Wal-Mart seeks compliance with discovery or dismissal of retaliatory discharge suit

Christina Stueve Hodges Sep. 25, 2012, 4:55am

Wal-Mart has filed a motion to compel a plaintiff in a Madison County retaliatory discharge lawsuit to comply with discovery.

Rachel Madden sued the Glen Carbon store and her former supervisors last November, saying she was fired from her job in retaliation for a workers' compensation claim she filed against the company.

Wal-Mart submitted a motion to compel the plaintiff to respond to discovery on Sept. 18, claiming the plaintiff has not submitted any responses or objections to the defendants' written discovery.

On May 31, Wal-Mart served its first set of questions and requests for production to Madden's attorney, Michael Brunton, court documents say.

On Aug. 8, the plaintiff's counsel said he was working on discovery responses, but it was taking time because of the amount of information requested, according to court documents.

In order to avoid the expense of a motion to compel, defense counsel waited to see if responses would be forthcoming, but nothing was received, according to court documents.

On Sept. 5, defense counsel sent another follow-up email to the plaintiff's counsel with a final warning that responses must be received by Sept. 10 or a motion to compel would be filed, court documents say.

"Because the plaintiff has utterly failed to comply with her obligations to cooperate in discovery, the defendants are left with no choice but to file this motion to compel and seek the court's intervention."

Defendants request the court to enter an order that the plaintiff has waived any and all objections to discovery by her failure to respond.

Among other things, the defense wants the plaintiff to reimburse defendants for attorney fees and costs for preparing the motion to compel.

Its motion also warns the plaintiff that failure to comply with a court order regarding discovery will result in dismissal with prejudice for failure to prosecute.

Madden's suit names her former supervisors Tom Archer, Judy McDonald and Shawn Davidson. She claims she was allegedly injured in two separate incidents and then attempted to file a workers' compensation claim, court documents say.

Wal-Mart supervisors responded to the lawsuit May 25, stating Madden had no right to damages, because the actions were taken for legitimate reasons.

Madden is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Norma W. Zeitler and Jennifer Cervin of the Chicago law firm Barnes & Thornburg also represent the defense.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian is assigned to the case.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-1217

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