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Bingham v. Raytheon Technical Services Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

November 21, 2014

CHARLES M. BINGHAM, Plaintiff,
v.
RAYTHEON TECHNICAL SERVICES CO., LLC, Defendant.

ENTRY ON MOTIONS IN LIMINE

TANYA WALTON PRATT, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Motions in Limine filed by Plaintiff Charles Bingham ("Mr. Bingham") (Filing No. 53), and Defendant Raytheon Technical Services Co., LLC ("Raytheon") (Filing No. 76). The Court will address each motion in limine in turn, and will address additional facts relevant to each motion as needed.

I. BACKGROUND

The facts of this case are set forth in detail in the Court's Entry on Raytheon's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Filing No. 63). In short, Mr. Bingham contends that Raytheon terminated him because of his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. ยง 621 et seq. ("ADEA"). Raytheon terminated Mr. Bingham in February 2012, at the age of sixty-three and after more than thirty years of employment with the company.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

The court excludes evidence on a motion in limine only if the evidence clearly is not admissible for any purpose. See Hawthorne Partners v. AT&T Techs., Inc., 831 F.Supp. 1398, 1400 (N.D. Ill. 1993). Unless evidence meets this exacting standard, evidentiary rulings must be deferred until trial so questions of foundation, relevancy, and prejudice may be resolved in context. Id. at 1400-01. Moreover, denial of a motion in limine does not necessarily mean that all evidence contemplated by the motion is admissible; rather, it only means that, at the pretrial stage, the Court is unable to determine whether the evidence should be excluded. Id. at 1401.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Mr. Bingham's Motion in Limine (Filing No. 53)

Mr. Bingham asks the Court to exclude any reference to potential attorney's fees and costs, and any statement or suggestion that a finding for Mr. Bingham or an award of damages would entitle him to recover attorney's fees and/or costs from Raytheon. Raytheon agrees not to ask how Mr. Bingham's counsel are being compensated; however, they request that the jury be instructed that his attorneys' fees are not to be included in any damages award, as it is a matter for the Court to address in the event the jury rules in favor of Mr. Bingham. The Court agrees that reference to attorneys' fees would be properly included in the jury instruction on damages, and therefore GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Mr. Bingham's motion.

B. Raytheon's Motion in Limine(Filing No. 76)

Raytheon asks the Court to exclude evidence on nine subjects: "me-too" evidence; hiring or discharge of employees by non-decision makers; Raytheon's college hiring program; hearsay statements and statements not based upon personal knowledge; coworkers' opinions of Mr. Bingham's job performance and Raytheon's decision to terminate him; claims that Raytheon falsely represented layoff procedures to the EEOC; Raytheon's failure to conduct a disparate impact analysis; Raytheon's affirmative action obligations; Mr. and/or Mrs. Bingham's past or current medical conditions.

1. "Me-too" evidence of discrimination

Raytheon asks the Court to exclude testimony from past Raytheon employees who believe, or have filed lawsuits claiming, that they were subjected to age discrimination. Raytheon anticipates that witnesses Terry Dean, Tom Hartman, Bill Heck, Daniel Shaffer, and Randy Thompson will provide this testimony, and asserts that none of the individuals who decided to discharge Mr. Bingham were involved in the termination of any of these employees. Mr. Bingham inexplicably responds that this is inappropriate for a motion in limine, which is not the case. Nevertheless, as the Supreme Court has stated, "[t]he question whether evidence of discrimination by other supervisors is relevant in an individual ADEA case is fact based and depends on many factors, including how closely related the evidence is to the plaintiff's circumstances and theory of the case." Sprint/United Mgmt. Co. v. Mendelsohn, 552 U.S. 379, 388 (2008). The Court must make "a fact-intensive, ...


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