Jurors in the civil case brought by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul against his neighbor Rene Boucher won’t hear testimony about Boucher’s personnel file or past incidents that might indicate a history of anger issues.
That was the ruling of Special Judge Tyler Gill in the final pretrial conference Tuesday before the trial begins Monday in Warren Circuit Court.
Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green who is an ophthalmologist by profession, is suing Boucher for damages related to injuries he suffered when he was tackled by Boucher on Nov. 3, 2017, on his property in Rivergreen subdivision.
The senator suffered multiple broken ribs in that attack. Boucher, a retired anesthesiologist, pleaded guilty in federal court to the charge of assaulting a member of Congress.
Paul then filed a civil suit, asking for a maximum of $500,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.
To bolster his case that such damages are warranted, Paul’s attorney Tom Kerrick wanted to introduce evidence from Boucher’s personnel file that he said would indicate a pattern of anger issues.
Kerrick said items in the personnel file “tend to show that he (Boucher) has an anger problem.”
“I think the personnel file is relevant,” Kerrick told the judge.
Gill said the personnel file and any other information not directly related to the injuries Paul suffered in the 2017 attack would “distract from the main issue” and ruled in favor of Boucher attorney Matt Baker’s motion to exclude the personnel file.
Ruling on a Kerrick motion to exclude information about the condition of Paul’s yard, the judge decided that photos and information demonstrating the condition in the days leading up to the attack would be allowed.
The condition of the yard since Nov. 3, 2017, is not to be mentioned, the judge said.
Court records indicate Boucher was bothered by Paul moving tree trimmings and yard waste to a spot near the line dividing their properties.
“The condition of the yard is what this case is about,” Baker said.
Baker and Kerrick agreed to the exclusion of information about Paul’s political beliefs, which Kerrick said weren’t relevant to the case. They also agreed that information about past professional disputes between the two medical professionals would be excluded.
Gill said, barring a last-minute settlement agreement, the trial would begin at 9 a.m. Monday with jury selection.