The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Gregory L. Frost
Magistrate Judge E.A. Preston-Deavers
This matter is before the Court on Joseph A. Scarano's Motion in Limine to Exclude Testimony and Evidence Concerning Hours of Service Violations (ECF No. 60) and Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Exclude Testimony Concerning Hours of Service Violations (ECF No. 69). For the reasons that follow, the Court DENIES Scarano's motion.
This case involves a collision between a horse drawn buggy and a tractor trailer on U.S. Route 62 in Knox County, Ohio that occurred on October 20, 2009. As a result of the collision, L.S. was thrown from the buggy and was pinned under a wheels of the semi truck. L.S. was five years old at the time of the collision and she suffered serious injuries to her arm, leg, and pelvis.
Plaintiffs in this case are L.S. and her parents, Emanuel and Delilah Slabaugh. Plaintiffs have filed claims for relief for negligence, negligence per se, loss of consortium, employer liability, and negligent hiring, training, and entrustment. Defendants are Joseph A. Scarano, the driver of the truck, and A & R Logistics, Inc., Scarano's employer. Defendants have filed counterclaims for negligence on the part of the buggy driver, V.S., L.S.'s sister, and negligence and negligent training, monitoring, and supervision of V.S. by her parents.
Although neither the Federal Rules of Evidence nor the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure explicitly authorize the Court to rule on an evidentiary motion in limine, the United States Supreme Court has noted that the practice of ruling on such motions "has developed pursuant to the district court's inherent authority to manage the course of trials." Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 41 n.4 (1984). The purpose of a motion in limine is to allow the Court to rule on issues pertaining to evidence in advance of trial in order to avoid delay and ensure an even-handed and expeditious trial. See Ind. Ins. Co. v. Gen. Elec. Co., 326 F. Supp. 2d 844, 846 (N.D. Ohio 2004) (citing Jonasson v. Lutheran Child & Family Servs., 115 F.3d 436, 440 (7th Cir. 1997)).
Courts, however, are generally reluctant to grant broad exclusions of evidence in limine, because "a court is almost always better situated during the actual trial to assess the value and utility of evidence." Koch v. Koch Indus., Inc., 2 F. Supp.2d 1385, 1388 (D. Kan 1998); accord Sperberg v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 519 F.2d 708, 712 (6th Cir.1975). To obtain the exclusion of evidence under such a motion, a party must prove that the evidence is clearly inadmissible on all potential grounds. See Ind. Ins. Co., 326 F. Supp. 2d at 846; Koch, 2 F. Supp. 2d at 1388; cf. Luce, 469 U.S. at 41.
III. Relevant Federal Rules of Evidence
Federal Rule of Evidence 401 provides:
"Relevant evidence" means evidence having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less ...