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T.C.B. Const. Co., Inc. v. W.C. Fore Trucking, Inc.

Supreme Court of Mississippi.

T.C.B. CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC.

v.

W.C. FORE TRUCKING, INC.

 

No. 2010–CT–00177–SCT.

Feb. 28, 2013.

 

William F. Goodman, Jr., Jackson, Lawrence Cary Gunn, Jr., Hattiesburg, attorneys for appellant.

 

Michael E. Cox, Biloxi, James Kenneth Wetzel, Gulfport, Michael B. Wallace, Jackson, Rebecca L. Hawkins, attorneys for appellee.

 

EN BANC.

 

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI

KITCHENS, Justice, for the Court:

*1 ¶ 1. In this breach of contract case, we granted the plaintiff’s petition for writ of certiorari to review the Court of Appeals’ decision affirming the trial court’s refusal to submit the issue of punitive damages to the jury. T.C.B. Constr. Co. v. W.C. Fore Trucking, Inc., ––– So.3d –––– (Miss.Ct.App.2012). Finding that the plaintiff presented clear and convincing evidence that the defendant exhibited bad faith in breaching the contract, we reverse the Court of Appeals on this issue, and remand the case to the trial court for a jury to determine what punitive damages, if any, are due.

 

Facts and Procedural History

¶ 2. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Harrison County hired W.C. Fore Trucking, Inc. (Fore) to remove debris from the county’s rights of way in an area designated as Zone 2. Fore contracted with T.C.B. Construction Company, Inc. (TCB) to perform the removal from a portion of Zone 2. The contract between Fore and TCB was limited to areas in Harrison County north of Highway 53, but also contained an express good-faith clause which stated that the contract “can and will be modified based upon the facts and circumstances of all debris removal.”

 

¶ 3. As required by the contract, TCB sent Fore daily reports, known as “work tickets” or “truck tickets,” showing the location and amount of removed debris. R.W. Beck & Associates (Beck), an independent auditing firm hired by Harrison County, calculated the cubic yardage and verified the locations listed on TCB’s work tickets. TCB also submitted weekly invoices to Fore, and Fore in turn used those invoices to bill the county. Once Beck had audited the invoices and bills, the county approved payment from funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Fore then gave TCB a percentage of those payments. Under their contract, Fore was to pay TCB $8.90 for every cubic yard of debris removed, out of the $10.64 Fore received from the county.

 

¶ 4. TCB began work on September 19, 2005, and, nine days later, began clearing debris south of Highway 53. According to the TCB, the work was moved south at the request of W.C. Fore, Fore’s principal. Fore claimed that it did not know that TCB was removing debris from south of the highway until some time in March 2006. At that time, Fore stopped paying TCB, claiming that any work south of the highway was not contemplated by the contract. Nevertheless, Fore did not dispute that it had billed the county and was paid in full, for all of the debris removed by TCB. In total, Harrison County paid Fore approximately $12.3 million for the debris removed by TCB, and Fore paid TCB roughly $3.6 million.

 

¶ 5. TCB sued Fore for breach of contract, claiming it was owed an additional $6,634,436.69 for work performed south of Highway 53. TCB alleged that, although the written contract specified that TCB would be paid to remove debris north of Highway 53, the contract was orally modified to include removal south of Highway 53. Fore responded with a counterclaim, alleging that TCB was entitled only to the value of the debris removed north of the highway, and that Fore actually had overpaid TCB for this work in the amount of $520,731.

 

*2 ¶ 6. The case proceeded to trial, and, in a special verdict form, the jury found that the contract had been modified to include work south of the highway. Despite this finding, the amount of damages awarded by the jury did not fully compensate TCB for the work it indisputably had performed. The jury also found that Fore was entitled to recoup “overpayments.” The result was a $3,577,583.34 net award for TCB, or about half of its alleged damages. The court awarded TCB prejudgment interest from the date it filed the complaint, but refused to send the issue of punitive damages to the jury.

 

¶ 7. TCB appealed, Fore filed a cross-appeal, and the case was assigned to the Mississippi Court of Appeals. That court held that, as a matter of law, the contract was modified, Fore breached the contract, and TCB was entitled to the amount it would have received without the breach. T.C.B., ––– So.3d ––––. The Court of Appeals reversed the jury’s award of damages and rendered judgment in favor of TCB in the full amount of $6,634,436.69, with prejudgment interest from the date of the breach, rather than the date that TCB filed its complaint. Finally, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial judge’s refusal of TCB’s request to submit punitive damages to the jury, finding some evidence that Fore’s breach was not malicious.

 

¶ 8. Both TCB and Fore filed petitions for writ of certiorari, with Fore arguing it was not liable for any damages, and TCB arguing that punitive damages should have been submitted to the jury. Agreeing with the decision of the Court of Appeals to render judgment in favor of TCB for the full amount owed, we denied Fore’s petition, but granted TCB’s petition to review the punitive damages issue.

 

Discussion

[1][2][3][4][5] ¶ 9. An award of punitive damages is an extraordinary remedy, reserved for the most egregious cases, and designed to discourage similar misconduct. Warren v. Derivaux, 996 So.2d 729, 738 (Miss.2008) (citing Paracelsus Health Care Corp. v. Willard, 754 So.2d 437, 442 (Miss.1999)). In a breach of contract case, the plaintiff “must prove that the breach was the result of an intentional wrong or that a defendant acted maliciously or with reckless disregard of the plaintiff’s rights.” Pursue Energy Corp. v. Abernathy, 77 So.3d 1094, 1101 (Miss.2011) (citing Hamilton v. Hopkins, 834 So.2d 695, 703 (Miss.2003)). When punitive damages are sought, and only after compensatory damages have been awarded, the trial judge will hold an evidentiary hearing and make an initial determination whether the jury should pass on the issue. Miss.Code Ann. § 11–1–65(1)(c)–(d) (Supp.2012). “The jury should be allowed to consider the issue of punitive damages if the trial judge determined under the totality of the circumstances and in light of defendant’s aggregate conduct, that a reasonable, hypothetical juror could have identified either malice or gross disregard to the rights of others.”   Paracelsus Health, 754 So.2d at 442 (citing Wirtz v. Switzer, 586 So.2d 775, 783 (Miss.1991), abrogated on other grounds by Upchurch Plumbing, Inc. v. Greenwood Utilities Comm’n, 964 So.2d 1100 (Miss.2007), and Adams v. U.S. Homecrafters, Inc., 744 So.2d 736 (Miss.1999)).

 

*3 ¶ 10. In the present case, the trial court denied TCB’s request to submit punitive damages to the jury. The court based its ruling in large part on the jury’s verdict, which had awarded damages to both parties and awarded TCB only half of its requested damages. However, we agree that the Court of Appeals correctly reversed the jury verdict and rendered judgment in favor of TCB, because, as a matter of law, the contract was modified, and the amount of TCB’s damages was not questioned. Given that there was no issue of fact for the jury to decide, the jury’s verdict could not serve as a roadblock to a consideration of punitive damages by the jury.

 

¶ 11. We find that TCB presented more than sufficient evidence that a reasonable, hypothetical juror could find Fore’s conduct in breaching the contract was either malicious or done with a reckless disregard of TCB’s rights. Pursue Energy, 77 So.3d at 1101; Paracelsus Health, 754 So.2d at 442. In its thorough examination of the facts, the Court of Appeals noted that Fore’s defense was based solely on the scope of the written contract and W.C. Fore’s denial that he had agreed to a modification. W.C. Fore testified that he was unaware of TCB’s work south of Highway 53 because, he said, the ladies in bookkeeping handled all of the invoices. The Court of Appeals correctly held that W.C. Fore’s personal knowledge was immaterial to the case, because the corporation never disputed that it lacked knowledge of TCB’s work south of Highway 53, and it also did not argue that its employees (i.e., “the ladies in bookkeeping”), were unauthorized to accept TCB’s invoices or submit them to the county for payment. It was undisputed that Fore represented to the local government that TCB’s invoices were accurate and that it received the full benefit of TCB’s work without fully compensating TCB. Moreover, the entire process was overseen by an accounting firm hired by the county, and TCB was the only company removing debris in the area. As the Court of Appeals observed, “it defies credibility to suggest Fore, the corporation, had no knowledge TCB was submitting invoices for work south of Highway 53.” T.C.B., ––– So.3d at ––––.

 

¶ 12. Nevertheless, the Court of Appeals rejected TCB’s claim that punitive damages should have been submitted to the trier of fact. The court acknowledged that the question was “admittedly close,” but found there was evidence to support that Fore did not act with any malicious intent. Id. at (¶ 58). The Court of Appeals characterized Fore’s denial as “a hard-line business position,” but credited the circuit court’s finding “some validity” in W.C. Fore’s claim that he was unaware of TCB’s work south of the highway. Id. Notably, the Court of Appeals’ analysis focused only on maliciousness and did not address reckless disregard or intentional wrongs. Pursue Energy, 77 So.3d at 1101 (punitive damages may be warranted if the breach was a result of an intentional wrong, malicious conduct, or reckless disregard for the plaintiff’s rights) (citing Hamilton, 834 So.2d at 703)).

 

*4 ¶ 13. We agree with Chief Judge Lee’s separate opinion, that Fore’s claim of ignorance was “disingenuous and contradictory to the defense put on at trial.” T.C.B., ––– So.3d ––––, at –––– (Lee, C.J., concurring in part and dissenting in part). Fore claimed that, over several months, millions of dollars of invoices, multiple meetings, and an independent auditor overseeing the process, it was oblivious to the fact that TCB was working south of Highway 53. Even after Fore claimed it had become aware that TCB was working south of the highway, it allowed TCB to continue to work in that area, continued to submit invoices to the county for work performed by TCB, and continued to receive payments from the county, apparently feeling safe in the knowledge that the technical language of the contract did not obligate them to pay for TCB’s work. Moreover, three months after Fore had stopped paying TCB, it wrote a letter to TCB stating that payments were delayed because there was a possible set-off for interest on delayed payments from the county. This position was entirely inconsistent with its defense at trial that TCB was due nothing because it was performing work outside the scope of the contract. TCB submitted invoices for several million dollars to Fore for the cleanup south of the highway. Fore in turn based its own invoices to the county on TCB’s. It is undisputed that Fore collected payment for all of the work performed by TCB, that, as a matter of law, the contract was modified to include all of the work performed by TCB, and that Fore blatantly breached its promise to compensate TCB.

 

¶ 14. We find that the evidence demonstrates a type of conduct for which punitive damages are designed. TCB provided sufficient proof that Fore acted in bad faith, with complete disregard for TCB’s rights, seeking to reap the benefits of its contract while at the same time denying its obligations. Based on the evidence, a reasonable, hypothetical juror could find that Fore had breached the contract either maliciously, by an intentional wrong, or with reckless disregard for TCB’s rights. We hold that the trial court erred by not submitting the issue of punitive damages to the jury, and this case is therefore remanded for trial on punitive damages and for consideration of attorneys’ fees. Warren, 996 So.2d at 739 (attorneys’ fees justified when punitive damages awarded) (quoting Smith v. Dorsey, 599 So.2d 529, 550 (Miss.1992)).

 

Conclusion

¶ 15. We agree with the Court of Appeals on the issue of compensatory damages, and affirm its decision rendering judgment in favor of TCB in the amount $6,634,436.69 and its remanding the case to the trial court to award prejudgment interest from the date of the breach. We disagree with the Court of Appeals’ decision on the issue of punitive damages, and find that the evidence presented at trial was more than sufficient for the jury to have been permitted to decide whether TCB was entitled to punitive damages, and if so, in what amount. We therefore reverse the decision of the Court of Appeals regarding punitive damages, but we do not disturb its holding that, as a matter of law, the contract was modified, that Fore breached this contract, and that TCB is entitled to compensatory damages in the amount $6,634,436.69, with prejudgment interest awarded from the date of the breach. Accordingly, the decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed in part and affirmed in part, and judgment is rendered in favor of TCB in the amount of the $6,634,436.69. The case is remanded to the Harrison County Circuit Court, First Judicial District, for a jury trial on punitive damages, for consideration of attorneys’ fees, and for award of prejudgment interest from the date of the breach.

 

*5 ¶ 16. THE JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF APPEALS IS AFFIRMED IN PART AND REVERSED IN PART. THE JUDGMENT OF THE HARRISON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT, IS REVERSED IN PART, RENDERED IN PART, AND REMANDED.

 

WALLER, C.J., RANDOLPH, P.J., LAMAR, CHANDLER, PIERCE, KING AND COLEMAN, JJ., CONCUR. DICKINSON, P.J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

Wilson v. KRD Trucking West

United States District Court,

D. Nevada.

Eddie WILSON, Plaintiff,

v.

KRD TRUCKING WEST, Defendant.

 

No. 2:10–cv–00163–KJD–NJK.

March 6, 2013.

 

Eddie D. Wilson, Las Vegas, NV, pro se.

 

Nicholas Crosby, Marquis & Aurbach, Las Vegas, NV, for Defendant.

 

ORDER DISCHARGING IN PART ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE AND SANCTIONING NICHOLAS CROSBY

NANCY J. KOPPE, United States Magistrate Judge.

*1 On January 23, 2013, District Judge Dawson referred this matter to the undersigned Judge for a settlement conference. Docket No. 53. Pursuant to that order, and also on January 23, 2013, this Court scheduled a settlement conference to be held on February 20, 2013. Docket No. 54 (“SC Order”). The SC Order outlined the requirements for that settlement conference, including that counsel arrange the attendance of a proper company representative. Defendant KRD Trucking West and its counsel, Nicholas Crosby, appeared at the settlement conference without a representative with full settlement authority, prompting the Court to order them to show cause why they should not be sanctioned pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 16(f),FN1 the Court’s inherent authority, and/or Local Rule IA 4–1. Docket No. 57. The Court has now received and reviewed their response. Docket No. 58. For the reasons discussed below, the Court hereby DISCHARGES the order to show cause as to Defendant KRD Trucking West and SANCTIONS Mr. Crosby personally in the amount of $560 pursuant to Federal Rule 16(f) and Local Rule IA 4–1.

 

FN1. References to “Federal Rules” hereafter refer to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

 

I. STANDARDS

Attorneys are required to follow Court orders. Federal Rule 16(f) requires counsel to comply with pretrial orders and provides that the Court may order any “just” sanctions, including those outlined in Rule 37(b)(2)(A)(ii)-(vii), for non-compliance. Violations of Federal Rule 16 are neither technical nor trivial. Martin Family Trust v. Heco/Nostalgia Enterps. Co., 186 F.R.D. 601, 603 (E.D.Cal.1999).FN2 It is clear that “the rule is broadly remedial and its purpose is to encourage forceful judicial management.” Sherman v. United States, 801 F.2d 1133, 1135 (9th Cir.1986). The rule also makes clear that “concerns about burdens on the court are to receive no less attention than concerns about burdens on opposing parties.” Matter of Baker, 744 F.2d 1438, 1441 (10th Cir.1984)(en banc). Whether the party and/or its counsel disobeyed the court order intentionally is impertinent; sanctions may be imposed when the parties and their counsel disobey a court order. See Lucas Auto. Eng’g, Inc. v. Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc., 275 F.3d 762, 769 (9th Cir.2001).

 

FN2. Indeed, the sanctions for violations of Federal Rule 16(f) can be severe in nature, including entry of default judgment against a defendant. See Federal Rule 37(b)(2)(A)(vi).

 

Federal Rule 16(f) applies to all pretrial orders, including orders regarding court-mandated settlement conferences. See, e.g., Pitman v. Brinker Int’l, Inc., 216 F.R.D. 481, 483 (D.Ariz.2003), amended on review on other grounds, 2003 WL 23353478 (D.Ariz.2003). Indeed, the Ninth Circuit has repeatedly upheld sanctions imposed for failing to comply with orders regarding settlement conferences. See, e.g., Lucas Auto., 275 F.3d at 769 (affirming sanctions for failure to attend mediation with appropriate representative); Official Airline Guides, Inc. v. Goss, 6 F.3d 1385, 1396 (9th Cir.1993) (affirming sanctions for failure to comply with order to have representative with settlement authority available by telephone during settlement conference); Ayers v. City of Richmond, 895 F.2d 1267, 1270 (9th Cir.1990) (affirming sanctions for attorney who failed to appear at scheduled settlement conference).

 

*2 Similar to Federal Rule 16(f), this Court’s Local Rules also provide the Court with authority to impose “any and all appropriate sanctions on an attorney … who, without just cause … [f]ails to comply with any order of this Court.” Local Rule IA 4–1.

 

II. FACTUAL OVERVIEW

Court-ordered settlement conferences provide an important vehicle for the parties to attempt to resolve their dispute short of trial. This Court expends significant time preparing for and conducting them, and takes them very seriously. Settlement conferences are not meaningful absent attendance by those with full settlement authority. E.g., Nick v. Morgan’s Food, Inc., 270 F.3d 590, 597 (8th Cir.2001)(attendance at a mediation with a corporate representative with limited authority “is to in effect negate the ability of that mediation to in any way function, much less be successful”). To that end, the Court’s SC Order provided in relevant part that:

 

In the case of non-individual parties, counsel of record shall arrange for an officer or representative with binding authority to settle this matter up to the full amount of the claim or last demand made to be present for the duration of the conference. No exceptions are made to this requirement.

 

Docket No. 54 at 1 (emphasis in original).FN3

 

FN3. As the SC Order makes clear, it is counsel’s responsibility to arrange for a proper representative to appear at the settlement conference. Moreover, the Response to the order to show cause indicates that any fault lies with Mr. Crosby and not with Defendant. See Docket No. 58 at 6. Accordingly, the Court discharges the order to show cause as to Defendant itself.

 

Mr. Crosby failed to comply with this requirement, appearing at the settlement conference without a representative with settlement authority up to the full amount of the claim or the last demand made. Instead, he appeared with Ron Carlson, a representative with settlement authority only up to $5,000. See, e.g., Docket No. 58 at 2. When it became clear at the settlement conference that Mr. Carlson had limited settlement authority, the Court inquired as to why Mr. Crosby failed to appear with a representative with proper settlement authority. Mr. Crosby indicated that such a representative is out-of-state and could be reached by telephone if an amount slightly above $5,000 would settle the case. See id. at 3.

 

III. ANALYSIS

In responding to the order to show cause, Mr. Crosby contends that an imposition of sanctions would be inappropriate because (1) the Court’s SC Order is vague and confusing and (2) the Court’s requirement that a representative with full authority attend the settlement conference is not pragmatic. The Court addresses each contention in turn.FN4

 

FN4. Federal Rule 16(f) provides for the imposition of “just” sanctions, while Local Rule IA 4–1 provides for the imposition of “any and all appropriate sanctions” where the sanctioned party fails to show “just cause” for his disobedience of an order. Although both sources of authority are referenced in the Court’s order to show cause, see Docket No. 57 at 1, Mr. Crosby’s Response focuses on Federal Rule 16(f) and does not discuss Local Rule IA 4–1, see Docket No. 58. The Court likewise discusses them together. The Court does not reach the issue of whether sanctions are appropriate under the Court’s inherent authority, which Mr. Crosby also failed to address in his Response.

 

A. Clarity of the Court’s Order

Mr. Crosby argues primarily that his appearance at the settlement conference with a representative having only $5,000 in settlement authority was justified by the fact that the Court’s SC Order is “vague and confusing.” The question before the Court is whether any of the language identified by Mr. Crosby justifies his appearance at the settlement conference with a representative having $5,000 in settlement authority. Mr. Crosby’s arguments regarding the SC Order, quite simply, do not provide such a justification.

 

*3 At the outset, the Court finds it notable that Mr. Crosby does not provide a declaration (or statement in his brief) indicating that he was actually confused prior to the settlement conference by the language he now identifies as confusing. The Court finds this omission significant, as it appears that some or all of the arguments raised now are post hoc justifications that had no bearing on Mr. Crosby’s decision to arrange for the attendance of a corporate representative with only $5,000 settlement authority. In any event, even assuming that Mr. Crosby was actually confused about the Court’s requirements for the settlement conference, the Court still finds the imposition of monetary sanctions appropriate here. See Lucas Auto., 275 F.3d at 769 (sanctions may be imposed even when disobedience is unintentional).

 

The first point of ambiguity argued by Mr. Crosby is that the SC Order allows attendance of a representative with authority up to the “last demand made,” but does not specify that it refers to the last demand made by the opposing party. Docket No. 58 at 3. As such, Mr. Crosby contends that he was entitled to appear with a representative with $2,000 of settlement authority, as that was the last settlement offer made by Defendant. See id. This argument fails. The point of a Court-ordered settlement conference is to facilitate settlement discussions beyond those the parties have had themselves. If the parties were required to bring representatives with authority only to re-offer previously rejected settlement offers, there would be no point in expending court resources to conduct a settlement conference. The Court does not expend its resources so that the parties can come to the same impasse they reached without Court involvement. The Court therefore rejects Mr. Crosby’s argument that this language provides a justification for bringing a representative who had $5,000 in settlement authority.

 

Mr. Crosby also makes two arguments regarding the term “up to the full amount of the claim.” Docket No. 58 at 3. Similar to his argument above, Mr. Crosby argues that the term “full amount of the claim” is vague because it does not specify whether the value relates to Plaintiff’s claim as alleged or to Defendant’s own assessment of the claim. Id. at 3–4. Because Defendant believes “the claim is worthless,” Mr. Crosby argues that he complied with the SC Order by bringing a representative with almost no settlement authority. Id. at 4. This argument again fails. The Court fails to see any reasonable interpretation of the term “up to the full amount of the claim” to mean a party’s own valuation of the claim. By Mr. Crosby’s logic, he could have appeared at the settlement conference with a representative with no settlement authority because Defendant believes strongly that it will prevail on its claims. That obviously defeats the point of having a settlement conference.

 

Mr. Crosby next points to the fact that Plaintiff has not provided Defendant with a precise calculation of his damages or expert testimony regarding the value of the claim. See id. This argument is also meritless. The remaining claim in this case centers on Defendant’s refusal to hire Plaintiff in retaliation for engaging in protected activity. See Docket No. 41 at 4–5. Defendant possesses information about the wages Plaintiff would have received had he been hired.FN5 Regardless of whether Plaintiff has provided a precise calculation or expert testimony of his damages, Mr. Crosby cannot, and does not, argue that he believed the full amount of the claim is $5,000 or less.

 

FN5. Like other employment cases, shortly after the answer was filed Mr. Crosby was required to appear at that Early Neutral Evaluation session with a representative “with authority to settle this matter up to the full amount of the claim.” See Docket No. 15.

 

*4 In short, Mr. Crosby did not articulate any basis from the SC Order’s language providing a justification for his attendance at the settlement conference with a representative having $5,000 in settlement authority.

 

B. Wisdom of the Court’s Order

Mr. Crosby lastly argues that the Court’s policy of requiring attendance of a representative with full settlement authority, “pragmatically, does not further the purpose of a pretrial settlement conference.” Docket No. 58 at 5. In particular, he notes that the Court is not empowered to force a party into a settlement and argues that the outcome of the settlement conference would have been no different had a representative with full settlement authority attended. Id. at 4–5. It is well settled that, while the Court may not require parties to settle a case, it may require attendance at a settlement conference by counsel and proper corporate representatives. See, e.g., G. Heileman Brewing Co. v. Joseph Oat Corp., 871 F.2d 648, 650–53 (7th Cir.1989)(en banc).FN6 Regardless of Mr. Crosby’s belief about the wisdom of the Court’s SC Order, he was required to obey it. E.g., Chapman v. Pacific Tel. & Tel. Co., 613 F.2d 193, 197 (9th Cir.1979)(“An attorney who believes a court order is erroneous is not relieved of the duty to obey it.”); see also G. Heileman Brewing, 871 F.2d at 654–55 (having not challenged magistrate judge’s attendance requirements prior to settlement conference, party “was left with only one course of action: it had to comply fully with the letter and intent of the order and argue about its reasonableness later”). FN7

 

FN6. The importance of having attendance of a representative with full settlement authority is welldocumented, see, e.g., Nick, 270 F.3d at 597 (quoting district court order), and the Court declines to further explain it here.

 

FN7. Had he believed grounds existed to do so, prior to the settlement conference Mr. Crosby could have requested that the Court modify the attendance requirements. He did not make such a request.

 

C. Sanctions

For the reasons discussed above, the Court finds the imposition of sanctions appropriate. The Court has broad discretion in fashioning the appropriate sanctions for violating a Court order. See, e.g., Official Airline Guides, 6 F.3d at 1396. The Court may award any “just” sanctions under Rule 16(f) and “any and all appropriate” sanctions under Local Rule IA 4–1. In determining the appropriate sanction, the Court notes that a primary objective of Rule 16(f) is the deterrence of conduct that unnecessarily consumes the Court’s time and resources that could have been more productively utilized by litigants willing to follow the Court’s procedures. Martin Family Trust, 186 F.R.D. at 603. The Court also considers the resources wasted by the opposing party due to the violation of the Court order. See, e.g., Federal Rule 16(f)(2).

 

The Court finds that Mr. Crosby should be sanctioned personally in the amount of $560 for his failure to comply with the Court’s SC Order. This amount falls on the lower end of the spectrum of appropriate sanctions here,FN8 but the Court believes the sanction is sufficient to deter similar misconduct in the future. The sanction is personal to Mr. Crosby. Payment of $500 shall be made within ten days as a court fine to the “Clerk, U.S. District Court.” Payment of $60 shall be made within ten days to Plaintiff to cover costs incurred in preparing and delivering his settlement statement, as well as preparing for and attending the settlement conference. Mr. Crosby shall submit proof of payment to the undersigned Judge’s chambers within five days of payment.

 

FN8. By way of example, the Eighth Circuit has upheld sanctions of $4,341.25 in similar circumstances. See Nick, 270 F.3d at 594, 597 (affirming sanctions under Federal Rule 16(f) and local rule similar to Local Rule IA 4–1, consisting of $506.25 in settlement conference fees, $2,275 in attorney’s fees, $1,500 in court fine, and $60 in costs to plaintiff, based on the party appearing at settlement conference with representative with limited settlement authority and failing to prepare a settlement memorandum).

 

IV. CONCLUSION

*5 For the reasons discussed above, the Court hereby DISCHARGES the order to show cause as to Defendant KRD Trucking West and SANCTIONS Mr. Crosby personally in the amount of $560, pursuant to Federal Rule 16(f) and Local Rule IA 4–1.

 

IT IS SO ORDERED.

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