October 23, 2015 Top Story

Getting a New Trial May Be Easier under One Rule Than Another

Discovery misconduct warrants new trial under Rule 60 but not Rule 59

Caitlin Haney

Failing to produce documents requested in discovery constitutes misconduct warranting a new trial under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(3), but does not meet the requirements for a new trial under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59Simoneaux et al. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.highlights the significant difference in threshold requirements for a new trial under each rule.

The Documents Discovered Post-Trial

In Simoneaux, whistleblowers filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana for violations of the False Claims Act, alleging the defendant withheld evidence of chemical leaks from federal regulators. The plaintiff requested documents regarding those leaks, including documents provided to or received from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The defendant produced some, but not all documents related to leak calculations, and withheld documentation of OSHA citations.

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