Laws v. Norfolk Southern Corporation
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant's motion for sanctions [Doc. # 51 ] is granted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs request for a hearing [Doc. # 53 ] is denied. A separate order of dismissal will issue.. Signed by District Judge Carol E. Jackson on 5/11/16. (KKS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP.,
Case No. 4:15-CV-924-CEJ
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on defendant’s motion to dismiss this action,
pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2), as a sanction for plaintiff’s failure to comply with
an order compelling her to respond to defendant’s discovery requests. Plaintiff, who
is pro se, has responded in opposition.
On March 21, 2016, the Court granted defendant’s motion to compel and
ordered plaintiff to answer defendant’s first set of interrogatories and to produce all
documents responsive to defendant’s request for production of documents by April 1,
Plaintiff was warned that her failure to comply could result in the
imposition of sanctions, including the dismissal of her case.
When a plaintiff repeatedly refuses to comply with the rules governing
discovery and refuses to comply with a court’s orders, dismissal is an appropriate
Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A)(v), (d)(3); Clyburn v. Insulite Glass Co., No.
4:14-CV-1727-CDP, 2015 WL 4139342, at *1 (E.D. Mo. May 12, 2015); see Leach v.
Waterway Car Wash, 217 F. App’x 571, 571 (8th Cir. 2007) (holding a pro se plaintiff’s
failure to comply with a court order warranted dismissal as a sanction).
Court’s prior admonition and having been afforded ample opportunity to comply,
plaintiff has not answered defendant’s first set of interrogatories or responded to its
request for production of documents.
In response to the motion to dismiss, plaintiff states that she has no documents
responsive to defendant’s request for production.
This claim of lack of documents
does not justify plaintiff’s failure to execute the authorizations submitted to her by
defendant that would allow documents to be obtained from third parties.
plaintiff’s belated suggestion that her former counsel may have responsive
documents in her possession is unavailing.
Further, neither proffered excuse
justifies plaintiff’s failure to answer defendant’s interrogatories.
Plaintiff’s continuing failure to provide discovery, without justification, has
impeded the progress of this litigation.
The Court’s earlier warning that this case
could be dismissed has not encouraged plaintiff to cooperate.
Therefore, the Court
finds it is appropriate to grant defendant’s motion and to dismiss this case, without
prejudice, as a sanction for failing to comply with an order compelling discovery.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(b)(2)(A)(v); Leach, 217 F. App’x at 571.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that defendant’s motion for sanctions [Doc. #51] is
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff’s request for a hearing [Doc. #53] is
A separate order of dismissal will issue.
CAROL E. JACKSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated this 11th day of May, 2016.
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