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Court Vacates Order and Awards Sanctions for Abuse of Discovery in Scarola v. Bernard

Case Digest Summary


The parties’ discovery disputes led the court to appoint a discovery referee, who issued an order and required defendants to produce specific documents. Plaintiffs later moved for leave to reargue the prior order requiring them to file a note of issue, claiming that they will be severely prejudiced if they are required to file the note of issue without the necessary discovery. Plaintiffs also stated that defendants had omitted whole years of documents, such as bank records, for a corporation, many of the statements and invoices were missing pages, and such omissions can only be inferred to be an attempt to hide damaging information.

The instant court granted the motion to reargue and, upon reargument, vacated the prior order and granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, determining defendants failed to justify failure to produce the records and documents sought. The court granted plaintiffs’ request to stay the filing of the note of issue and held plaintiffs entitled to obtain further discovery in order to demonstrate their damages at inquest. Finally, the court ordered defendants to pay plaintiff $168,239 in attorneys’ fees and costs…

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