Rhalys Case Study

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The Rhalys’ homes were flooded twice- first on July 30, 2002, and again on April 6,200.3. After the first flood, the Rhalys brought suit against the city, alleging that the ditch had not been properly maintained, and against BFI, Inc. and Waste Management of Mississippi, Inc., alleging that they each negligently placed a dumpster too close to the ditch. After the 2003 flood, the Rhalys brought another suit, alleging that the second flood had been caused the same way, except that it involved only a single dumpster owned by Waste Management. The trial court consolidated the two cases. The City timely filed answers to Rhalys’ suits, but trial court struck the answers as a sanction for a discovery violation. In their discovery requests, the Rhalys…show more content…
The Mississippi Supreme Court has also stated that “dismissal may be inappropriate when neglect is plainly attributable to an attorney rather than a blames client, or when a party’s simple negligence is grounded in confusion or sincere misunderstanding of the court’s orders.” The trial court apparently did accept the city attorney’s representation that the discovery failure was attributable to its office, but there are two important things to note. The City has never offered a more detailed explanation, and it has never offered a more detailed explanation, and it has never offered a basis for even this representation. Instead, it appears to be speculation by the City’s present counsel. Finally, the City contends that the trial court did not have the authority to order a sanction under Rule 37 of the Mississippi Riles of Civil Procedure without first entertaining a motion to compel discovery. The City asserts that it was entitled to an opportunity to cure the discovery failure before sanctions could be awarded. Dismissal with prejudice is a sanction that should be imposed only in those rare instances where the conduct of a party is so egregious that no other sanction will meet the demands of justice.” The appellees sued the City, seeking damages allegedly suffered by them when Eubanks Creek overflowed ad flooded their

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