United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
E. Aspen United States District Judge
before us are four motions in limine filed by Plaintiff
Fascia Edwards, (Dkt. No. 223), as well as nine motions in
limine filed by Defendant Illinois Department of Financial
and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”), (Dkt. Nos.
209-214). For the reasons stated below, Plaintiff's
motions in limine are granted, and Defendant's motions in
limine are granted in part and denied in part.
broad discretion, based on our “inherent authority to
manage the course of trials, ” when ruling on
evidentiary questions presented in motions in limine.
Luce v. United States, 469 U.S. 38, 41 n.4, 105
S.Ct. 460, 463 n.4 (1984); Jenkins v. Chrysler Motors
Corp., 316 F.3d 663, 664 (7th Cir. 2002). Rulings on
motions in limine allow us to “eliminate from further
consideration evidentiary submissions . . . [that] clearly
would be inadmissible for any purpose.” Jonasson v.
Lutheran Child and Family Servs., 115 F.3d 436, 440 (7th
Cir. 1997). For those evidentiary submissions that
“cannot be evaluated accurately or sufficiently,
” we must “defer ruling until during
trial.” Id. Finally, a ruling on a motion in
limine is “subject to change as the case unfolds,
” and so we reserve the option of revisiting our
preliminary evidentiary determinations as appropriate at
trial. Luce, 469 U.S. at 41, 105 S.Ct. at 463.
Plaintiff's Motions in Limine
motions in limine seek to exclude evidence relating to: (1)
the EEOC finding of no substantial evidence of discrimination
in this case; (2) Plaintiff's claims that were dismissed
at summary judgment; (3) Plaintiff's job performance,
employment and disciplinary record; and (4) money Plaintiff
has received from any collateral source, including workers
compensation or unemployment benefits. (Dkt. No. 223 at 1-2.)
Defendant does not oppose Plaintiff's motions in limine,
and we therefore grant Plaintiff's motions.
Defendant's Motions in Limine
first four motions in limine seek to: (1) bar all potential
witnesses, except the parties, from being present in the
courtroom until after their full testimony is presented; (2)
admit all joint exhibits at the outset of trial; (3) bar any
evidence relating to settlement discussions or negotiations;
and (4) permit counsel for the parties to communicate with
the jury after a verdict is entered in this matter. (Dkt. No.
209 at 1-2.) Plaintiff does not oppose these motions, and we
therefore grant Defendant's first four motions in limine.
Motion to Bar “Failure to Act” Claim
requests that we bar Plaintiff from arguing, as a separate
claim under the American with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”), that “Defendant refused to
reasonably accommodate her return to work and failed to
engage in the interactive process with her.” (Dkt. No.
210.) Plaintiff agrees that “failure to interact”
is not a separate claim, but that evidence of Defendant's
alleged failure to act may be indicative of whether Defendant
failed to reasonably accommodate her. (Dkt. No. 225 at 1-2.)
An ADA claim may not be based solely on “the failure to
engage in the interactive process, ” but such a failure
is actionable where “it prevents identification of an
appropriate accommodation for a qualified individual.”
Basden v. Prof'l Transp., Inc., 714 F.3d 1034,
1039 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing Rehling v. City of
Chi., 207 F.3d 1009, 1016 (7th Cir. 2000)). We therefore
grant Defendant's motion in limine. Plaintiff may not
present evidence of an independent “failure to
interact” claim. However, Plaintiff may introduce
evidence relating to Defendant's alleged failure to
engage in the interactive process, insofar as it is relevant
to whether Defendant failed to reasonably accommodate her in
violation of the ADA and otherwise admissible.
Motion to Bar Evidence of Previously Dismissed
also moves to exclude any evidence relating to
Plaintiff's “previously-dismissed claims under
Title VII for race and gender discrimination, under the
Rehabilitation Act for disability discrimination, and under
the ADA for failure to reinstate/hire.” (Dkt. No. 211
at 1.) Defendant further argues that “any mention of
actions associated with those claims” should be barred,
as those actions are not relevant and would mislead the jury.
(Id.) For example, Defendant contends we should
exclude “Plaintiff's administrative charges, the
posting of ‘REDRUM' on the door of her office area;
being assigned to a different job than the one to which she
applied; her supervisor keeping a ‘secret ...