Defendants Cannot Introduce Collateral Source Income at Trial

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U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, September 17, 2020

The instant matter has been extensively covered by the Asbestos Case Tracker blog. In addition to the myriad of other motions in limine filed, the plaintiffs filed a motion in limine to exclude questions or comments concerning collateral sources of income or payments. Multiple defendants opposed the motion.

The defendants “concede that evidence of benefits received from collateral sources is inadmissible for the purpose of reducing a plaintiff’s recovery by means of offset,” but argued the court should not issue a “blanket prohibition against the use of collateral source evidence because Louisiana law permits the introduction of collateral source evidence in certain circumstances.” The defendants further stated that certain Medicaid payments are not subject to the collateral source rule because a plaintiff is “not entitled to collect Medicaid write-off amounts as damages under Louisiana law.” Lastly, the defendants noted that collateral source evidence may be introduced for impeachment purposes.

The plaintiffs contend the defendants “failed to show that evidence regarding collateral sources in this case would in fact prove bias or prejudice.” The plaintiffs argued that collateral source evidence should be excluded “because it would cause unfair prejudice, confuse the issues, and mislead the jury.”

The court stated the defendants “have not specified what collateral source payments they intend to introduce at trial or explained how any collateral source evidence would fall within an exception to the collateral source rule.” Therefore, “the Court excludes any collateral source evidence to the extent it does not fall within an exception to the collateral source rule.”

The motion was granted.

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