Skip to main content

Can the opposing attorney ask questions about my workers comp case during discovery in my civil case?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have a worker's comp claim that was initiated a few months prior to my being terminated from my job. I have a wrongful termination and discrimination suit against my employer as a result of my termination. During discovery in the civil case, the opposing attorney began asking questions regarding my workers comp case. This attorney has a history of mixing the two cases (during my workers comp depo they asked my about my termination and at one point the civil attorney tried to settle the workers comp case with the attorney handling my civil case.) Is this commingling of the cases allowed?

Attorney Answers 7

Posted

The short answer is yes. Both cases are against your employer and both cases have similar facts from which they arose. The question in each case is whether the scope of the deposition allows questions of the sort being asked. Discovery rights are very broad. But you have two attorneys, I assume, one for each case. It is always best to address questions about the law and the facts of your cases to your own attorneys.

Mark as helpful

7 lawyers agree

Posted

I agree w Ms Harris. Yes they can because the two are intertwined

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by providing feedback that the answer was either "helpful" or "best answer" as appropriate. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Connell is a Colorado attorney licensed in only that state. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Posted

If your attorneys do not object then the questioning is allowed. This is a procedural and evidentiary issue that you should discuss with your attorneys.

Depositions are quite broad and designed to probe into evidence which could lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.
Since both of your cases arise from on the job incidents your attorneys probably didn't object to the interrogation. But again this should be addessed to your two attorneys who are familiar with your claims rather than strangers.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Posted

I agree with Ms. Harris & Mr. Connell. The questions may go to your motivation.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

My colleagues are correct. The attorney can ask any questions that might lead to relevant evidence. If your attorney didn't object then there probably wasn't an issue.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Posted

There is most likely a "common nucleus of operative fact" between the two matters. Discovery is broad in civil and in WC, so the questions were probably allowable. Be aware, however, that settlement of one case could potentially interfere with the other, so make sure both of your lawyers are communicating. Whenever I have a wrongful termination case mixed with a WC case, I work with the other employment lawyer and try to reach global settlements whenever possible.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

I agree with the others. I would also suggest you discuss this with your attorney(s) and make sure they are coordinating efforts between the two cases in your best interests.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Employment topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics