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Jimmy C. Wright v. Illinois Central Railroad Company

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


March 21, 2011

JIMMY C. WRIGHT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD COMPANY, ETC., DEFENDANT.

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

MEMORANDUM ORDER

This is the most recent chapter in the checkered history of this terminated litigation--or perhaps "epilog" (rather than "chapter") would be the more apt metaphor. Counsel for plaintiff Jimmy Wright ("Wright") has noticed up for presentment on April 22 a Motion for Reconsideration ("Motion") of this Court's March 11, 2011 minute order ("Order"), entered after Wright had dismissed his lawsuit voluntarily in the face of an imminent dismissal for want of prosecution. Although Wright's designation of such a long-delayed presentment date violates this District Court's LR 5.3(b), it is unnecessary to consider the appropriate judicial response to that violation because the Motion's lack of merit allows it to be dispatched now.

There is no need to recount the story of what brought the case to its present posture: Instead a full account is provided by a combination of (1) Dkt. 29, the March 4 motion by defendant Illinois Central Railroad Company ("IC") seeking "to alter or amend judgment, or for relief from February 24, 2011 order," (2) Dkt. 32, the declaration of Noah Lipschultz in support of that motion and (3) Dkt. 35, this Court's minute order in response to that motion. What Wright complains of is the condition that the Order would place on any potential effort on his part to revive his lawsuit after he has already put IC to the trouble and expense of defending it, only to encounter his voluntary dismissal to stave off the prospect of a dismissal for want of prosecution.

Wright's Motion is puzzling, to say the least. It contains no contradiction of IC's explanation for the difficulties that he created--he says only that his lawyers "underestimated the difficulty with logistics, as well as the potential expenses, of pursuing this case in the Northern District of Illinois"--the forum, remember, that Wright and his counsel themselves selected! Remember also that the Order rejected IC's effort to convert Wright's self-dismissal into a with-prejudice death knell, opting instead to provide that if he were to go after IC again he would have to pay the price for forcing it to jump through the hoops twice rather than once.

Simply put, it would be unreasonable and unfair to stick IC with extra expense because Wright and his lawyers feel in hindsight that they made a mistake when they first chose to sue IC here. Wright's Motion is denied.

20110321

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