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Hellquist v. Progressive Preferred Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 29, 2018

Blake Hellquist, Plaintiff,
v.
Progressive Preferred Insurance Co., Defendant.

          ORDER

          Paul A. Magnuson United States District Court Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Progressive Preferred Insurance Co.'s Motions in Limine. Trial in this matter is set to begin on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

         A. Edward Foster

         Defendant moves the Court for an order excluding the opinions and testimony of Edward Foster, arguing that they are based on an unsupported assumption that Plaintiff will not be able to work until his desired retirement age due to the injuries he sustained in this collision. Plaintiff retained Mr. Foster to calculate a monthly pension amount in support of his claims for future medical care expenses and loss of future earning capacity. Defendant does not challenge Mr. Foster's calculations or his methodology, instead arguing that no medical professional has opined that Plaintiff will be unable to work until his full retirement age. Resolution of this issue will therefore depend on the evidence presented at trial, and Defendant may object at that time. This Motion will be denied without prejudice.

         B. Mary Kay Kolar

         Defendant argues that the Court should preclude testimony from Mary Kay Kolar. In calculating future medical costs, Ms. Kolar opined that Plaintiff required a neurologist appointment every five years, nine chiropractic and eighteen physical therapy appointments annually, a gym membership and a personal trainer, and a high-quality mattress every eight years. Defendant points out that Ms. Kolar is not a neurologist, chiropractor, or physical therapist and argues that these opinions lack foundation because Plaintiff's medical care providers did not identify the specific frequency of these appointments. But Plaintiff's medical care providers endorsed Ms. Kolar's assessment of his future medical needs. These issues are more appropriately raised on cross- and redirect examination. This Motion will be denied without prejudice.

         C. Liability for Motor Vehicle Accident

         Defendant has stipulated that former Defendants Andrii Pylypenko and Schwarz Trucking, Inc., are solely at fault for the collision, and thus argues that the Court should limit the scope of Plaintiff's case on the issue of liability. Defendant's stipulation does not render evidence of liability irrelevant. See Grandoe Corp. v. Gander Mountain Co., 761 F.3d 876, 889 (8th Cir. 2014). But this trial is now solely about the extent of Plaintiff's damages. Because liability is no longer at issue, the Court will limit Plaintiff to providing a brief description of the evidence on liability in order to give the jury context on the issue of damages. The Court will grant this Motion.

         D. Driving-Related Documentation

         Defendant asks the Court to exclude traffic citations issued to Pylypenko on June 14, 2013, and on July 30, 2013; Pylypenko's driver's license record; and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) records on Schwarz Trucking. Plaintiff agrees that Pylypenko's June 14, 2013, traffic citations and driving record are not relevant, and therefore this request will be denied as moot.

         On July 30, 2013, a police officer cited Pylypenko for speeding and apparently took his driver's license. Plaintiff argues that this citation is relevant because it shows that Pylypenko drove without a commercial drivers' license at the time of the collision, which “speaks to his irresponsibility as a commercial truck driver.” (Docket No. 94 at 24.) Plaintiff also seeks to admit evidence that the FMCSA withdrew Schwarz Trucking's certificate of authority to operate as an interstate commercial carrier. According to Plaintiff, this evidence explains why Schwarz Trucking has not participated in this lawsuit. This evidence is not relevant, and therefore, this Motion will be granted.

         E. Photographs of Damage to Plaintiff's Vehicle

         Defendant seeks to reduce the number of photographs showing the extent of the damage to Plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff responds, arguing that he only intends to admit five photographs from three proposed exhibits. The Court will deny this Motion without prejudice subject to specific objections at trial.

         F. Plaintiff's ...


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