The opinion of the court was delivered by: BLANCHE MANNING, District Judge
Pro se plaintiff Lawrence Malone, an African-American, worked
for Foster Wheeler Constructors at the Robbins Resource Recovery
Project and was a member of the defendant Pipefitters'
Association Local Union 597 (the "Union"). Mr. Malone alleges
that the Union subjected him to a racially hostile and abusive
work environment at the Robbins Project. Mr. Malone's case is set
for a jury trial on Monday, August 23, 2004. Before this court
are the parties' motions in limine.
I. DEFENDANT'S MOTIONS IN LIMINE
A. Motion to Bar Plaintiff's Introduction of Evidence That Was
The Union moves this court to enter an order precluding Mr.
Malone from introducing evidence that he has not previously
produced. Specifically, the Union contends that Mr. Malone has
not produced copies of 22 documents that he intends to introduce
at trial and has included on his exhibit list. Mr. Malone
contends that the Union has never requested these 22 documents.
Before Mr. Malone can present these documents at trial, he must
produce them to the Union pursuant to the Northern District of
Illinois' Standing Order Establishing Pretrial Procedure. See
Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 16.1, Standing Order.
Under Section 6 of the Standing Order, the parties are required to "exchange copies of documents
that will be offered in evidence at trial." Therefore, the court
orders Mr. Malone to produce photocopies of the 22 documents to
the Union's attorneys by no later than Friday, August 20, 2004.
If Mr. Malone fails to do so, he will not be able to present
these documents at trial.
B. Motion to Bar Evidence That Does Not Relate to the Robbins
Next, the Union moves this court to preclude Mr. Malone from
presenting any evidence or from making any arguments except to
the extent that they are relevant to his hostile work environment
claim, that is, whether the Union instigated, supported,
ratified, or encouraged a racially hostile work environment at
the Robbins Project. See Reed v. International Union of UAW,
945 F.2d 198, 203-04 (7th Cir. 1991). The Union contends that Mr.
Malone has submitted materials in connection with the pre-trial
order that go beyond the scope of his hostile work environment
claim and that this evidence is irrelevant, and therefore,
inadmissible at trial. See Federal Rule of Evidence 402.
In fact, not only is the proposed evidence irrelevant to Mr.
Malone's hostile work environment claim, some of it is unfairly
prejudicial to the Union. See Federal Rule of Evidence 403;
Mihailovich v. Laatsch, 359 F.3d 892, 906 (7th Cir. 2004)
("evidence may be excluded if its probative value is
substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice,
confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by
considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless
presentation of cumulative evidence"). Therefore, Mr. Malone
cannot present arguments and evidence involving his failure to
promote and job referral claims because these claims were
dismissed by the court in earlier proceedings. The only issue at
trial is Mr. Malone's hostile work environment claim.
Accordingly, Mr. Malone is barred from presenting evidence: (1)
concerning the Union's hiring hall system; (2) relating to wages and
benefits received by Union members; (3) concerning job referrals;
(4) concerning promotions at the Robbins Project; (5) regarding
job sites other than the Robbins Project; and (6) relating to
Union membership and Union elections. This list does not include
every possible fact situation that is not relevant to Mr.
Malone's hostile work environment claim. Therefore, the parties
may make additional objections to evidence, if necessary, at
trial. The court thus grants the Union's Motion to Bar Evidence
That Does Not Relate to Robbins Project Work Environment.
C. Motion to Bar Evidence of Prior Judgments Entered Against
The Union moves this court to preclude Mr. Malone from
presenting any evidence regarding or making any references to the
prior judgments against the Union in Daniels v. Pipefitters'
Ass'n Local Union 597, No. 84 C 5225, Malone v. Pipefitters'
Ass'n Local Union 597, No. 87 C 9966, and EEOC v. Pipefitters
Ass'n Local Union 597, No. 98 C 1601. The Union contends that
evidence of these prior judgment is inadmissible pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 404(b).
Federal Rules of Evidence 404(b) prohibits the use of
"[e]vidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to
prove the character of a person in order to show action in
conformity therewith." However, "other bad acts" are admissible
if offered for another purpose, such as motive, plan, intent, or
opportunity. See Manuel v. City of Chicago, 335 F.3d 592, 596
(7th Cir. 2003). The Seventh Circuit has set forth a four-prong
test to determine the admissibility of other bad acts: (1) the
other act evidence cannot be used to establish the defendant's
propensity to commit the same bad act; (2) the other bad act must
be recent and sufficiently similar to be relevant to the matter
at issue; (3) there must be a sufficient amount of evidence for
the jury to conclude that the similar act was committed; and (4)
the probative value of the evidence cannot outweigh the danger of unfair prejudice. See Okai v. Verfuth, 275 F.3d 606,
610-11 (7th Cir. 2001).
For the following reasons, evidence or argument concerning the
prior judgments against the Union will not be admissible at
trial. First, Mr. Malone has not set forth any reason for using
these prior judgments other than to establish that the Union
engaged in similar conduct in this matter. Second, two of the
other cases are not recent, nor are they sufficiently similar to
Mr. Malone's hostile work environment claim. These two actions
involved racial discrimination in referring union members out to
jobs. See Daniels v. Pipefitters' Ass'n Local Union 597,
945 F.2d 906 (7th Cir. 1991); Malone v. Pipefitters' Ass'n Local
Union 597, 774 F.Supp. 490 (N.D.Ill. 1991).
Finally, the evidence of these three cases has very little
probative value as balanced against the unfair prejudice to the
Union. See Mihailovich v. Laatsch, 359 F.3d at 906. Indeed, any
discussion of the EEOC action may unfairly prejudice both the
Union and Mr. Malone because the district court order finding the
Union legally responsible for a hostile work environment was
reversed by the Seventh Circuit. See EEOC v. Pipefitters Ass'n
Local Union 597, 334 F.3d 656, 663 (7th Cir. 2003). Accordingly,
there is a strong possibility that the introduction of the EEOC
case and the multiple theories of liability would confuse the
issues or ...