United States District Court, S.D. Georgia, Savannah Division
BELINDA LEE MALEY, individually and on behalf of the Estate of Matthew Clinton Loflin, deceased; and GENE LOFLIN, individually; Plaintiffs,
CORIZON HEALTH, INC., a Delaware Corporation; CORIZON, LLC, a Missouri Limited Liability Company; CHATHAM COUNTY, a Georgia County; ROY HARRIS; ESTATE OF AL ST. LAWRENCE; JOHN WILCHER, individually and in his official capacity as Jail Administrator; SCOTT KENNEDY, M.D.; ADAMAR GONZALEZ, M.D.; and VIRGINIA O'NEILL; Defendants.
WILLIAM T. MOORE, JR. JUDGE
the Court are Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine (Doc. 118) and
Second Motion in Limine (Doc. 121) . In their motions,
Plaintiffs contest a variety of proposed
exhibits that Defendants have suggested may be used
at trial in this case. For the following reasons,
Plaintiffs' motions are GRANTED IN PART, DENIED
IN PART and DEFERRED IN
case arises from the incarceration and subsequent death of
Matthew Loflin from congestive heart failure at the Chatham
County Detention Center ("CCDC") while in the care
of Defendant Corizon Health Inc. ("Corizon"). (Doc.
1.) After his death, Loflin's mother, Plaintiff Brenda
Maley, brought suit individually and on behalf of the Estate
of Matthew Loflin. (Id.) In an amended complaint,
Loflin's father, Plaintiff Gene Loflin, subsequently
joined suit in his individual capacity. (Doc. 92.) In the
amended complaint, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants Dr.
Scott Kennedy and Corizon were deliberately indifferent to
Loflin's critical medical needs while detained at the
CCDC. (Id.) Plaintiffs have filed this action
seeking damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the alleged
deliberate indifference to Loflin's medical needs and his
subsequent wrongful death. (Id.) As a result of this
Court granting in part and denying in part Defendants'
motions for summary judgment, Plaintiffs' deliberate
indifference and corresponding wrongful death claims remain
against both Defendant Kennedy and Defendant Corizon. (Doc.
has been scheduled in this case for July 15, 2019. In
preparation for trial, Plaintiffs have filed two motions in
limine, seeking to exclude many of Defendants' proposed
exhibits. (Doc. 118; Doc. 121.) Because Plaintiffs have
challenged a variety of Defendants' exhibits, the Court
will discuss each challenge below.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
real purpose of a Motion In Limine is to give the trial judge
notice of the movant's position so as to avoid the
introduction of damaging evidence, which may irretrievably
affect the fairness of the trial." Stewart v.
Hooters of Am., Inc., No. 8: 04-CV-40-T17-MAP, 2007 WL
1752873, at *1 (M.D. Fla. June 18, 2007). "The court
excludes evidence on a Motion In Limine only if the evidence
is clearly inadmissible for any purpose." Id.
"Accordingly, if evidence is not clearly inadmissible,
evidentiary rulings must be deferred until trial to allow
questions of foundation, relevancy, and prejudice to be
resolved in context." Id. (citation and
case, Plaintiffs focus the gravamen of their briefing on
challenges to the relevancy of many of Defendants'
proposed exhibits. For evidence to be relevant, it must
"hav[e] any tendency to make the existence of any fact
that is of consequence to the determination of the action
more probable or less probable than it would be without the
evidence." Fed.R.Evid. 401. While relevant evidence is
generally admissible, the "evidence may be excluded if
its probative value is substantially outweighed by a danger
of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice, confusing
the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time,
or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence."
Defendants' Proposed Exhibit 13
Proposed Exhibit 13 is a 2-page document detailing all of
Matthew Loflin's medical expenses. (Doc. 118 at 2.)
Plaintiffs contend that this exhibit is inadmissible under
the collateral source rule. (Id. at 2-5.) Plaintiffs
argue that Defendant Kennedy did not pay for any of the
medical expenses in this case and, therefore, cannot offer
evidence that Loflin's medical expenses were paid by a
third party. (Id.)
collateral source rule "gives [a plaintiff] the right to
recover damages undiminished by collateral benefits. It
refuses credit to the benefit of a tortfeasor of money or
services received by the plaintiff in reparation of the
injury or damage caused which emanate from sources other than
the tortfeasor." ML Healthcare Servs., LLC v. Publix
Super Mkts., Inc., 881 F.3d 1293, 1298 (11th Cir. 2018).
In this case, however, the collateral source rule does not
appear to bar the admission of Defendants' Exhibit 13.
collateral source rule is designed to prevent parties from
introducing evidence that a plaintiff is entitled to less
recovery because a third party paid for some of the
plaintiff's medical expenses. According to Defendants,
however, Exhibit 13 offers no evidence that a collateral
source or third party to this action paid for Loflin's
medical bills. (Doc. 122 at 3-4.) Instead, Defendants assert
that the medical bills detailed in the exhibit simply detail
the various expenses incurred on Loflin's behalf and
which expenses were paid by Defendant Corizon, not a third
party. (Id.) If Defendants' description is true,
these expenses would be directly relevant to the potential
recovery in this case and would not show that a third party
paid for any of these expenses on Loflin's behalf.
Accordingly, there would be no collateral source issue in
this case. Because the parties have not provided this exhibit
for the Court's review, however, the Court must defer
ruling on this issue until trial.
Defendants' Proposed Exhibit 22
Proposed Exhibit 22 contains an affidavit in which Plaintiff
Belinda Maley swears to her legal relationship with Matthew
Loflin, an authorization to disclose his health information,
and an authorization for an attorney to receive Loflin's
medical records. (Doc. 118 at 5.) Plaintiffs contend that
this exhibit is irrelevant to the issues in this case and may
potentially be offered simply to show the jury that an
attorney was consulted within one month of Loflin's
death. (Id. at 5-6.) In response, Defendants have
agreed to exclude this exhibit. (Doc. 122 at 4.)
Accordingly, Defendants will not be permitted to use this
exhibit at trial.
Defendants' Proposed Exhibit 26
Proposed Exhibit 26 is a copy of Chatham County's Request
for Proposal for Health Services at the CCDC. (Doc. 118 at
6.) This document shows Chatham County's bid requirements
for the bid that eventually resulted in a contract with
Defendant Corizon for the provision of healthcare services at
the CCDC. (Id.) Plaintiffs contend that this exhibit
is not relevant to any of the facts or issues in this case.
(Id. at 6-7.) In response, Defendants contend that
this document is relevant because it shows Chatham
County's expectations for the services to be provided by
Defendant Corizon. (Doc. 122 at 4-5.) Defendants assert that
this information is directly relevant to Plaintiffs'
argument that Defendant Corizon made decisions with respect
to Loflin's care in order to save money. (Id.)
careful review, this Court is inclined to agree with
Defendants. Without the context of trial, however, this Court
is unable to fully make a determination as to whether this
exhibit is relevant to the issues that will be presented at
trial. At this time, the Court defers ruling on
Plaintiffs' request to exclude this exhibit. Plaintiffs
may raise this issue at trial if necessary.