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Reid v. Werner Enterprises

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION


November 1, 2007

AL REID, ET AL., PLAINTIFF,
v.
WERNER ENTERPRISES, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Each of Werner Enterprises, Inc. and Robert Coulter has filed a separate Answer and Affirmative Defenses to the Complaint filed against them by Al and Cheri Reid. This brief memorandum order is issued sua sponte to address two matters in connection with those responsive pleadings.

To begin with, although this is not an error as such, it really makes no sense for defense counsel to have filed two identical answers on behalf of their clients. Before the advent of electronic filing that would have added needless bulk to the file. That is no longer a consideration, but the real inconvenience that remains is that opposing counsel and this Court are forced to comb through two separate documents rather than one, both to ascertain the nature of defendants' responses and to see whether they differ in any respect.

That (though somewhat annoying) would not alone have occasioned this memorandum order, which is primarily issued to focus on one substantive flaw in both pleadings. Answer ¶10 in each response does not comply with the mandate of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(b) that every allegation in a complaint be responded to appropriately. Do defendants really deny that they "owed a duty of reasonable care to members of the public, including the plaintiff, AL REID, in the operation of a semi-tractor truck on the public highway"? If so, they owe both plaintiffs' counsel and this Court an explanation of the predicate for such a denial.

Accordingly, Answer ¶10 is stricken from each Answer. Each defendant is ordered to file an amended Answer ¶10 (not a full-blown Amended Answer) on or before November 13, 2007, failing which Complaint ¶10 will be deemed to have been admitted by each of them.

20071101

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