7th Circuit OKs dismissal of suit for 'appalling' litigation conduct
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the dismissal of an employee's suit against his former employer for injuries he sustained to his back was an appropriate sanction for the employee's misconduct throughout the case.
Negrete v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak), No. 07-3287 (7th Cir. 10/27/08).
What it means:
Dismissal of an employee's suit against his former employer for work-related injuries is an appropriate sanction where the employee repeatedly and willfully misses discovery deadlines, tampers with and hides evidence, withholds important information regarding his ability to work, and misrepresents his income.
Summary: A former track-repair worker for Amtrak claimed that a work-related back injury left him permanently disabled and unable to work. The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois dismissed his lawsuit against Amtrak on the grounds that the worker had "intentionally flouted discovery deadlines, hidden and tampered with evidence, and lied in his deposition." The 7th Circuit found that dismissal of the suit was an appropriate sanction under the circumstances. The worker's alleged misconduct, which the 7th Circuit described as "appalling," included withholding names of physicians who had treated his injury, tampering with medical evidence, grossly understating rental income he received, misrepresenting his physical abilities, and missing 21 discovery deadlines. In response to the worker's allegation that he was uneducated, the 7th Circuit stated "it does not take a graduate degree to understand that it is unacceptable to hide evidence and lie in a deposition."
December 16, 2008
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