan Denials
Defendant moves to exclude expert testimony of. Mr. McConville regarding the
Plaintiff’s loan denials and his proffered expert opinion that the conduct of Defendant was a
causal factor in Plaintiff being denied access to a construction loan during the relevant time
period. While Defendant argues that the opinion of Mr. McConville regarding the reason for the
loan denial was based purely upon speculation and conjecture, this Court disagrees. Instead, the
Court finds that this expert testimony passes muster under Fed. R. Evid. 702, as it will assist the
trier of fact on a matter upon which Mr. McConville possesses sufficient facts or data and is the
product of reliable principles and methods. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509
U.S. 579 (1993); Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999). The Court finds that Mr.
McConville, who has been employed in the mortgage industry for over 24 years, possesses the
requisite knowledge about which factors a lending institution will use when deciding whether to
approve or deny a credit application, and he may testify as an expert as to causation issues. The
fact that Mr. McConville did not review the deposition testimony of third party lenders, or the
documents related to Plaintiff’s actual credit application, goes to the weight of the evidence. As
Plaintiff notes, although Mr. McConville did not possess the actual credit applications, he
already had in his possession and did review Plaintiff’s credit history. Additionally, as Plaintiff
point out, all of the depositions taken in this case occurred after Mr. McConville issued his
report. For these reasons, this Court DENIES Defendant’s Motion in Limine (doc. 47).
The parties shall refile the joint proposed exhibit list incorporating these rulings by noon
SO ORDERED this 8th day of February, 2017.
s/Arthur J. Schwab
Arthur J. Schwab
United States District Judge
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