United States District Court, D. Maryland
DAVID COPPERTHITE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
are currently three pending motions before the Court. First,
Defendants Thoroughgood's Transport, LLC and Michael D.
Bailey (collectively, "Defendants") filed a Motion
in Limine ("Defendants' First Motion in
Limine") (ECF No. 63), seeking to preclude Dr. Steven C.
Ludwig, a spinal surgeon that operated on Plaintiff Judy
Gioioso, from serving as an expert witness at trial. ECF No.
63 at 1. Defendants filed a second Motion in Limine
("Defendants' Second Motion in Limine") (ECF
No. 64), seeking to preclude Plaintiff from offering
photographs of her vehicle taken after the accident and from
referring to the vehicle as "totaled" during trial.
ECF No. 64 at 1. Defendants filed a third Motion for Separate
Trial (ECF No. 65), requesting that the Court bifurcate the
trial for Count 111 (Negligent Entrustment against
Thoroughgood's Transport, LLC) from the trial for Count I
(Negligence against Mr. Bailey) and Count II (Respondeat
Superior against Thoroughgood's Transport, LLC) on the
basis that one trial on all counts would prejudice
Defendants. ECF No. 65 at 1-2. After considering each of the
motions and the responses thereto, the Court finds that no
hearing is necessary. See Loc.R. 105.6 (D.Md. 2016).
For the reasons set forth herein, the Court will RESERVE
ruling on Defendants" First Motion in Limine (ECF No.
63) until trial, DENY Defendants* Second Motion in Limine
(ECF No. 64), and DENY Defendants' Motion for Separate
Trial (ECF No. 65).
lawsuit arises out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred
on July 21, 2014 near the intersection of Route 50 and Golf
Course Road in Worchester County, Maryland. ECF No. 1 at 2.
In her Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Mr. Bailey, as an
employee of Defendant Thoroughgood"s Transport, LLC,
negligently drove his motor vehicle into the rear of her car,
which was lawfully stopped at the intersection. Id.
As a result. Plaintiff alleges that she sustained physical
injuries that required her to undergo three surgeries and
incurred substantial medical expenses. Id. at 3;
see ECF No. 63-1.
November 30, 2016, Plaintiff filed suit in this Court against
Defendants alleging negligence against Mr. Bailey, as well as
vicarious liability and negligent entrustment against
Thoroughgood's Transport, LLC. ECF No. 1. On December 7,
2016, the Defendants filed separate answers to the Complaint,
each denying liability.  ECF Nos. 5, 6.
October 1, 2018, Defendants filed the three pending motions.
First, Defendants filed Defendants' First Motion in
Limine to preclude Dr. Steven C. Ludwig from serving as an
expert witness for Plaintiff at trial. ECF No. 63. Next,
Defendants filed Defendants" Second Motion in Limine to
preclude Plaintiff from offering photographs of the condition
of her vehicle after the accident and from referring to the
vehicle as "totaled" during the trial. ECF No. 64.
Lastly, Defendants filed the Motion for Separate Trial,
seeking bifurcation of Count III for Negligent Entrustment
from Counts I and II, for Negligence and Respondeat Superior.
ECF No. 65. Plaintiff opposed each of these motions on
October 18, 2018.  ECF Nos. 71, 72, 73. Defendants filed a
reply regarding the Motion for Separate Trial on October 23,
2018. ECF No. 78.
matters are now fully briefed and the Court has reviewed
Defendants* Motions, as well as the responses thereto. For
the foregoing reasons, ruling on Defendants' First Motion
in Limine (ECF No. 63) will be reserved until trial.
Defendants' Second Motion in Limine (ECF No. 64) is
DENIED. Defendants' Motion for Separate Trial (ECF No.
65) is DENIED.
Defendants' Motions in Limine
Standard of Review
motion in limine seeks 'to exclude anticipated
prejudicial evidence before the evidence is actually
offered."' Changzhou Kaidi Elec. Co., Ltd. v.
Okin Am., Inc., 102 F.Supp.3d 740, 745 (D.Md. 2015)
(quoting Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 40 n.2
(1984)). "Such motions are 'designed to narrow the
evidentiary issues for trial and to eliminate unnecessary
trial interruptions.'" Id. (quoting
Louzon v. Ford Motor Co., 718 F.3d 556, 561 (6th
Cir. 2013)). "A motion in limine to exclude evidence . .
. should be granted only when the evidence is clearly
inadmissible on all potential grounds." Emami v.
Bolden, 241 F.Supp.3d 673, 681 (E.D.Va. 2017) (citations
and internal quotation marks omitted). "A ruling on a
motion in limine is no more than a preliminary or advisory
opinion that falls entirely within the discretion of the
[trial] court." Adams v. NVR Homes, Inc., 141
F.Supp.2d 554, 558 (D.Md. 2001) (citing United Stales v.
Yannott, 42 F.3d 999, 1007 (6th Cir. 1994)).
Defendants' First Motion in Limine
October 1, 2018, Defendants filed the First Motion in Limine,
seeking to preclude Dr. Steven C. Ludwig, a spinal surgeon
that operated on Plaintiff in April 2018, from testifying as
an expert at trial regarding the causal relationship between
the surgeries and the motor vehicle accident. ECF No. 63-2 at
1. Defendants contend that Plaintiff failed to name Dr.
Ludwig as a treating physician or an expert in her mandatory
disclosures made pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
26(a)(2) and, therefore, should be precluded from calling Dr.
Ludwig at trial. Id. at 2-3. In her response.
Plaintiff states that "Dr. Ludwig in all likelihood will
not be called as a witness" because he "refuses to
take a position that could result in his ...