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Naqvi v. Illinois Health and Science

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois

August 6, 2019

ALI NAQVI, Plaintiff,
v.
ILLINOIS HEALTH AND SCIENCE, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          TOM SCHANZLE-HASKINS UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Illinois Health and Science's Motion for Entry of Default (d/e 73) (Motion for Default); Plaintiff's Motion for Leave, Instanter, to File Plaintiff's Answer to the Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaim of Defendant, Illinois Health and Science (d/e 75) (Motion for Leave); and Defendants' Motion to Exclude the Evidence and Testimony of Eighteen Witnesses Identified in Plaintiff's Tardy Rule 26(A)(1) Disclosures Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(c)(1), and for Additional Time to Depose Plaintiff and One or More Other Witnesses After Plaintiff Corrects the Serious Deficiencies in His Tardy Document Production (d/e 79) (Motion to Exclude and Extend) (collectively, the Motions). For the reasons stated below, the Motion for Leave is ALLOWED, the Motion for Default is DENIED as moot, and the Motion to Exclude and Extend is ALLOWED.

         BACKGROUND

         On July 3, 2017, plaintiff Ali Naqvi filed this action against Defendants Illinois Health and Science; Decatur Memorial Hospital; Zevacor Molecular; Zevacor Pharma, Inc.; Timothy D. Stone, Jr.; Ray Mosser; Ron Drane; Robin King; John Funk; Scott Frederickson; and Ken Smithmier. Complaint (d/e 1). On October 2, 2017, Naqvi filed an Amended Complaint (d/e 32). Naqvi was employed as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of several of the business entity defendants from November 2013 to November 5, 2015. Amended Complaint, ¶ 21. Naqvi alleged claims for employment discrimination based on race and national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§2000e (Count I), and state law claims for: retaliation in violation of the Illinois Whistleblower Protection Act, 740 ILCS 174/1 et seq. (Count II); retaliatory discharge (Count III); defamation per se (Count IV); breach of contract (Count V); tortious interference with a current business relationship (Count VI); negligent infliction of emotional distress (Count VII); and intentional infliction of emotional distress (Count VIII). See generally Amended Complaint.

         On June 7, 2018, the District Court dismissed Counts Count VII, and also dismissed Counts II, III, and VIII as to only some Defendants. Opinion entered June 7, 2018 (d/e 58), at 29. On June 21, the Defendants answered. See Answers of Defendants (d/e 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, and 66). Defendant Illinois Health and Science alleged a counterclaim (Counterclaim) against Naqvi with its answer. Answer and Affirmative Defenses of Defendant Illinois Health and Science to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint and Counterclaim (d/e 59).

         On July 11, 2018, this Court conducted a scheduling conference and entered a Scheduling Order (d/e 70). The Court ordered the parties to make the Rule 26(a)(1) initial disclosures by August 17, 2018 and to complete fact discovery by July 31, 2019. Scheduling Order, ¶¶ 1 and 4.

         On July 12, 2018, Naqvi's answer to the Counterclaim was due. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(a)(1)(B). Naqvi did not answer by that date. Naqvi further did not provide his Rule 26(a)(1) initial disclosures on August 17, 2018, as ordered by this Court. Naqvi also did not request extensions before the respective due dates as required by the Local Rules. See Local Rule 6.1.

         On August 22, 2018, Naqvi requested from Defendants an extension of time to file his answer to the Counterclaim to August 31, 2018. Defendants agreed. Naqvi states that he wanted the extension to determine if insurance coverage existed to defend the Counterclaim. Naqvi, however, did not answer the Counterclaim by August 31, 2018.

         On May 20, 2019, Defense counsel asked Naqvi's counsel to file an answer to the Counterclaim and discovery responses, including Naqvi's Rule 26(a)(1) initial disclosures. On June 3, 2019, Naqvi's counsel informed defense counsel that she recently had a death in her family and asked for an extension to June 7, 2019, to file the answer and provide discovery. On June 7, 2019, defense counsel asked for an extension to June 11, 2019 because her paralegal assistant was out due to health related issues. On June 11, 2019, Naqvi's counsel did not provide any discovery or file an answer to the Counterclaim. Motion for Default, Exs. D-G, Email Correspondence Between Counsel for the Parties.

         On June 19, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion to Compel (d/e 72). On June 21, 2019, Defendants filed the Motion for Default (d/e 73). On July 3, 2019, Naqvi provided Defendants with his Rule 26(a)(1) initial disclosures. See Memorandum in Support of Defendants' Motion to Exclude and Extend (d/e 80) (Defendants' Memorandum 80), Exhibit B, Plaintiff's Initial Disclosures Pursuant to Rule 26(a)(1) (Naqvi Initial Disclosures). On July 5, 2019, Naqvi filed the Motion for Leave (d/e 75).

         The Naqvi Initial Disclosures listed 21 persons with knowledge that Naqvi may use to provide evidence to support his claim. Initial Disclosures, at 1-7.[1] Of these 21, only three had been otherwise disclosed in discovery before that date. The three were Naqvi, Ed Blum, and Andrew Brkie. On July 10, 2019, the Court ruled on the Defendants' Motion to Compel. Opinion entered July 10, 2019 (July 10, 2019 Opinion). On July 11, 2019, Defendants filed the Motion to Exclude and Extend (d/e 79).

         The Motions have been briefed and are ready for resolution.

         ANALYSIS

         Motion for Default ...


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