Friday, March 13, 2015
The Mississippi Supreme Court decided Kinzie v. Belk located here yesterday. The trial judge had dismissed with prejudice a personal injury claim where the plaintiff allegedly made false statements in discovery. The Court of Appeals had originally reversed the case. The Supreme Court granted cert and also reversed the trial court. It found that yes it was a discovery violation, but it was better to let the jury determine the credibility of the plaintiff on the issue. The Supreme Court distinguished the case and indicated that only a pattern of misrepresentations in discovery can justify dismissal. This case shows why it is best to be careful in responding to discovery and add qualifiers to any statements.