Lawyer denies telling clerk to hold off disclosing jury note while he completed $25M settlement
A Chicago plaintiffs lawyer who completed a $25 million settlement after learning of a jury note indicating the possibility of a verdict favoring one of the defendants says he never told a court clerk to hold off disclosing the note to opposing counsel.
Lawyer Mark McNabola testified on Monday that he assumed a court clerk who told him about the note had given the same information to opposing counsel, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Accusations that he asked the clerk to delay disclosure are “a boldfaced lie,” he testified.
McNabola says he actually said this to the clerk: “We’re about to settle the case. Can you ask the judge if we can have a couple minutes?”
McNabola represents a plaintiff injured in a fall from a yacht made by the Brunswick Boat Group and operated by RQM. Brunswick had argued any problems with the boat were caused by RQM’s modifications. The jury note read: “Can we find fault with RQM without finding fault with Brunswick?”
The court clerk had denied disclosing the note’s contents to McNabola, but a law student employee said she overheard the clerk telling McNabola what it said. Lawyers for Brunswick say the company wouldn’t have settled if they were aware of the note.