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Pennsylvania Federal Court Issues Pre-trial Rulings In Auto Accident/Insurance Case

Posted Scott B. Cooper on Nov 13, 2012 in News

Posted on Nov 13, 2012

In the Memorandum and Order of the Court from the Western District of Pennsylvania in Smith v. Allstate Ins. Co., 3:11-CV-165 (W.D. Pa. Nov. 8, 2012) the federal court recently issues an Order dealing with the Defendant Allstate's Motions In Limine in a case involving Allstate's handling of an insurance claim after a 2004 car accident.

First, the Court finds that, after an inadvertent disclosure, the insurance company did not waive the right to the privileged information. The main basis for this ruling is that their were not that many pages (only 7 out of over 1200) which were disclosed and upon discovering the inadvertent disclosure the attorney immediately notified the plaintiff's counsel.

Second, the Court grants a motion in limine to restrict expert testimony because the expert's testimony relating to statute violations of the unfair Trade Practices Act is not considered to be scientific or so specialized that the everyday juror cannot figure it out.

Third, the Court limits the evidence on the net worth of Allstate until such time as the Plaintiff can make a motion during trial that it has produced sufficient evidence of bad faith to put punitive damages and Allstate's net worth before the jury. At that point the court will hold a hearing outside the presence of the jury and determine if there is sufficient evidence of bad faith. If so, the net worth will then be admitted.

Last, the Court finds that the Plaintiff may introduce evidence that the Defendant's expert bias and bias in choosing the person for the exam but cannot refer to him as a "hired gun" or a "one man IME mill."

If you would like a copy of the Order and Memo please feel free to contact Scott Cooper at Schmidt Kramer at scooper@Schmidt Kramer.com or call (888) 476-0807.

If you have been injured in a Pennsylvania car accident or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident contact Central Pennsylvania based Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers, and we will answer any questions you have about the accident and the legal rights you may have due to the personal injury and losses involving any Pennsylvania car accident, especially if you may need a personal injury lawyer in York, PA.