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16-024 - Smith et al v. Toyota Motor Corporation et al


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16-024 - Smith et al v. Toyota Motor Corporation et al
April 21, 2017
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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel [ECF No. 32] is GRANTED, in part, and DENIED, in part. Defendants shall produce the requested discovery outlined on page 6 for Toyota 4Runner models from January 1, 1990, through December 31, 2002, and Computer Aided Engineering work conducted by Toyota to study rollover resistance from January 1, 1990, to December 31, 2002. Plaintiffs' Motion in all other respects is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' request for costs and fees associated with its Motion to Compel is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' request for a protective order, for an award of costs related to Plaintiffs Motion to Compel, and for cancellation of depositions [ECF No. 33] is DENIED. Signed by District Judge E. Richard Webber on April 21, 2017. (MCB)
December 5, 2017
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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER (See Full Order) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend Expert Witness Disclosure 49 is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the deadline to depose expert witnesses shall be extended to January 5, 2018, the deadline to complete all discovery shall be extended to January 5, 2018, and the deadline to file any motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment or motions for judgment on the pleadings is extended to January 19, 2018. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend Expert Witness Disclosure and Alternative Motion for Leave to File Sur-reply 53 is moot. Signed by District Judge E. Richard Webber on 12/5/17. (EAB)
March 13, 2018
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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motion to Exclude Expert Testimony 58 is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. This Court grants Defendants' request to exclude expert witnesses from testifying as to whether, during the time of the accident, the subject Toyota 4Runner was in the same or substantially similar condition as when it was first sold. This Court denies Defendants' request to exclude testimony by Plaintiffs expert witnesses opining that the rollover crash was caused by an alleged design defect. Signed by District Judge E. Richard Webber on March 13, 2018. (MCB)
April 3, 2018
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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. (See Full Order.) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' Supplemental Exhibit Affidavit of Steve Chatfield 75 is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude/Disregard Declaration of Jon Sell 76 is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 57 is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Defendants are granted summary judgment with respect to the following of Plaintiffs' claims: strict liability and negligent design defect of the vehicle's handling; strict liability and negligent design defect of the vehicle's seatbelt; strict liability and negligent failure to warn; and the breach of warranty claims related to these underlying products liability claims. Defendants are denied summary judgment with respect to the following of Plaintiffs' claims: strict liability and negligent design defect of the vehicle's rollover resistance; breach of warranty related to this claim; loss of consortium; and punitive damages. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment on Defendants' Affirmative Defenses 55 is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. Plaintiffs are granted summary judgment with respect to the following of Defendants' affirmative defenses: state of the art; compliance with industry standards; and preemption. Plaintiffs are denied summary judgment with respect to the following of Defendants' affirmative defenses: modification and superseding and/or intervening cause. Signed by District Judge E. Richard Webber on 4/3/2018. (CBL)
April 17, 2018
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ndants' Motion in Limine regarding other similar incidents is GRANTED in part. Defendants and their experts shall limit their OSI evidence to no more than five vehicle rollovers involving (1) the same model year vehicle; (2) vehicles with over 100,000 miles of use with no modifications; and (3) the same topographical environment. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion in Limine regarding untimely disclosed and unreliable records and opinions of Dr. Eugene Childress is GRANTED as to references in Dr. Childress' report concerning mechanical failure of the vehicle, personal hardship on the part of the parties, and their loss of business and reference to their restaurant as a bar. The question of whether to exclude any evidence contained in Dr. Childress' report that relates to the seatbelt issue is under submission to the Court. The motion is DENIED as to all other parts of Dr. Childress' report. Parties shall convene and examine the doctor'MEMORANDUM AND ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants' Motions in Limine regarding untimely disclosed expert file materials and data; undisclosed or unsupported defect or negligence theories; testimony of untimely disclosed Steven Chatfield; evidence regarding recalls of other products; evidence regarding suspension recall on the subject 4Runner; lost wages, earnings, income or financial status; use of exhibits not produced or made available for inspection; attempt to call attorneys as witnesses; pretrial matters; deferred prosecution agreement; discovery disputes and discovery allegations, including spoliation claims regarding Toyota documents; interpretation of Toyotas documents by Plaintiffs' experts; reference to representation by defense counsel, size or location of law firms; and accident history of the product line are GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motions in Limine regarding size of company or net worth and intended use of judgment proceeds and parts (3) and (4) of Defendants Motion in Limine regarding Plaintiffs' inflammatory reference to Toyota are GRANTED as to the first phase of trial, but DENIED as to the second phase of trial. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defes records, agree on the redactions, and submit the redacted versions to the Court for in camera review. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion in Limine regarding inflammatory reference to Toyota is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. This Court grants the motion as to parts (2) and (5), and as stated above, it grants motion as to parts (3) and (4) as to the first phase of trial but overrules it as to the second phase of trial. As for part (1) of the motion, Plaintiffs will be allowed to mention Toyota is a Japanese company, but they will not be permitted to make any derogatory comments related to this fact.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant' Motion in Limine related to statements regarding "consumer safety" as purpose of suit is granted in part. To the extent there is discussion concerning "consumer safety," Plaintiffs will not be permitted to advocate the purpose of this lawsuit is to promote consumer safety.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion in Limine regarding collateral source is GRANTED. Plaintiffs will be limited to producing evidence of the actual cost of medical care or treatment when proving medical expenses. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs Motion in Limine regarding Plaintiffs' settlement with MoDOT is GRANTED. Any mention of settlement will be taken up in an in camera inspection of the settlement by the Court or outside of the presence of the jury. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine regarding character evidence of Plaintiff is GRANTED as to parts 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. As to parts 3 and 7, this matter is under submission to the Court. As to part 8, Defendants are permitted to ask Ms. Smith and any other eyewitnesses if Ms. Smith was using her phone during the time of the accident, but no other evidence on this issue will be permitted. Defendants are ordered to produce authority that the alleged violations contained in Ms. Smith's driving record can be used to impeach her. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine regarding medical records is GRANTED as to any reference in her medical reports as to any medical information that is unrelated to the accident and any information concerning the financial health of the Plaintiffs or their business. The question of whether to exclude any evidence contained in Ms. Smith's medical records that relates to the seatbelt issue is under submission to the Court. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine regarding unreliable opinions of investigating Trooper Craig Reichart and his traffic incident report is DENIED as to everything in Trooper Reichart's report except on his conclusion Ms. Smith oversteered the vehicle. The Court will withhold its ruling on that issue until the time of Trooper Reichart's testimony. The Court must be informed by Defendants before seeking to introduce such evidence of his conclusion Ms. Smith oversteered. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that with respect to Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine regarding notations Mr. Smith made on photographs, no use of the photos with notations will be permitted until Mr. Smith is identified as the writer of the notations on the photos. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine regarding seatbelt or ejection evidence is under submission to the Court. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine regarding fault of third parties is under submission to the Court. Defendants are allowed to file further briefing by Defendants. Signed by District Judge E. Richard Webber on April 17, 2018. (MCB) (Main Document 120 replaced on 4/18/2018) (MCB).
April 20, 2018
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MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. (See Full Order.) IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine Regarding Fault of Third Parties is DENIED as it relates to factual allegations made by Plaintiffs in the relevant state court complaint. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine Regarding Ms. Smith's Driving Record and Seatbelt Citation is GRANTED in part. Defendants are not permitted to introduce any evidence related to Ms. Smith's citation for failure to wear a seatbelt. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' Motion in Limine Regarding the Untimely Disclosed Records of Dr. Childress is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that regarding Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine Regarding Ms. Smith's seatbelt usage, Defendants are permitted to introduce evidence Ms. Smith was ejected from the vehicle. Should either party intend to offer an explanation for the ejection, namely concerning whether Ms. Smith was belted, counsel for the party must approach the bench before voir dire, opening statements, and introduction of any evidence for Court's approval to proceed. Signed by District Judge E. Richard Webber on 4/20/2018. (CBL)