Court denies in limine motions on window-installation injury case

By Gabriel Neves | Feb 15, 2019

SAN DIEGO — A window manufacturer that was sued by a man injured by one of its products after a faulty installation has suffered a loss in court.

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, issued a six-page ruling on Feb. 7, denying in limine motions in the lawsuit filed by Brock and Michelle Mathis against Milgard Manufacturing.

The court denied the motions filed by Milgard ahead of the trial, which is scheduled for Feb. 26. Milgard's motions were about evidence of Mr. Mathis' medical expenses, a testimonial of loss of household service, and about loss of earnings, profits, and earning capacity.

The Mathises sued Milgard alleging that a window that was not installed properly caused him to suffer an accident at home.

As stated in the ruling, "plaintiffs assert Milgard is liable for Mr. Mathis's injuries under California state-law theories of strict liability and products liability, as well as Mrs. Mathis's alleged result of loss of consortium."

The product was an Ultra Fiberglass 123 x 60 clear tempered window, that was installed at the Mathis household.

In his ruling, Judge Benitez denied all three motions. The first one was denied on grounds of violation of the Federal Rule of Evidence 703, that states that an expert opinion based on facts or data the expert did not observe may not be admissible.

The next motion was denied due to the hardship caused by the accident at home.

"Here, the parties do not dispute that the home owned by Mr. Mathis's father is, in fact, where Mr. and Mrs. Mathis reside and that Mr. Mathis provided household services to his family household. Thus, the loss of those household services are a proper economic damage element, regardless of property ownership. As plaintiffs point out, to hold otherwise would disqualify those individuals harmed who do not own their residence," Benitez said, while analyzing the loss of household services motion.

The third motion was denied due to the "overbroad" exclusion of testimonial that could be relevant.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California Case number  3:16-cv-02914-BEN-JLB

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