Ford Accuses Lawyer Of Misrepresenting The Record But Sanctions Are Denied

Hollingsworth v. Ford Motor Co., Dist. Court, ED Michigan 2014 – Google Scholar.

In an employment case Ford moved for summary judgment and, later, sanctions on ground that the Plaintiff misrepresented the record in his response to the summary judgment motion. The court denied the motion for sanctions because plaintiff submitted a supplemental brief in response to the summary judgment motion and corrected the record.

The court explains:

“Here, Ford filed its Motion for Sanctions on September 29, 2014 (Doc. #74). It is undisputed that Ford served its motion on Plaintiff twenty-one days before it filed the motion, on or about September 8, 2014. Ford argues that Plaintiff “carved out” convenient parts of Beaudoin’s testimony in an attempt to blatantly misstate the evidence and mislead the Court. (Doc. #74 at 5-6).

On September 25, 2014, prior to Ford’s filing of its motion, Plaintiff filed a “Motion for Leave to File Plaintiff’s Supplemental Brief In Clarification/Amendment.” (“Clarification Brief,” Doc. #73). Plaintiff appears to dispute that he misrepresented Beaudoin’s testimony, and argues that he was merely highlighting the inconsistencies in Beaudoin’s testimony. (Doc. #84). Nevertheless, Plaintiff’s “clarification brief” acknowledges those portions of Beaudoin’s testimony that were previously omitted from its supplemental brief.

The Court does not find that sanctions are warranted in this case because Plaintiff attempted to correct the misrepresentation before the motion for sanctions was filed. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Brief prior to Ford’s filing of its Motion for Sanctions. In its Motion for Leave, Plaintiff sought to clarify his prior position and to acknowledge the previously omitted testimony. (Doc. #73). This Court granted Plaintiff’s motion.

The crux of Ford’s accusation against Plaintiff is that he failed to accurately characterize Beaudoin’s testimony in an attempt to stave off summary judgment. The Court finds that Plaintiff’s supplemental brief effectively corrects this issue by acknowledging the previously omitted testimony. Further, Ford has not provided this Court with authority to show that sanctions are required under these circumstances. Therefore, the Court shall DENY Ford’s Motion for Sanctions pursuant to Rule 11.”

Edward X. Clinton, Jr.

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