Court of Federal Claims refuses DOJ's request to reopen discovery to investigate possible fraud defenses

by Ben Vernia | August 24th, 2010

On August 9, Chief Judge Emily Hewitt of the Court of Federal Claims denied the government’s motion to reopen fact discovery in order to investigate possible fraud defenses in a timber contract case, Croman Corp. v. United States. The company had claimed damages from the suspension of its logging rights due to the designation of an endangered species, and DOJ – following the 2009 decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Daewoo Eng’g & Const. Co. v. United States, 557 F.3d 1332 (Fed. Cir. 2009) – had moved to reopen discovery in order to determine whether the company’s claim that its sawmill received

The government had ample opportunity to investigate the allegations prior to the close of fact discovery, the Court reasoned, and had chosen not to do so for reasons of efficiency. In addition, Chief Judge Hewitt disagreed with the government’s argument that the circumstances of the case (including the company’s operation of its sawmill) warranted reopening discovery. The United States argued that discovery into the company’s subjective basis for its claim was necessary because there was no objective basis for its assertion that its sawmill had operated as less than full capacity during the time in question.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Recent Comments