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Romanelli v. Long Island Railroad Co.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

July 13, 2012

Frank ROMANELLI, Plaintiff,
v.
The LONG ISLAND RAILROAD COMPANY, Defendant.

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Fredric M. Gold, Esq., Fredric M. Gold, PC, New York, NY, for Plaintiff.

Christopher S. Kozak, Esq., John A. Bonventre, Esq., Landman Corsi Ballaine & Ford, P.C., Newark, NJ, Thomas Chiofolo, Esq., The Long Island Railroad Company, Jamaica, NY, for Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

SHIRA A. SCHEINDLIN, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

Frank Romanelli brings this lawsuit against his employer, the Long Island Railroad Company (" LIRR" ) pursuant to the Federal Employers Liability Act (" FELA" ),[1] alleging that, while employed as a track worker, he was exposed to hazardous environmental contaminants that led to certain pulmonary and cardiac problems. LIRR now brings these motions in limine seeking to preclude: (1) Romanelli's medical experts from testifying at trial as to the cause of Romanelli's medical conditions; (2) Romanelli from testifying that he was exposed to any airborne toxins or contaminants, or to an " unsafe" level of airborne contaminants; and (3) Romanelli from testifying that LIRR had or breached a duty to provide him with a respirator.[2]

II. LEGAL STANDARD

The purpose of motions in limine is to allow a court to rule on the admissibility of potential evidence in advance of trial.[3] A court will exclude evidence on a motion in limine only if it is " clearly inadmissible on all potential grounds." [4] The Federal Rules of Evidence (" FRE" ) provide that " [i]rrelevant evidence is not admissible" [5] and define " relevant evidence" as that " having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence."

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[6] The FRE further state that relevant evidence " may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion ...


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