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J.F. Edwards Construction Co. v. Anderson Safeway Guard Rail Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
542 F.2d 1318 (7th Cir. 1976)


Facts

J.F. Edwards Construction Co. (Edwards) (plaintiff) filed suit against Anderson Safeway Guard Rail Corp. (Anderson) (defendant) for claims relating to a construction contract. In a separate action, Anderson brought suit against Westinghouse (defendant) related to the same project. The lawsuits were consolidated into one action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The district judge’s standing pretrial order required the parties to participate in a final pretrial conference and submit a written stipulation of all uncontested facts by July 1, 1975. Anderson alleged that the parties agreed to a set of stipulated facts on December 22, but Edwards subsequently deleted 19 of Anderson’s proposed stipulations. Edwards and Westinghouse ultimately agreed to a set of stipulated facts, but Anderson refused to sign. Anderson’s lawyer wrote a letter to the judge indicating why Anderson did not sign and indicating a willingness to continue to negotiate the issue. Edwards and Westinghouse filed a joint motion to, among other things, strike Anderson’s pleadings. The judge granted the motion. The judge also entered a final judgment on behalf of Edwards on Anderson’s counterclaim and indicated that there would be an ex parte jury trial on the issue of damages only. Lastly, the judge dismissed Anderson’s claim against Westinghouse and therefore dismissed Westinghouse’s cross-complaint against Anderson for mootness. The jury awarded Edwards $89,018.66, based on the testimony of Edwards’s chairman of the board. Anderson motioned the court to vacate the verdict, order a new trial, or award other relief, but the trial court refused. Anderson appealed to the United States District Court for the Seventh Circuit.

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