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obvious as to relieve defendants of any liability under Kahn.” A17.

2. Trial proceedings. The circuit court made a number of decisions before and

during trial concerning the admissibility of evidence, which gave Choate broad latitude to

present evidence to the jury, while constricting defendants’ ability to do the same.

a. At his deposition, Choate admitted that he “recognized that on the day of the

accident[,]. . . that the train that [he was] grabbing onto was dangerous.” Tr. 1762; D.

Choate Dep. 127-28 (A29). He also repeatedly admitted that he jumped onto the train to

impress his girlfriend. D. Choate Dep. 196, 205-06 (A31-32). Before trial, defendants

sought to bar any attempt by Choate to qualify, deny, or explain away his admission that

he recognized moving trains to be dangerous. Tr. 110. The court denied the motion based

on its view that the word “dangerous” was equivocal. Moreover, it limited defendants to

using Choate’s deposition testimony for impeachment purposes. Thus, defendants were

precluded from reading Choate’s admissions into the record as substantive evidence. Tr.

116, 263, 2244.

Conversely, over defendants’ objection, the court allowed Choate to elicit

testimony from school psychologist Dr. Richard Lencki that Choate scored in the low

average to average range on an intelligence test. Tr. 1479-80. The court believed that this

testimony was relevant to “whether [Choate] could appreciate the danger” given his

“intellect.” Tr. 2237. Choate’s opening and closing arguments played up this point and

minimized his capacity for appreciating the danger, despite his admission that he in fact

appreciated it. Tr. 693, 2449.

b. The court also prevented defendants from eliciting testimony from Choate’s

companions—who were similar in age and experience to Choate—that they understood

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