Notable Cases

August 14, 2014: The Mississippi Supreme Court affirms dismissal with prejudice of personal injury lawsuit alleging medical bills of over $340,000 as a sanction for Plaintiffs' false testimony.

On August 14, 2014, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the Hinds County Circuit Court’s dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit brought by two individuals against Mississippi Public Broadcasting, a Mississippi state agency.  In the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs alleged that the driver of their vehicle became permanently disabled due to a car accident with a Mississippi Public Broadcasting employee.  The driver contended that the State of Mississippi should be liable for over $340,000 in medical bills he allegedly incurred as a result, as well as significant other alleged damages.  The driver’s wife, who was not a passenger in the vehicle during the accident, brought her own claims for damages of $100,000 for having to care for her husband and other such alleged damages.

Jeff Reynolds, lead counsel in this matter, and Carson Thurman obtained a with prejudice dismissal of the lawsuit at the trial court level after having discovered that both Plaintiffs testified falsely regarding several key issues, including the cause of the driver’s alleged disability, the fact that the driver had incurred similar injuries prior to the accident, and the claims for damages the wife was seeking in this lawsuit and another, unrelated lawsuit. The discovery of this false testimony came after a thorough collection and review of thousands of pages of medical records and other documents and conducting several depositions.

The Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of their lawsuit. The Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal, finding that the trial court acted within its discretion in holding that the Plaintiffs had testified falsely in several key regards and in dismissing their lawsuit as a sanction. The Supreme Court wrote a strong opinion condemning the Plaintiffs’ dishonesty, which is sure to deter such behavior by future litigants:

Truth and justice complement each other. Can true justice ever be accorded on false testimony? We think not. Should violators be rewarded, or only have their hands slapped, for making “willful misrepresentations,” which, if not exposed, result in ill-gotten gain? Rule 37(e) not only empowers, but specifically grants trial courts the authority to dismiss a case with prejudice “as may be just.”

For more information about the case contact Jeffery Reynolds at 601 355.7773 or jeff@jprpa.com.

“There is no other lawyer I would rather have on my side than Jeff. I wish I could clone him.”
—Lynn Bortka, In-House Attorney, BP (retired) More testimonials