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Labor and employment team bars plaintiff from recovering on judicial estoppel grounds

November 29, 2012

A team of McGuireWoods attorneys successfully barred a plaintiff from recovering in a disability discrimination case against our client, a leading independent national distributor of natural, organic and specialty foods. The plaintiff, a forklift operator, alleged disability discrimination after he claimed that asthma prevented him from working in freezers or coolers and was subsequently terminated. Although the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) found probable cause that he had been the victim of discrimination, prompting an investigation of the accommodation policies in place at our client’s facility, the plaintiff did not fare as well in federal court after McGuireWoods discovered that he had filed for bankruptcy without disclosing his pending charge and claims to the Bankruptcy Court. Our client filed a motion to dismiss and asked the Court to find plaintiff judicially estopped from any recovery. In an attempt at salvaging his claims, plaintiff reopened the bankruptcy proceedings. The Judge found this attempt unavailing and ruled that the failure to timely disclose the claim precluded the plaintiff from any recovery.