Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Rule 37 Sanctions: Dismissal for Unexplained Failure to Comply with Order to Provide Supplemental Discovery Responses

Weber v. Int’l Brotherhood of Elec. Workers, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7831 (8th Cir. May 3, 2017):

Darryl Weber appeals after the District Court,1 upon motion, dismissed his employment action with prejudice as a sanction for failure to comply with a court order to provide discovery responses. Weber, without explanation, failed to comply with the court's order to provide supplemental discovery responses, and the record reveals other instances of Weber's failure to cooperate in the discovery process, even after he was given multiple opportunities to do so. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(d)(1)(A)(ii) (stating that the court may order sanctions if "a party, after being properly served with interrogatories . . . , fails to serve its answers, objections, or written response"); [*2]  see also 37(d)(3), (b)(2)(A)(v) (explaining that sanctions may include an order dismissing the action); 41(b) (stating that a defendant may move to dismiss if the plaintiff fails to comply with court rules or a court order). We conclude that the District Court did not abuse its discretion. See Smith v. Gold Dust Casino, 526 F.3d 402, 404-05 (8th Cir. 2008) (reviewing a Rule 41(b) dismissal for an abuse of discretion); Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers, Local Union No. 545 v. Hope Elec. Corp., 380 F.3d 1084, 1105 (8th Cir. 2004) (discussing appellate review of a Rule 37 sanction).

1   The Honorable Roseann A. Ketchmark, United States District Judge for the Western District of Missouri.

We affirm the judgment of the District Court.

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