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Johnson v. Snapple Beverage Corp.

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


July 14, 2009

JOHNNY L. JOHNSON, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SNAPPLE BEVERAGE CORP., ETC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

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

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Snapple Beverage Corp. and American Bottling Company have filed their Answer and Affirmative Defenses ("ADs") to the Second Amended Complaint ("SAC") brought against them by Johnny Johnson and Clarence Whitfield. This memorandum order is issued sua sponte because of a problematic aspect of that responsive pleading.*fn1

All of the Answer's paragraphs that contain appropriate disclaimers under Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 8(b)(5)(Answer ¶¶9, 11, 20, 33, 35, 39, 41, 43 and 46) follow those disclaimers with a denial of the same allegations in the SAC ("and therefore, deny them"). That is of course oxymoronic--how can a party that asserts (presumably in good faith) that it lacks even enough information to form a belief as to the truth of an allegation then proceed to deny it in accordance with Rule 11(b)?

Accordingly the quoted phrase is stricken sua sponte from each of those paragraphs of the Answer. That obviates the need for defense counsel to replead properly.


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