Brief Fact Summary. Decedent driver collided with Defendant’s truck parked on the right shoulder of the road. At trial, a motion in limine was granted to exclude evidence of a blood test that indicated decedent’s blood alcohol level was .24%.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Evidence with a high probative value will be admissible even if it is prejudicial.
Likewise, the issue of alteration, contamination or adulteration of the evidence is a question for the jury once the proponent of the evidence makes a threshold showing that reasonable precautions were taken against the risk of alteration, contamination or adulteration.View Full Point of Law
Issue. The issue is whether the blood alcohol level should have been admitted as evidence under Rule 403 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Held. The blood test should have been admitted as evidence under Rule 403. The evidence that both sides presented in determining whether the blood sample was reliable was evidence that should be weighed by a jury. The jury should be responsible for the weight given to the blood sample. Further, the weight of the probative value exceeds the prejudicial value of the blood sample because it goes directly to the ultimate question of Decedent driver’s degree of fault.
Discussion. The evidence in this case demonstrates the concept that evidence will always look prejudicial when it bears directly on the ultimate questions before the jury. Here, the evidence of the decedent driver’s intoxication should be considered strong evidence rather than prejudicial evidence because it has direct weight to the ultimate question of comparative fau.