Judge Ezra Dismisses Retaliatory Claim After Finding that Admission in Deposition Was a Binding Judicial Admission

Garcia v. EHealthScreenings, L.L.C., et al., No. SA:12-CV-1213-DAE (W.D. Tex. February 7, 2014)(Ezra, D.)

Plaintiff brought suit alleging that defendants engaged in retaliatory behavior in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act after plaintiff inquired about her legal right to overtime pay. Order at pp. 1-3. Defendants moved for partial summary judgment, arguing that plaintiff admitted in her deposition that she “never thought that Mr. Morgese was retaliating against [her]” and this admission precludes plaintiff from pursuing any claims for retaliation against Defendant Morgese. Id. at 8. In response, plaintiff argued that her admission only demonstrates that she did not think Defendant Morgese retaliated against her after she was terminated, supporting this contention with an affidavit. Id.

In determining whether the plaintiff’s admission in her sworn deposition was a judicial admission (which is binding) or an evidentiary admission (which she may later attempt to contradict or explain), the Court relied on Martinez v. Bally’s La., Inc., 244 F.3d 474, 476–77 (5th Cir. 2001) and Johnson v. Idexx Labs., Inc., No. 3:06-CV-381-M, 2007 WL 1650416, at *1 (N.D. Tex. June 4, 2007). The Court found that the plaintiff’s testimony constituted a binding judicial admission because it was “clear, unambiguous, and intentional” and plaintiff did not provide any independent purpose explaining why she made this statement. Id. at 11-12. Therefore, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendant Morgese.