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Allen v. Kroll Factual Data Corp.

July 19, 2006

MICHAEL ALLEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KROLL FACTUAL DATA CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stiehl, District Judge

ORDER

This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's twelve motions in limine (Docs. 84-95), to which plaintiff has filed responses. Upon review of the record, the Court rules as follows:

1. Kroll's general motions in limine (Doc. 84), in which Kroll seeks to:

A. Limit any evidence of settlement or settlement negotiations;

B. Exclude witnesses until they testify; and

C. Limit evidence of the fact that the defendant may be insured. Plaintiff has no objection to this motion, and it is, accordingly, GRANTED.

2. Kroll's motion to limit plaintiff's testimony about causation (Doc. 85). In this motion, defendant seeks to bar plaintiff from mentioning, during opening, closing, voir dire or the examination of witnesses,*fn1 any cause of his alleged denial of credit. Defendant asserts that plaintiff has not, pre-trial, produced a document or testimony that establishes the actual reason for the denial of credit. The defendant asserts that any testimony by plaintiff as to causation would be speculative and prejudicial to the defendant.

In response, plaintiff asserts that this was addresses in his response to the motion for summary judgment on Count 1, the count that remains for trial, and given that the Court ruled that he can seek emotional damages, his understanding of causation is relevant and admissible. Although the plaintiff cannot, as a non-expert, testify as to the reason that he was denied credit, he can testify as to his understanding of why he was denied credit and the effect that denial had on him financially and emotionally. It is up to the jury to determine if the actions of this defendant caused Farmer's State Bank to deny plaintiff credit, and whether plaintiff suffered damages therefrom.

Accordingly, defendant's motion in limine on this ground is DENIED.

3. Motion to preclude plaintiff or plaintiff's counsel from arguing or presenting evidence that Kroll will "do anything that the big three (Experian, TransUnion or Equifax) reporting companies tell it to do."

Plaintiff is entitled to argue and draw the jury's attention to reasonable inferences which can be drawn from the evidence adduced at trial. Plaintiff asserts, and can attempt to show at trial, that although he disputed the incorrect bankruptcy information with Kroll and Kroll verified that the information was obsolete, Kroll nevertheless reported the information from the Experian database when providing a credit report on plaintiff. If this showing and connection are made, then plaintiff may be permitted to argue to the jury that Kroll favored the accuracy of the information it received from the reporting companies, despite indications to the contrary.

Plaintiff's counsel will not be permitted to make this argument before some evidence in support of this position is established at trial, and therefore, the motion is GRANTED to the extent that it applies to opening statements and DENIED at this time as to all other aspects of the trial. The defendant may renew this motion before closing arguments if the evidence does not support such an argument.

4. Motion to exclude evidence and testimony regarding any prior violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (Doc. 87). The plaintiff has indicated that he does not object to this motion and it is, accordingly, GRANTED.

5. Motion to bar plaintiff from using documentary evidence not previously disclosed (Doc. 88). Plaintiff has indicated that he does not object to this ...


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