United States District Court, D. Utah
SCOTT K. MARLAND and JENNIFER D. MARLAND, as conservators for the minor child, J.S.M., Plaintiffs,
ASPLUNDH TREE EXPERT CO., a Pennsylvania corporation, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS'
MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 11 RE: BOUNTIFUL CITY LIGHT & POWER
INTERNAL POLICY ON CYCLE PRUNING
Stewart United States District Judge
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion in
Limine No. 11 Re: Bountiful City Light & Power Internal
Policy on Cycle Pruning. For the reasons discussed below, the
Court will deny the Motion.
City Light & Power (BCLP)'s current internal policy
is to prune trees every three years. Plaintiffs move to exclude
evidence of BCLP's internal pruning policy from trial
arguing its admission would violate Utah law. In support of
their argument, Plaintiffs cite to Jenkins v. Jordan
Valley Water Conservancy District,  Steffensen v.
Smith's Management Corp., and State Farm Fire &
Casualty Co. v. PacifiCorp. These cases stand for the
proposition that an entity's internal policies or
decisions do not establish or otherwise affect the applicable
standard of care. These cases, however, do not stand for the
proposition that evidence of an entity's internal policy
is inadmissible for any purpose.
is admissible if it is relevant and not otherwise
impermissible under federal law. “Evidence is relevant
if . . . it has any tendency to make a fact more or less
probable than it would be without the evidence; and . . . the
fact is of consequence in determining the
states that evidence of BCLP's internal policies is
relevant to its arguments that BCLP's policies are budget
driven, that BCLP was the one who performed the cut on the
branch that caused the accident, and that BCLP had
opportunities to maintain the subject tree as needed. The
Court finds that BCLP's internal policies are relevant to
Defendant's proposed arguments, which are unrelated to
establishing the standard of care. This finding is consistent
with Tenth Circuit case law finding that, while a
company's internal policies “do not alter the
applicable standard of care, they are admissible to show
Court holds that evidence regarding BCLP's internal tree
pruning policy is relevant and admissible. At either
party's request, the Court will consider a jury
instruction clarifying how the jury should consider the
that Plaintiffs' Motion in Limine No. 11 Re: Bountiful
City Light & Power Internal Policy on Cycle Pruning
(Docket No. 152) is DENIED.
 See Docket No. 152 Ex. 1, at
 2013 UT 59, 321 P.3d 1049.
 862 P.2d 1342 (Utah 1993).
 No. 2:12-CV-00604-TC, 2015 WL 4249901
(D. Utah July 13, ...