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Bernier v. Board of County Road Commissioners
United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
581 F. Supp. 71 (1983)
Michael Moon was killed in a car accident at an intersection in Ionia County (the county) (defendant). Moon’s mother, Bernier (plaintiff), sued the county for wrongful death, alleging that the intersection was not sufficiently marked in violation of the county’s statutory duty to keep roads in a reasonably safe condition. The county maintained an affirmative defense that it did not have sufficient funding to properly maintain the intersection. Bernier argued that a jury could infer from this defense that the county could not afford to pay a large judgment. As a result, Bernier sought to introduce evidence that the county had liability insurance that could help it pay for any such judgment. The county responded that introduction of liability insurance was prohibited under Federal Rule of Evidence 411 (Rule 411). Motions in limine were filed on this and other evidentiary issues.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hillman, J.)
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