Defendants mistakenly believe that just because evidence is prejudicial it is not admissible. Not so. All relevant evidence is necessarily prejudicial.
Are we going to see yet another case gutted before trial? Obviously, State Farm would like nothing better. The Company filed nine motions in limine on the last day of September with trial set for little more than a month away.
Taken in the order of just how offensive the motions are to the public interest, SLABBED examines the nine starting with #7: to Preclude Testimony or Evidence Relating to Interpretation of Insurance Policy Provisions or Principles of Mississippi Law and to Exclude the Wind Water Claim Handing Protocol.
State Farm anticipates that Plaintiff may attempt to introduce testimony and/or evidence regarding a State Farm document known as the Wind Water Claim Handling Protocol… That document, however, should not be used for any purpose during the trial of Plaintiff’s claims. First, the document should not be used during the coverage phase of trial because how an adjuster investigates a claim has no bearing on what damage wind or flood caused to Plaintiff’s property or on whether those damages qualify for coverage under the plain terms of the homeowners policy.
Second, the document is also inadmissible during the later phase of trial (if any) involving claims for extra-contractual and punitive damages because (1) introducing the protocol would inject unfair prejudice against State Farm and needlessly confuse the jury by introducing a purported investigatory process alongside the controlling Mississippi investigatory standard beyond the abilityof any instruction by the Court to cure and (2) the document does not evidence bad faith or other culpable conduct. (Emphasis added – and doubled)
The following excerpt from the November 1, 2006 deposition of Stephan Hinkle, principal developer of the Protocol, provides just one of the many reasons the Court should carefully consider this motion. Continue reading