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Sempier v. Johnson & Higgins

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
45 F.3d 724 (3d Cir. 1995)


Facts

In April 1992, Burt Sempier (plaintiff), brought suit against his employer Johnson & Higgins (J & H) (defendant) pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). During discovery, Sempier served two sets of interrogatories on J & H, in addition to several document requests. J & H failed to respond to a number of the discovery demands. Sempier sought an order from the magistrate judge compelling J & H’s response. The magistrate judge denied Sempier’s motion and Sempier appealed to the district court. The district court vacated the magistrate judge’s denial of Sempier’s motion and remanded the matter. On remand, the magistrate judge excused J & H from answering the first two sets of interrogatories and required Sempier to serve a third set of interrogatories. J & H failed to respond to most of Sempier’s third set of interrogatories. Sempier sought an order to compel, which the magistrate judge denied. Instead, the court prepared its own bill of particulars and required J & H to respond to it. On appeal, the district court affirmed the magistrate judge’s order regarding the bill of particulars. J & H submitted responses to the bill of particulars, which Sempier believed were inadequate. Sempier thus filed another motion to compel. J & H moved the district court for summary judgment on Sempier’s ADEA claim and prevailed. Sempier appealed both the grant of summary judgment and the substitution of Sempier’s interrogatories for the court’s bill of particulars.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Garth, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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