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Plaintiff’s Failure to Provide Discovery Leads to Dismissal for National Financial Services Company

Case Study

Plaintiff’s Failure to Provide Discovery Leads to Dismissal for National Financial Services Company

August 19, 2019
John M. McConnell

Aggressive demands for evidence and motion practice from attorneys in Goldberg Segalla’s Commercial Litigation and General Liability practice led the Superior Court of New Jersey to deliver a dismissal with prejudice of all claims for a Fortune 500 financial services company.

In this case, the plaintiff claimed that our client, subsequent to a sheriff’s sale, improperly removed or destroyed significant and valuable personal property from his home. The plaintiff sought significant monetary amounts for the loss of his property, along with other damages. In discovery, Goldberg Segalla partner John M. McConnell and associate David J. Coppola requested strict proof of the damages alleged, as well as specific evidence of the actions or inactions of their client that allegedly led to the claimed losses. However, in discovery, the plaintiff failed to provide any documents or evidence to this request, which opened an opportunity for our litigators to file successful a motion to dismiss the complaint, without prejudice.

Under the New Jersey Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint may be dismissed without prejudice for failure to provide certain discovery, including evidence of allegedly negligent conduct or proof of damages. Once a complaint is dismissed without prejudice, a plaintiff must pay a fee to restore the complaint, and also provide the outstanding discovery.

In this circumstance, once the court dismissed the complaint without prejudice, and the appropriate amount of time elapsed, Goldberg Segalla aggressively moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims with prejudice, in order to end the litigation. We argued that the plaintiff had not provided the discovery that was required, nor had the plaintiff paid the requisite fee to reinstate the complaint. The court agreed, and in a July 17, 2019, ruling dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims against our client, with prejudice.

Although these types of dismissals and extreme sanctions are rare, our attorneys frequently and effectively rely on these tactics of aggressive motion practice as we pursue proven strategies to remove our clients from litigation early in the proceedings, lowering legal spending and providing greater certainty and control over the lifecycle of a claim.

More about Goldberg Segalla’s Commercial Litigation and General Liability groups:

With a roster stacked with seasoned litigators and nationally recognized authorities in a number of critical legal disciplines, Goldberg Segalla brings exceptional strength and savvy to the defense of a wide range of liability claims and commercial disputes. Our attorneys have a wealth of experience defending companies of all sizes in various industries, along with municipalities, school districts, and other public entities, in a broad spectrum of matters.

We pride ourselves on the aggressive and cost-efficient manner in which we defend all claims. Our trial record and commitment to early dispositive motions is our hallmark of success. In matters of liability, we employ creative settlement resolutions and resort to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) wherever possible.