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Anthony JENNINGS, Appellant
ARCHITECTURAL PRODUCTS, INC., Appellee.
“We thus turn to the merits of this case. At the trial, Mr. Jennings testified about the alleged slip-and-fall accident that occurred on May 28, 2002. According to Mr. Jennings, it was raining that day and he drove to the premises owned by Architectural Products to deliver packages. When he arrived, there was a mat soaked with water outside the front door. Mr. Jennings testified that he walked over the mat and into the business pushing a dolly carrying packages. Mr. Jennings maintained that there was no mat inside the door, and that when he pushed the dolly across the tile floor to deliver the packages, he slipped and fell. Mr. Jennings said that as a result of the fall he sustained a herniated disc and other injuries to his back, and that he has incurred medical bills. He further testified that he has been unable to return to work for UPS since September 2002 and that he is on medical leave.
J.J. Faulkner is the owner of Architectural Products. He testified that before a lawsuit was filed, he was unaware of any accident occurring at the business on May 28, 2002. Mr. Faulkner spoke with numerous employees about the alleged incident, 688*688and none of them had any knowledge of it. Moreover, Mr. Faulkner was not aware of any documentation showing a UPS delivery on that date. As for the condition of the premises on the day of the alleged fall, Mr. Faulkner maintained that there was a carpet just inside the front door of the business.
Mr. Jennings’ first argument on appeal is that the trial court erred in granting Architectural Products’ motion to exclude his medical bills and records. During a pretrial hearing on the day of trial, Architectural Products objected to the introduction of medical bills that had been requested through discovery, but not provided by Mr. Jennings until 5:00 p.m. on the eve of trial. Mr. Jennings acknowledged that the medical records had not been provided until the day before, but contended that he had not obtained most of the records until recently, and that Architectural Products was not surprised by any of the documents because they already had them in their possession. The trial court ruled that the records were not timely provided to Architectural Products, and refused to allow Mr. Jennings to introduce them at trial.
The goal of discovery is to permit a litigant to obtain whatever information he may need to prepare adequately for issues that may develop without imposing an onerous burden on his adversary. Dodson v. Allstate Ins. Co., 345 Ark. 430, 47 S.W.3d 866 (2001). Imposition of sanctions for failure to provide discovery rests in the trial court’s discretion, and among the sanctions that may be imposed is prohibiting the introduction of evidence. See Coulson Oil Co. v. Tully, 84 Ark.App. 241, 139 S.W.3d 158 (2003). The supreme court has found an abuse of discretion where there has been an undue limitation of substantial rights of the appellant under the prevailing circumstances. Allen v. Greenland, 347 Ark. 465, 65 S.W.3d 424 (2002).
The thrust of Mr. Jennings’ argument is that his late production of the medical documents had no adverse effect on the appellee because Architectural Products was already in possession of all of the documents he intended to introduce. He correctly asserts that three weeks prior to trial, Architectural Products filed with the circuit clerk a “notice of filing medical records to plaintiff,” which was accompanied by hundreds of pages of medical records and bills. Mr. Jennings asserts that the medical documents filed by Architectural Products consisted of every record related to his injuries resulting from his fall at the appellee’s business. Mr. Jennings submits that because all of the medical documents he wished to introduce had already been in the appellee’s possession for at least three weeks, the appellee was not surprised and he should have been allowed to admit them into evidence. Mr. Jennings contends that the trial court abused its discretion in excluding the medical bills and records, and that the abuse of discretion placed an undue limitation on his substantial rights because he was prevented from presenting proof of the nature and extent of his injuries.
We hold that our review of this issue is precluded by appellant’s failure to make a proffer of his medical records and bills to the trial court. Arkansas Rule of Evidence 103(a)(2) provides:
(a) Effect of Erroneous Ruling. Error may not be predicated upon a ruling which admits or excludes evidence unless a substantial right of the party is affected, and
. . . .
(2) Offer of proof. In case the ruling is one excluding evidence, the substance of the evidence was made known to the court by offer or was689*689 apparent from the context within which questions were asked.
To challenge a ruling excluding evidence, an appellant must proffer the excluded evidence so as to permit review of a trial court’s decision, unless the substance of the evidence is apparent. Duque v. Oshman’s Sporting Goods-Servs., Inc., 327 Ark. 224, 937 S.W.2d 179 (1997). Failure to proffer evidence so that we can see if prejudice results from its exclusion precludes review of the evidence on appeal. Id.
At the hearing prior to trial, Mr. Jennings made the argument that Architectural Products was not surprised by any of the documents it received the day before because it already had them. The trial court responded, “Well, but see, I don’t know that they already had them.” At no time did Mr. Jennings proffer the medical documents he sought to introduce, so the trial court could not determine whether or not these documents were the same as those filed by Architectural Products three weeks earlier. Mr. Jennings now claims that these documents were the same, but because there was no proffer the trial court could not, and now this court cannot, make that determination. If any documentation Mr. Jennings sought to introduce was made known to Architectural Products for the first time on the eve of the trial, it was subject to exclusion as found by the trial court. Mr. Jennings’ failure to make a proffer as required by Rule 103(a)(2) precludes us from addressing the argument he now raises.
Mr. Jennings’ remaining contention is that the trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion to deem a fact admitted by Architectural Products. At the pretrial hearing, Mr. Jennings asked the trial court to take judicial notice of an admission made by Architectural Products in a supplement to its motion for summary judgment. In a supplement to motion for summary judgment filed a week before trial, Architectural Products asserted, “While it is undisputed that Plaintiff was on Defendants’ premises at the time his accident occurred, Plaintiff has presented no evidence of any negligence on the part of Defendant, nor that any such negligence was the proximate cause of his damages.” (Emphasis added.) Noting that the motion for summary judgment was not timely filed, the trial court refused Mr. Jennings’ request to take judicial notice of an admission that Mr. Jennings was on the property when the accident occurred.
Mr. Jennings assigns error to the trial court’s action, relying on Dodson v. Allstate Ins. Co., 345 Ark. 430, 47 S.W.3d 866 (2001). In that case, the supreme court noted that it has allowed previous pleadings to be admitted against opposing parties as evidence of prior inconsistent statements under Ark. R. Evid. 613. In Dodson, the supreme court held that a dismissed pleading adopted by all of the defendants qualified as impeachment evidence against one of the defendants who took an inconsistent position with a representation in the pleading at trial. Similarly, in the instant case Mr. Jennings submits that he should have been permitted to use Architectural Products’ prior inconsistent statement in its supplemental motion to impeach its representative at trial, who testified that he was unaware of any accidentoccurring on the premises of the business on that day. Mr. Jennings further posits that the trial court should have taken judicial notice of the admission.”