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Maria Escriba v. Foster Poultry Farms

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 12, 2011

MARIA ESCRIBA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
FOSTER POULTRY FARMS, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE

On June 24, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. the parties appeared before this Court for a hearing on Motions in Limine. Defendant Foster Poultry Farms' Motions in Limine, having been argued by the parties, and considered by this Court, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1. Motion in Limine to Exclude the Expert Testimony of Craig Pratt.

The Court will hold a Rule 104 hearing on Wednesday July 7, 2011 to address preliminary questions concerning Mr. Pratt's qualifications to testify as an expert witness about human resources management practices and procedures and the relevancy of his testimony. At the hearing, Plaintiff must establish "that there are accepted, recognized, peer reviewed" rules, procedures, protocols, or standards of care "that are essentially written down," that are "recognized either nationally or regionally," and "apply to the way human resources departments operate..." (MIL Tr. 83-84).*fn1 Plaintiff must establish that Mr. Pratt relied on such in reaching his opinions. Plaintiff may have Mr. Pratt present at the hearing. If Plaintiff is unable to establish the foregoing, Defendant's Motion in Limine No. 1 will be granted and Mr. Pratt will be excluded from testifying at trial.

2. Motion in Limine to Exclude the ALJ Opinion of Administrative Law Judge Miguel Martin.

The motion is GRANTED. The ALJ's findings of fact, conclusions of law and opinions will be excluded from evidence at trial. The parties, however, may use former testimony from the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board hearing, subject to foundation and the rules of evidence.

3. Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Prior Claims or Defenses Herein and More Specifically to Exclude Reference to Plaintiff's Wage Claim.

The motion is DENIED insofar as Plaintiff may testify that she did not receive vacation pay for time Defendant allegedly designated as vacation for a specified time period. Beyond such testimony, the Court will consider its admissibility on a question by question basis at trial.

4. Motion in Limine to Exclude Testimony that is Contradictory to Admitted Facts.

The motion is GRANTED and applies to both parties. Admitted facts in the Pre-Trial Order are established.

5. Motion in Limine to Exclude Any Argument that the Jury Should Calculate Damages Based on Their Personal Feelings and to Preclude Plaintiff's Counsel from Making Improper Comments to the Jury Regarding Damages ("Golden Rule" approach).

The motion is GRANTED and applies to both parties.

6. Motion in Limine to Exclude Opinion, Feelings and Beliefs Regarding the Motivations for Employment Decisions.

The motion is GRANTED and applies to both parties.

7. Motion in Limine to Exclude Character Evidence About Plaintiff.

The motion is GRANTED and applies to both parties.

8. Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence and Argument Regarding "Moral Duties" or "Business Ethics."

The motion is GRANTED and applies to both parties.

9. Motion in Limine to Exclude Evidence of Defendant's Size, Wealth and Overall Revenues.

The motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. The motion is granted with regard to Defendant's wealth and overall revenues. The motion is denied with regard to Defendant's size, with Plaintiff limited to discussing size on a local basis, such as with regard to the number of her co-workers. The Court will allow a jury verdict form with an instruction that Defendant is a covered employer under the FMLA/CRFA.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Oliver W. Wanger


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