Judge: Roy Payne
Holding: Order on Motions in Limine
Limine rulings are usually a long list of granted/denied, but sometimes the issues presented are case-specific enough that the holdings are useful guidance outside the case at issue. In this case, Judge Payne's ruling on three parties' motions in limine heard at the pretrial conference were an interesting read.
First up was a defense motion seeking to exclude references in this antitrust case to the parallel patent infringement allegations and jury verdict. "This Court has already determined that the fact of BD’s infringement of RTI’s patent is relevant to RTI’s antitrust claims," Judge Payne observed. "A final judgment is certainly the most efficient and least confusing evidence that can be offered to prove such a fact. Since BD is the one who requested the severance, it should not now be heard to complain that a different jury has already decided the patent claims. Any concerns regarding double recovery can easily be addressed through the jury instructions."
Second, the plaintiff sought to exclude any evidence that the syringes at issue had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Judge Payne denied this motion. The plaintiff also sought to exclude evidence of the relative rate of consumer complaints. Judge Payne found most of this requested relief to be inappropriate and better handled through cross-examination. He also found that a related claim of privilege had not been lost through waiver.
Finally, the defendant sought to preclude the defendant's electronic sales call database as hearsay. Judge Payne had "little difficulty" concluding that much of the information the database would be covered by the business records exception to the hearsay rule, assuming that the plaintiff could lay the necessary foundation to testimony at trial. To the extent the defendant argued that the plaintiff's salesmen had a motive to exaggerate the obstacles to sales, Judge Payne held that these motivations "which are common themes and business records" can properly be explored on cross examination.
"The real hearsay issue," the Court wrote, "is whether the customer statements reported by the RTI salesman are covered by a hearsay exception." After going through the relevant considerations, Judge Payne concluded that the motion in limine would be granted as to the customer statements, and directed the parties to identify to each other within five days all customer statement sought to be admitted, and then to meet and confer before bringing the statements upon which they cannot agree to the Court for a ruling on a statement by statement basis since he could not resolve the relevant issues on a global basis.