When Cecil Addison was passed over for promotion, he sued
Volvo Trucks North America and Ivan Mitchell in the Western District of
Virginia for breach
of contract and discrimination. Volvo Trucks had a contract agreement with
the United Auto Workers Union. Addison alleged the defendants changed the
contract's job requirements without Union approval so they could put a white
male employee in the position for which Addison, a black male, was the most
senior qualified employee. He also claimed that, when he complained, they
retaliated by terminating his employment. Addison sought $25 million for the
career he said they destroyed, and an additional $25 million for pain and
suffering. But this wasn't the first time he filed a lawsuit like this.
Addison made substantially the same allegations, plus
others, in an earlier suit he filed in the same court in 2009. In that case, he
didn't communicate with the defendants for over five months, failed to appear
at his own scheduled deposition and, when the magistrate judge ordered him to
show cause why the case shouldn't be dismissed, failed to respond. So that case
The principle of res judicata (Latin for "a thing
adjudicated") bars a party from filing a new lawsuit if that party has
filed a prior suit on the same claim or on claims arising from the same
transactions that could have been raised in that prior suit. The Supreme Court
has acknowledged the important reasons for this doctrine, which include (1)
preventing the cost and vexation of multiple lawsuits, (2) conserving judicial
resources, and (3) preventing inconsistent judicial decisions so parties can
rely on adjudications.
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at the Virginia
Business Litigation Lawyer blog.
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