Discovery abuse sanctions upheld against Foodservice, Inc.October 28, 2013
Travis County Court at Law upheld the discovery sanctions I’d previously obtained against U.S. Foodservice, Inc. in a trial in the justice court. In fact, the county court at law almost doubled the amount of the sanction. The sanction is for discovery abuse.
U.S. Foodservice, Inc. was required by law to disclose the existence of a prior settlement with another party arising out of the same debt. That information was material to settlement negotiations as well as at trial, because the defendant gets a credit for that settlement. U.S. Foodservice’s lawyer’s only explanation for why he didn’t disclose the information is that he “did not connect the dots.” That’s the same thing he said to the judge in the justice court trial. Two out of two judges have not accepted the “dots” theory as an excuse.