Disability Claims Against Pharma Co. Dismissed; Sanctions Granted

Finding perjury and discovery violations, a federal judge in Newark has dismissed a former employee’s federal and state disability claims, and granted the company sanctions against her.

In the Aug. 15, 2016 ruling, the court also awarded the global pharmaceutical company summary judgment on five of its eight affirmative claims against the plaintiff as well as sanctions against her husband/business partner for failure to comply with ordered discovery and for false testimony.

The plaintiff claimed she was discriminated and retaliated against on the basis of neck and back issues when she was not permitted to work from home more than two days a week. She sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

MARC investigated her claims and background and discovered she jointly owned a “specialty pharmaceutical company” and misrepresented herself during the employment application process. Then, despite the plaintiff’s attempts to obstruct discovery and further mislead the company, MARC uncovered two additional outside pharmaceutical consultancies she simultaneously held while at the company.

The case highlights the importance of a thorough investigation. The court stated that this decision should serve as “an object lesson to future litigants who may desire to follow the same path,” as a warning to litigants seeking to mislead opposing counsel and manipulate the judicial process with frivolous claims.

The company’s legal team was led by MARC partners John B. McCusker; of counsel Suzanne M. Murphy; and associate Bianca M. Olivadoti.

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