May 25, 2018 Top Story

Plaintiff’s Testimony Too Incredible to Defeat Summary Judgment

Rare circumstances, irreconcilable contradictions lead to credibility determination

By Amy Mattson

A court may make credibility determinations on a summary judgment motion where the facts alleged are so contradictory as to be inexplicable in light of evidence in the record, according to the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

The plaintiff alleged she aspirated a thumbtack that had become lodged in her aspirator

The plaintiff alleged she aspirated a thumbtack that had become lodged in her aspirator

iStockphoto by Getty Images

In Gill v. Teva Respiratory, LLC, the court granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment, reasoning that the plaintiff, in relying exclusively on her own testimony, failed to rebut the defendants' evidence or correct discrepancies in the record. Although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has previously held that a credibility determination is warranted where a plaintiff relies on incomplete and contradictory testimony, some ABA Section of Litigation leaders believe this case may spur courts and practitioners to alter their methodology.

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