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Wilson v. Superclub Ibiza, LLC

United States District Court, District of Columbia

March 20, 2013

RAMONA WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
SUPERCLUB IBIZA, LLC, Defendant

For RAMONA WILSON, Plaintiff: Dennis A. Corkery, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, WASHINGTON LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, & URBAN AFFAIRS, Washington, DC; Matthew K. Handley, LEAD ATTORNEY, WASHINGTON LAWYERS' COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS, & URBAN AFFAIRS, Washington, DC; Tirzah S. Lollar, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kevin M. Davis, VINSON & ELKINS, L.L.P., Washington, DC.

For SUPERCLUB IBIZA, LLC, doing business as IBIZA NIGHTCLUB D.C., Defendant: Alfred Long Scanlan, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, GODWIN, ERLANDSON, MACLAUGHLIN, VERNON & DANEY, LLC, Ellicott City, MD.

OPINION

JOHN D. BATES, United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on plaintiff Ramona Wilson's motion to exclude witnesses identified in defendant Superclub Ibiza, LLC's (" Superclub Ibiza" ) pre-trial statement. For the reasons discussed below, the Court denies plaintiff's motion.

Page 62

BACKGROUND

Wilson filed suit on May 25, 2011 against Superclub Ibiza alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the D.C. Human Rights Act, D.C. Code § 2-1401.01 et seq. Wilson alleges that Superclub Ibiza discriminated against her based on her status as a person with a disability by denying her entry into its nightclub on September 11, 2010.

In advance of trial, Superclub Ibiza filed a pre-trial statement that listed " [c]ertain handicap patrons of Superclub Ibiza, LLC" as witnesses who may be called to testify. The Court directed Superclub Ibiza to disclose the identities of these witnesses to Wilson by February 28, 2013, and limited the number of such witnesses to two (2) individuals. Superclub Ibiza provided the names of two witnesses, Musa Kaun and Mimi Xang Ho, as well as the phone number for Mimi Xang Ho, to Wilson on February 28, 2013. Superclub Ibiza also disclosed that Musa Kaun is deaf, and Mimi Xang Ho walks with the aid of a walker or crutches. The following day, March 1, 2013, Superclub Ibiza provided Wilson with the phone number for Musa Kaun.

On March 6, 2013, Wilson filed the instant motion with the Court to exclude Kaun and Ho because " (1) their testimony is inadmissible under Federal Rules of Evidence 401 and 404(b)(1), and (2) the defendant failed to identify these witnesses in compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(3)(A), Local Civil Rule 16.5, and with this Court's February 28, 2013 Order." Superclub Ibiza responded that the testimony of the two witnesses will not violate the Federal Rules of Evidence 401 and 404(b)(1) because the testimony will be used to rebut evidence presented by Wilson that " create[s] an inference that Ibiza has a systemic problem of discriminating against people with disabilities." Superclub Ibiza also filed a supplemental pre-trial statement that named Kaun and Ho, provided their phone numbers, and stated that their testimony would be in regard to their ability " to use and access the Club without incident despite [their] disability."

DISCUSSION

I. Evidentiary Concerns under the Federal Rules of Evidence

A. Rule 401

Federal Rule of Evidence 402 states that " [r]elevant evidence is admissible" unless provided otherwise in the United States Constitution, a federal statute, the Federal Rules of Evidence, or other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court. Rule 401 further explains that 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 action." Generally, rebuttal evidence " is admitted for the purpose of explaining or refuting evidence offered by the other side," United States v. Carter,70 ...


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