(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this bus accident/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
Plaintiff’s immigration or residence status is not relevant to the determination of liability. (See Rodriguez v. Kline (1986) 186 Cal.App.3d 1145.)
Plaintiff is pursuing a claim for loss of earning capacity. To the extent that plaintiffs residency status is relevant for that claim, plaintiff has provided evidence that she is currently a legal resident and entitled to work within the United States. Her residency and immigration status prior to this bus accident thus is not relevant to the determination of any damages at issue in this case and should clearly be excluded.
III. Admission of Plaintiff’s Immigration Status Would Create Undue Prejudice to PlaintiffEvidence Code Section 352 states that the court may exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will create a substantial danger of undue prejudice. See People v. Cardenas (1982) 31 Cal.3d 897, 904 (if the prejudicial effect of the disputed evidence outweighs the probative value, the trial court should exclude the evidence).
Evidence Code Section 352 justifies the preclusion of the requested evidence in this case. Given the clear lack of relevance, defendant’s intention by admitting such evidence can only be to prejudice the plaintiff and cause the jury to look negatively or with ill feelings towards the plaintiff if she was unable to demonstrate residency or immigration status at a time period prior to the subject accident. Certainly, the issues will be confused and the jury will be misled by the admission of such evidence. And clearly the probative value of the evidence is nonexistent.
Based upon all of the above, exclusion of any reference to the plaintiff’s immigration and/or residence status is proper.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.