Carlus v. Connecticut Department of Public Health
When ruling on discovery interrogatories and requests for production, a court can order a plaintiff to provide information about whether the plaintiff suffered a loss of earning capacity and whether the plaintiff made an attempt to mitigate damages. The pro se plaintiff, Richel Carlus, sued the Connecticut Department of Public Health, alleging discrimination on the basis of race, in violation of Title VII. The defendants served interrogatories and requests for production. In response to the defendants' motion to compel, the court found that if the plaintiff requests damages for emotional distress, information concerning the names, treatment dates and diagnoses of his psychiatrists or counselors are pertinent and must be disclosed. If the plaintiff alleges a loss of earning capacity, he must compute his damages and supply the defendants with his computations. The plaintiff possesses a duty to mitigate damages and information about his efforts to obtain a new job is relevant, pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1982 decision in Ford Motor Co. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. An employer who proves that suitable work existed and that a former worker did not make reasonable efforts to obtain it can meet the burden of proof that a former worker failed to mitigate damages. The court granted the defendants' motion to compel.