McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
The Algonquin Township Clerk, Karen Lukasik, filed a counter-claim against the Township Road District Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser and Township Supervisor Chuck Lutzow. Now, after being served in Discovery, she is attempting to enrich herself and withdraw the case which had moved into the Discovery phase of litigation.
Discovery is a keyword. It appears a word that has a few folks a little nervous based on rapid attempts to settle and withdraw their case. Discovery is where the real fact finding takes place and depositions are taken.
Rob Hanlon, the Attorney for the Road District, noticed up several names for deposition, and it appears one, in particular, is what rocked Lukasik into wanting to withdraw her case. Of those listed to be deposed was Lukasik's Husband and Son. Once the notice was served, Lukasik, according to those in the Township, was frantic and mad and demanded to know how Hanlon got her son's name. I guess she never read her own counter-complaint of which she included her family members names. (See page 4, paragraph 6)
What is so interesting with this chain of events is the timeline.
- 5/29/19 5:24 pm - Hanlon sends David McArdle e-mail listing witnesses that he wishes to depose.
- 5/29/19 5:25 pm - Hanlon's office propounds discovery on Lukasik and others, here, here, and here.
- 5/30/19 8:30 am - Inquiries are made as to how Hanlon's office knows the identity of Lukasik's son.
- ??? David McArdle proposes a settlement with monetary amounts to James Kelly.
- 5/30/19 NWH reports demands made by Lukasik for money.
So basically within 24 hrs of notice of Deposition and other Discovery steps being served, Lukasik wants to withdraw her case.
Not so fast
Supreme Court Rule 219(e) might be something Lukasik and her attorney might want to review. While you would have thought they would have done that prior to proposing an improper settlement agreement to the Township, we are not surprised this may have been overlooked.
Rule 219. Consequences of Refusal to Comply with Rules or Order Relating to Discovery or Pretrial Conferences
(e) Voluntary Dismissals and Prior Litigation. A party shall not be permitted to avoid compliance with discovery deadlines, orders or applicable rules by voluntarily dismissing a lawsuit. In establishing discovery deadlines and ruling on permissible discovery and testimony, the court shall consider discovery undertaken (or the absence of same), any misconduct, and orders entered in prior litigation involving a party. The court may, in addition to the assessment of costs, require the party voluntarily dismissing a claim to pay an opposing party or parties reasonable expenses incurred in defending the action including but not limited to discovery expenses, expert witness fees, reproduction costs, travel expenses, postage, and phone charges.
Considering discovery was issued, it would appear the deadlines that go along with those matters would mean Lukasik and her family may well have no option but to comply with that discovery, even if she does withdraw her case.
If she does withdraw, the courts may require her, in this case, the Township, to pay for reasonable expenses. Now wouldn't that be interesting?
Considering we are hearing settlement rumblings in the Miller case as well, it would appear the "rats" may well be trying to run from future discovery, and no, we are not talking about Andrew Gasser.
Stay tuned for more updates as they develop.