• Defendant’s Motion in Limine Denied in Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Dispute.
  • March 16, 2017 | Author: Allison L. Krupp
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - Camp Hill Office
  • Rodkey v. Progressive Direct Ins. Co., No. 3:16-cv-454 (M.D. Pa. Dec. 8, 2016)

    This case arises from a hit-and-run pedestrian-motor vehicle accident. The court was considering two separate motions in limine. The first was the defendant’s motion to preclude evidence of the plaintiff’s insurance policy premiums and of the uninsured motorist benefits available under the policy. The defendant argued that the evidence was not relevant and unfairly prejudicial. The court denied the motion and considered that the essential terms of the insurance contract included the premium the plaintiff had paid to receive coverage and the extent of that coverage. The court reasoned that the jury had to know the essential terms of the contract, including the consideration exchanged. The court also rejected the defendant’s unfairly prejudicial argument. The defendant argued that if the jury knows about the premiums, they may be confused and believe that they must award a certain amount of damages to the plaintiff or may be influenced to award the policy limits. The court found that any potential prejudice could be cured through a proper jury instruction. The defendant’s second motion in limine was to preclude evidence of the plaintiff’s unpaid excess medical bills. The defendant argued that the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law precludes double collection of insurance benefits in certain instances. The court denied this motion as well and considered that, under the collateral source doctrine, a tort victim may recover more than once for the same injury as long as the recoveries come from different sources. The plaintiff argued that the medical bills were out-of-pocket expenses for co-pays and deductibles that were part of the coverage agreement between the plaintiff and her health insurance carriers. Thus, the defendant’s motion in limine was denied.