Lord v. International Marine Insurance Services
A court can order discovery sanctions, if a party misidentifies an individual's job description or fails to disclose documents. The pro se plaintiffs, Franklin Lord and Sharon Schumann, sued insurance agents and insurance companies, alleging breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, statutory theft, and unfair trade practices, in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The plaintiffs filed a request for sanctions and argued that one of the defendants, International Marine Underwriters, failed to comply with discovery. An agent of the defendant, International Marine, filed an affidavit, claiming that International Marine performed a search and disclosed relevant documents to the plaintiffs. The court credited the plaintiffs' allegation that International Marine, in response to discovery requests, misidentified an individual's job description. International Marine admitted its error, and it can file an amended affidavit or answer to discovery that includes the correct information. The plaintiffs failed to prove International Marine did not disclose documents. "Lord and Schumann," wrote the court, "have come forward with no evidence other than mere conjecture that [International Marine] has been less that fully forthcoming" in response to discovery requests. The court denied the plaintiffs' request to sanction International Marine.