Maag: Pizza Hut delivery driver must answer questions in deposition

By Steve Korris | Nov 14, 2008


Attorney client privilege for Pizza Hut of America does not extend to delivery drivers, according to Thomas Maag of Wendler Law in Edwardsville.

Maag moved on Nov. 6 to compel delivery driver Chris Carnes to answer questions about his conversations with Pizza Hut attorney Jennifer Kunze of Hinsdale.

According to Maag, Carnes refused to answer at a deposition for a personal injury suit Maag filed last year on behalf of Amanda Verett.

Verett, herself an attorney, blames Pizza Hut of America for injuries she suffered while opening a door at a Pizza Hut in Troy.

She also seeks damages from Troy policeman Clarence Jackson, claiming he pulled one way on the door while she pulled the other way.

Maag identified Carnes as a fact witness and deposed him on Nov. 3.

"Prior to the deposition, Mr. Carnes spoke with one or more attorneys for Pizza Hut," Maag wrote in his motion to compel.

"Mr. Carnes was asked, and he confirmed that he is not an officer, director, or other person in the control group of Pizza Hut," he

"Counsel for plaintiff inquired of Mr. Carnes as to what Jennifer A. Kunze and he spoke about, but, in violation of Illinois law, Jennifer A. Kunze directed the witness to not answer the question," he wrote.

In Illinois, he wrote, attorney client privilege applies only to persons in a control group.

"It is unthinkable that an attorney practicing law in Illinois today would be unaware of this basic tenet of Illinois law," he wrote.

Maag seeks an order directing Pizza Hut to produce Carnes for another deposition at which he must repeat what Kunze told him "as well as all communications he may have had concerning this case with any person whatsoever."

Maag also seeks payment from Pizza Hut for all costs of the second deposition and a reasonable fee for drafting and filing the motion to compel.

Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron presides over the case, but Chief Judge Ann Callis will have to transfer it when Byron retires at the end of this month.

Kevin Blaine of Alton represents Jackson for the city of Troy.

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