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Kumar v. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

June 25, 2019

MOHIT KUMAR, Plaintiff,
v.
TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS

          JAMES PATRICK HANLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Two years ago, Mohit Kumar filed a complaint alleging Tata Consultancy Services Limited discriminated against him because of his nationality. Since then, Mr. Kumar has not responded to discovery, appeared for his depositions, responded to motions, or provided a settlement demand. Tata has moved to dismiss this case. Because Mr. Kumar has failed participate in the case in violation of two Court orders, the Court GRANTS the motion and DISMISSES the case with prejudice. Dkt. [53].

         I. Facts and Background

          Mr. Kumar alleges that Tata terminated his employment and retaliated against him because of his nationality. Dkt. 1 at 4; dkt. 1-1. After filing his pro se complaint in May 2017, Mr. Kumar retained counsel from November 2017 until March 2018. Since March 2018, Mr. Kumar has again litigated the case pro se. Dkt. 14; dkt. 40.

         During an August 2018 status conference, Magistrate Judge Lynch ordered Mr. Kumar to promptly submit a written settlement proposal to Tata. Dkt. 45; dkt. 54-1 ¶ 4. A month later, Mr. Kumar called Tata's counsel, asking what the case “might settle for.” Dkt. 54-1 ¶ 5. Tata's counsel reminded Mr. Kumar that he was required to make the initial settlement offer. Id. Mr. Kumar, however, never made a settlement demand. Id. ¶ 6.

         Shortly before this conversation, Tata served interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and a deposition notice on Mr. Kumar. Dkt. 48-1; dkt. 48-2. Mr. Kumar did not respond to the written discovery and never appeared for his deposition. Dkt. 48 ¶¶ 2-3, 5; dkt. 54 at 2. Mr. Kumar never communicated with Tata about rescheduling his deposition and never requested an extension on the written discovery. Dkt. 48 ¶ 6; dkt. 54 at 2.

         Tata then filed a motion to compel, dkt. 48; Mr. Kumar never responded. Magistrate Judge Lynch granted the motion and ordered Mr. Kumar to attend his deposition and respond to the discovery. Dkt. 50. She also warned Mr. Kumar that “if he fails to comply with this order and to participate in discovery, he is subject to sanctions, which may include the dismissal of his claims.” Id. (bold in original).

         Since that order, Mr. Kumar has not responded to any of Tata's written discovery requests. Dkt. 54-1 ¶ 7. In addition, Tata rescheduled Mr. Kumar's deposition and served him with an amended deposition notice. Dkt. 54-2. He never appeared for the rescheduled deposition. Dkt. 54-1 ¶ 7. He has not spoken with Tata's attorneys about the discovery or depositions. Id. ¶ 8.

         Tata filed a motion to dismiss Mr. Kumar's complaint because of his failure to participate in discovery or comply with the Court's orders. Dkt. 54. Mr. Kumar has not responded to that motion.

         II. Discussion

         Tata moved to dismiss Mr. Kumar's complaint under Rule 41(b) and Rule 37(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Both rules support dismissing this case.

         A. Rule 41(b)

         Tata argues that this case should be dismissed under Rule 41(b) because Mr. Kumar has violated deadlines set in Court orders and in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 41(b), a court may dismiss a case if “the plaintiff fails to prosecute or to comply with these rules or a court order.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b). Dismissal is a harsh sanction, so it is appropriate only “when there is a clear record of delay or contumacious conduct, or when other less drastic sanctions have proven unavailing.” Webber v. Eye Corp., 721 F.2d 1067, 1069 (7th Cir. 1983). Before dismissing under Rule 41(b), the Court should consider:

1. the frequency and magnitude of the plaintiff's failure to comply with deadlines for the ...

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