IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
December 13, 2011
ROBERT MORRIS, PLAINTIFF,
US LBM HOLDINGS, LLC, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
US LBM Holdings, LLC and Hines Building Supply - US LBM, LLC have filed their Answer and Affirmative Defenses ("ADs") to the employment discrimination Complaint brought against them by ex-employee Robert Morris ("Morris"). This sua sponte memorandum order is triggered by the inappropriateness of defense counsel's approach to the concept of an AD as prescribed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(c) and the applicable caselaw (see also App'x ¶5 to State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Riley, 199 F.R.D. 276, 279 (N.D. Ill. 2001)).
For example, AD 2 clearly does not--as an AD must--accept the allegations of Morris' Complaint as true, while explaining why defendants are nonetheless not liable to Morris. That AD impermissibly flies in the face of Complaint ¶¶2, 18 and 20. It is stricken.*fn1
Next, "to the extent" in a purported AD is a telltale sign that the pleader has not satisfied the requirement of notice pleading that is incumbent on federal defendants as well as federal plaintiffs. If defendants really have any meat on the bones now contained in ADs 3, 4 and 6, they must do so in a fleshed-out manner, so that Morris' counsel and this Court can be apprised of defendants' contentions. For the present, however, those three ADs are stricken without prejudice to their possible renewal in proper form and content.
Lastly, AD 5 is in flat contradiction of such allegations as those set out in Complaint ¶¶16 and 18. It too is stricken.