United States District Court, S.D. Florida
OMNIBUS ORDER ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE (ECF NOS. ,
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BLOOM, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
CAUSE is before the Court upon the Motion in Limine
filed by Plaintiff, ECF No.  (“Plaintiff's
Motion”), and multiple Motions in Limine filed by
Defendant, ECF Nos. , , , , 
(collectively, “Defendant's Motions”). The
Court has carefully reviewed Plaintiff's Motion,
Defendant's Motions, all opposing and supporting
submissions, the record in this case and the applicable law,
and is otherwise fully advised. For the reasons that follow,
Plaintiff's Motion is denied. Defendant's Motions are
granted in part and denied in part.
Court assumes the parties' familiarity with the facts of
the case. In Plaintiff's Motion, Plaintiff moves to
preclude Defendant from introducing evidence of its lack of
notice of falls occurring on water in its beverage area. In
Defendant's Motions, Defendant seeks bifurcation of the
issues of gross negligence and punitive damages from the
negligence and compensatory damages determinations, and seeks
to preclude Plaintiff from introducing evidence of subsequent
claims, claims history at other restaurant locations,
information about Defendant's loss reserves, and evidence
fairness to the parties and their ability to put on their
case, a court should exclude evidence in limine only
when it is clearly inadmissible on all potential
grounds.” United States v. Gonzalez, 718
F.Supp.2d 1341, 1345 (S.D. Fla. 2010). “Unless evidence
meets this high standard, evidentiary rulings should be
deferred until trial so that questions of foundation,
relevancy, and potential prejudice may be resolved in proper
context.” In re Seroquel Products Liab.
Litig., 2009 WL 260989, at *1 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 4, 2009).
is admissible if relevant, and evidence is relevant if it has
any tendency to prove or disprove a fact of consequence.
Fed.R.Evid. 401, 402; United States v. Patrick, 513
Fed.Appx. 882, 886 (11th Cir. 2013). A district court may
exclude relevant evidence under Rule 403 if “its
probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger of .
. . unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the
jury, undue delay, wasting of time, or needlessly presenting
cumulative evidence.” Fed.R.Evid. 403. “Rule 403
is an extraordinary remedy which the district court should
invoke sparingly, and the balance should be struck in favor
of admissibility.” Patrick, 513 Fed.Appx. at
886 (citing United States v. Lopez, 649 F.3d 1222,
1247 (11th Cir. 2011) and United States v.
Alfaro-Moncada, 607 F.3d 720, 734 (11th Cir. 2010)). The
movant has the burden to demonstrate that the evidence is
inadmissible. Gonzalez, 718 F.Supp.2d at 1345.
this lens, the Court considers Plaintiff's Motion and
Plaintiff's Motion (ECF No. )
argues that Defendant should be precluded from introducing
any evidence with respect to Defendant's lack of notice.
This is based upon an inconsistency in the testimony of
Defendant's corporate representative, Tony Berard, with
respect to testimony given by Defendant's Plantation
manager Stacie Marcus in another slip and fall case against
Defendant. Plaintiff argues that the inconsistency belies the
position that Defendant lacked actual or constructive notice
of water on its beverage area tile floor, and that Defendant
has abused the judicial process by presenting manufactured
fraudulent testimony. As such, Plaintiff contends that any
such evidence should be excluded under Rule 403 of the
Federal Rules of Evidence. Defendant vehemently disputes
Plaintiff's contention and characterization of the
inconsistency and Mr. Berard's testimony. Upon review,
the Court determines that there is no basis under Rule 403 to
exclude evidence of lack of notice based upon the alleged
inconsistency, and Plaintiff is free to cross-examine Mr.
Berard at trial to explore any alleged inconsistency.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's Motion is denied.
Bifurcation of gross negligence and punitive damages (ECF No.
argues that the Court should allow separate trials on the
issues of negligence and gross negligence/punitive damages in
this case in order to prevent juror confusion with respect to
the different standards of liability applicable to negligence
and gross negligence. Moreover, Defendant argues that
bifurcation is necessary to prevent highly prejudicial
evidence relevant only to the issue of punitive damages from
being presented to the jury when they are determining
negligence liability. In response, Plaintiff contends that
bifurcation is improper because the evidence and witnesses
for both the negligence and gross negligence claims are the
same, and the causation and compensatory damages issues are
the same. However, Plaintiff recognizes that there is a basis