Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Discovery: The Biggest Battle in Cases Against Corporate Defendants

In any personal injury case against a corporation, the biggest battle is always during the discovery phase. Discovery happens after a lawsuit is filed. It is the means by which the parties get evidence from the opposing party. There are many methods of discovery, including written questions called interrogatories, requests for production, and depositions. Corporations are notoriously tight-lipped during this part of a case and their modus operandi is to give out as little evidence as possible.

Here are some of the most common ways they block discovery:

1. Objections.

Any discovery request that will disclose bad evidence for the corporation will be objected to. Most courts require parties to then try to work through discovery objections. This often results in a negotiation of the scope of the evidence. This gives the corporation another chance to limit the disclosure of bad evidence. If the parties can’t reach an agreement, the court will then have to decide what evidence is disclosed, giving the corporation another chance to prevent the bad stuff from coming out.

2. Purposeful ignorance.

When asked a question that will disclose bad evidence, corporate representatives will often claim ignorance. This can sometimes be effective with big corporations that have a lot of employees. Oftentimes in corporations, the left-hand does not know what the right is doing. This strategy can backfire, however, if the corporate representative is someone who should know what both hands are doing, as an executive or supervisor.

3. Lies.

The riskiest way corporations hide bad evidence is to lie. Lies are risky because they can not only result in sanctions by the court, they can also anger a jury and result in significantly higher verdicts for the injured plaintiff. Corporate lies happen more often than you may think. I suspect this is because corporate representatives are not adequately advised of the consequences of their lies, or they just haven’t thought it through.

However a corporation hides bad evidence, we have ways to combat it. We’ve litigated many personal injury cases against corporations and have plenty of experience. We gladly fight these fights because we know it is a sign that the corporation is doomed to lose.