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February 2016

Washington, D.C. Office Obtains Dismissal of Employment Claim

Gordon & Rees Washington, D.C. partner O'Kelly McWilliams and senior counsel Brian Scotti recently obtained a voluntarily dismissal, with prejudice, on behalf of a well-known national insurance company.

Plaintiff, a former marketing representative of the insurance company, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, contending that his termination was in violation of the ADA and FMLA. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that shortly after advising his supervisors of his cancer diagnosis, he was terminated. Plaintiff asserted five claims – discrimination in violation of the FMLA, retaliation in violation of the FMLA, discrimination in violation of the ADA, retaliation in violation of the ADA and failure to accommodate in violation of the ADA. The insurance company countered that Plaintiff’s position was eliminated as a result of a legitimate and non-discriminatory reason – a company-wide restructure of resources – and that Plaintiff’s health played no role, whatsoever, in their decision.

The parties engaged in extensive discovery, including voluminous production of relevant ESI. After all of the documents were exchanged, a Rule 11 letter was sent to Plaintiff’s counsel outlining the undisputed facts that would be presented to the Court on Summary Judgment, with a discussion of why each of the claims asserted by Plaintiff were not viable. The letter also advised Plaintiff and counsel that the insurance company would seek sanctions in the form of attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927, based on the demonstrably false allegations in Plaintiff’s Complaint, as well as Plaintiff’s needless multiplication of the litigation should Plaintiff persist with his baseless claims. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff’s counsel agreed to voluntarily dismiss the matter, with prejudice.

O'Kelly E. McWilliams III
Brian A. Scotti