Smith v. Cogswell Cogs

Wrongful discharge from employment

PRIVATE CLIENT DASHBOARD

LATEST UPDATE: 3.5.2018 Return To Login Page

COUNTDOWN TO TRIAL:

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

CAPTIONED PARTIES

Jane P. Smith,

Plaintiff 

v.

Samuel T. CogswellAnnabel R. Cogswell; and Cogswell Cogs, Inc.

Defendants

KEY CASE DATA

Court: Arapahoe County, Colorado

Case No. 2015-CV-13579

Claim No.87654-ABCD-112233

Date of Loss: November 23, 2015

Case Type: Employment

Client Contact: Jo Bulow (303) 748-5021

Adjuster: Igkotha Chekbuk 

KEY DEADLINES

Joinders & Amendments: August 15, 2017

Motions In Limine: December 15, 2017

Fact Discovery Cutoff: January 1, 2017

Expert Deposition Cutoff: February 30, 2017

ADR Deadline: October 18, 2017

Dispositive Motions: November 29, 2017

Jury Instructions: September 1, 2018

Trial (5 days): September 20, 2018

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

The deposition of Milton Nowidal, Plaintiff’s expert economist, was taken on November 15, 2015 at the offices of Plaintiff’s attorney, Berkely Drekslinger. The deposition went well, in that Mr. Nowidal stated that Plaintiff is making twice in her job with Spacely Sprockets what she had earned with Cogswell Cogs.
Read summary below

CASE SYNOPSIS

This is an employment dispute arising out of the termination of claimant, who worked as a manager in the Accounting Department of Cogswell Cogs, Inc. She was fired after being placed on written probation for 30 days after she slapped her supervisor, John Rougecheek in front of two witnesses. She claims that Mr. Rougecheek created a hostile workplace by making sexually suggestive comments to her during a firm social gathering. Witnesses to the exchange dispute her testimony. No prior complaints have ever been received by Cogswell Cogs management about Mr. Rougecheek, and there are a number of unusual events in Plaintiff’s history that cast doubt upon her credibility. Cogswell Cogs has a “zero tolerance” policy regarding sexual harassment, and has never had any EEOC or civil complaints filed against it in relation to employment matters, despite being in business for over 100 years.

FACTUAL DETAILS

The Plaintiff is a 21-year old veteran of the U.S. Army with a longstanding diagnosis of PTSD (per Army psychiatrists) resulting from extended combat operations, including two tours in Viet Nam. She has no criminal history, however she has been arrested for assault on two occasions following her termination from employment with Cogswell Cogs, Inc. She was initially hired into the mail-room as a clerk, but quickly spotted a number of irregularities in the check-processing procedures of the company. She was then promoted to the post of Vice President of Accounting, over the objections of several of the other mail-room clerical staffers, who complained that they had been “framed” or “set up” in connection with the allegations of check theft.

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.

CHRONOLOGY

March 1, 2011 Plaintiff commences employment with Cogswell Cogs as a clerk in the mail room.
April 3, 2012 Plaintiff is promoted to Accounting Assistant, Level 1
December 23, 2012 Plaintiff admonished for temperamental outbursts and fowl language
May 1, 2013 Cogswell Cogs implements anti-workplace hostility program
September 20, 2013 Plaintiff voluntarily enters treatment program for anger management as part of inter-office counseling program
April 3, 2014 Plaintiff is promoted to V.P. of Accounting
April 19, 2014 Plaintiff slaps supervisor, John Rougecheek, in front of two witnesses: Sally Slithers and Mark Marquette.
July 22, 2014 Plaintiff placed on probation by Human Resources Director Ima Bossafolks
 August 1, 2015 Plaintiff is terminated for cause from her employment with Cogswell Cogs, Inc.

 

CASE STRATEGY

The Plaintiff is a 21-year old veteran of the U.S. Army with a longstanding diagnosis of PTSD (per Army psychiatrists) resulting from extended combat operations, including two tours in Viet Nam. She has no criminal history, however she has been arrested for assault on two occasions following her termination from employment with Cogswell Cogs, Inc. She was initially hired into the mail-room as a clerk, but quickly spotted a number of irregularities in the check-processing procedures of the company. She was then promoted to the post of Vice President of Accounting, over the objections of several of the other mail-room clerical staffers, who complained that they had been “framed” or “set up” in connection with the allegations of check theft.

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.

EXPERT WITNESSES

PLAINTIFF EXPERTS:

Mlton Nowidal (Economist):  

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.

DEFENSE EXPERTS:

Hannibal Lecter (Psychiatrist): 

Dr. Lecter is a renowned psychiatrist with a world-wide reputation, who has opined that the Plaintiff is clinically insane. He has further opined that she suffers from a recognized syndrome know as “depressive antisocial sado-gratism,” which in lay terms means that the person has learned to process any uncomfortable social or professional situations by launching an over-the-top attack to both distract and dissuade others from placing the subject in any kind of uncomfortable situation. 

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.

PENDING MOTIONS

 

DEFENSE MOTIONS:
  1. Motion to compel production of Plaintiff’s psychiatric records (filed 2-28-2016)
  2. Motion for protective order related to depositions by Plaintiff’s counsel of corporate employee witnesses (unfiled, being drafted)
PLAINTIFF MOTIONS:
  1. Motion for leave to withdraw (by Sol Goodman’s predecessor counsel) (filed 6-21-2016)

COURT ORDERS

  • Order Permitting Plaintiff’s Counsel To Appear Pro Hac Vice (7-3-2015)  See Order
  • Order Denying Motion To Amend To Assert Punitive Damages (8-22-2015)  See Order
  • Order Granting Defense Motion for Cost Bond (9-1-2015)  See Order
  • Order Granting Defendant’s Motion To Compel Plaintiff To Undergo Independent Psychiatric Examination (10-11-2015)  See Order
OPPOSING COUNSEL
Saul Goodman is a relatively experienced personal injury and criminal defense lawyer. He tends to settle rather than try cases; knowledge of this propensity can drastically undercut his negotiation strategy, for it is generally safe to “call his bluff.” He is suspected to have close ties to organized crime, drug dealers in particular. He is rather vain, seemingly preoccupied with his personal appearance. His license to practice law has been suspended on more than one occasion. Opposing counsel bio
JURY DEMOGRAPHICS

Jury pools in Arapahoe county tend to be widely varied in their occupational and educational backgrounds, but in general tend to be largely Republican voters of better than average education, particularly when compared with juries in downtown Denver.

Compared to jury pools nationally, they tend to be mildly conservative, and tend to be better than juries in southern states at separating their emotional reactions from their analysis of facts and application of the law read to them by the court.

The Arapahoe County jury pools are derived from voter registration and drivers license databases. No juror in Arapahoe County is required to serve more than once in any calendar year, and those who are summoned tend to receive summonses every 3 to 5 years.

CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS:

Deposition of Cogswell Rule 30(b)(6) designees: March 2-4, 2015

Deposition of John Rougecheek: April 15, 2016

Deposition of Plaintiff’s expert economist: June 1, 2015

Deposition of Plaintiff’s husband, John Smith: October 18, 2015

Hearing on motion to compel psychiatric records: December 22, 2018

Deposition of Plaintiff’s psychotherapist: November 23, 2015

 

SETTLEMENT

Plaintiff’s latest demand is $225,000.
Defense counsel extended written offer of settlement of $12,000 on June 6, 2014.
Defense counsel believes that there is a 70% likelihood of a defense verdict. Recommends cost-of-defense only; Cogswell’s in-house counsel is not inclined to offer cost of defense in employment cases due to concerns of adverse precedent and “copycat” litigation.
INSURANCE

PRIMARY:

Fifthwright Ins. Co.

CGL/EPLI Claims made coverage (12/2/14-12/2/14)

Policy No. 123-456789-AB/C

$1M/$2M limit

Punitive damage exclusion

$50K Self-Insured Retention

 

EXCESS:

Slammer’s Mutual Ins. Co.

Policy No. 76654

Follow-form excess

Policy No. 38177617939992887/282

$10M CSL

Punitive damage exclusion

 

UMBRELLA:

Laxity Carriers of The Balkans, LTD

Broad form excesss/umbrella

Occurrence (12/2/14-12/2/14)(***likely not applicable***)

Policy No. 12

$100M limit

Exhaustion requirement for primary & excess

Covers punitive damages where allowed by law

 

BUDGET
Case Assessment, Development and Administration: Total:  $135,000.00
Fact Investigation  20,000.00
Analysis/Strategy 25,000.00
Experts/Consultants 20,000.00
Settlement 20,000.00
Other Case Activity 50,000.00
Pre-Trial Pleadings and Motions: Total:  $90,000.00
Pleadings        15,000.00
Preliminary Injunctions  5,000.00
Court Mandated Conferences        30,000.00
Dispositive Motions 20,000.00
Other Written Motions and Submissions       20,000.00
Discovery: Total:  $140,000.00
Written Discovery 45,000.00
Document Production 20,000.00
Depositions 15,000.00
Expert Discovery 15,000.00
Discovery Motions 15,000.00
Document Review 30,000.00
Trial Preparation and Trial: Total: 146,500.00
Fact Witnesses  7,000.00
Expert Witnesses 10,000.00
Written motions and Submissions 19,500.00
Other Trial Preparation 15,000.00
Trial and Hearing Attendance 80,000.00
Post-Trial Motions and Submissions 15,000.00
Expenses (itemized): Total: 37,500.00
Out of Town Travel 16,000.00
Online Research 3,000.00
Litigation Support Vendors 2,000.00
Postage/Delivery 200.00
Deposition Transcripts 5,000.00
Expert Witness Fees 35,000
Mediation Fees 10,000.00
Copies 1,000.00
Jury Fees 300.00

 

Selected Summaries

Deposition of Milton Nowidal (2-17-2016)
The deposition of Milton Nowidal, Plaintiff’s expert economist, was taken on November 15, 2015 at the offices of Plaintiff’s attorney, Berkely Drekslinger. The deposition went well, in that Mr. Nowidal stated that Plaintiff is making twice in her job with Spacely Sprockets what she had earned with Cogswell Cogs. Mr. Nowidal’s deposition was successful, in that we were able to elicit a number of key admissions that will facilitate his cross-examination at trial. For example, he admitted that he was on the grassy knoll on November 22, 1963, and that he had fired a rifle round directly at the presidential motorcade. While this has little to do with the economic losses sustained by Ms. Smith is the result of her allegedly wrongful termination from employment, the submission will cast Mr. Nowidal in an unfavorable light in the eyes of the jury. To make matters worse for him, he remains under indictment under a number of criminal counts, including discharging a firearm within city limits, conspiracy to commit treason, and perjury. The perjury charge will probably be the only criminal charge that is admissible under the Court’s prior rulings. Nunc nam pretium sociis sodales luctus aenean. Commodo amet, lacus odio quam vel aptent proin semper, feugiat sed, sit tellus blandit nibh, mauris porttitor nisl non. Maecenas sem elit, dapibus quis a molestie eget lobortis sed, augue ad vestibulum, elit nec. Quam lorem amet non, tellus eu ante metus dolor sed, odio fusce, lorem rhoncus condimentum enim feugiat blandit tincidunt. Vulputate porta aliquam volutpat dolor urna dignissim. Tempus tempus, pede felis arcu interdum aliquam gravida venenatis, quis class vitae interdum tellus imperdiet. At nunc eget cras dui vestibulum sociis, ligula sed quis vivamus pede mattis vestibulum, lorem iaculis qui ac sed semper, euismod conubia amet placerat, molestie sed donec euismod aliquet. Nunc elit adipiscing. Gravida tincidunt facilisi pellentesque sed nullam a, amet vel sit massa vivamus. Aliquam etiam enim erat ac fringilla, maecenas ultrices praesent risus, molestie lorem natoque in donec proin amet. Lobortis a, nec risus donec lorem vestibulum, vel est vero ligula donec, ligula ac suspendisse sit, sem maecenas eros integer. Sed vulputate ut facilisi. Lobortis lectus, sed faucibus, neque facilisis nunc. Fermentum sodales, cras in eu et, vivamus laoreet fermentum tempus per. Nec quisque nec mauris lorem rutrum, nonummy cras, accusamus donec vel inceptos sollicitudin. Sodales sollicitudin. Sit eget neque magna. Feugiat ipsum consectetuer in massa. Condimentum justo, molestie in ac vivamus eleifend omnis, arcu sapien ligula in donec. Purus vivamus placerat proin suscipit viverra in, nostra vehicula scelerisque sed sapien, mauris tincidunt scelerisque amet. Ad sodales vitae, justo pharetra gravida id mauris vestibulum a, scelerisque sem eleifend.
Hearing on motion to compel (4-16-2016)

A hearing on our pending motion to compel plaintiff’s diary was conducted by the court on February 16, 2016. At the outset of the hearing, the court appeared to be somewhat antagonistic towards our motion, questioning why we needed private information such as a personal diary. When we explained to the court that the information was necessary because of our earlier discovery of the plaintiff’s Facebook page, in which she posted a brief excerpt from her diary contending that she was “milking the legal system,” and “expecting to make a killing,” the court appeared satisfied that we had adequate grounds to obtain information. The court’s next inquiry was whether or not the information was inherently privileged, and if so, whether the privilege had been waived by the plaintiff’s posting of the information on Facebook.

Mr. Nowidal’s deposition was successful, in that we were able to elicit a number of key admissions that will facilitate his cross-examination at trial. For example, he admitted that he was on the grassy knoll on November 22, 1963, and that he had fired a rifle round directly at the presidential motorcade. While this has little to do with the economic losses sustained by Ms. Smith is the result of her allegedly wrongful termination from employment, the submission will cast Mr. Nowidal in an unfavorable light in the eyes of the jury. To make matters worse for him, he remains under indictment under a number of criminal counts, including discharging a firearm within city limits, conspiracy to commit treason, and perjury. The perjury charge will probably be the only criminal charge that is admissible under the Court’s prior rulings.

Nunc nam pretium sociis sodales luctus aenean. Commodo amet, lacus odio quam vel aptent proin semper, feugiat sed, sit tellus blandit nibh, mauris porttitor nisl non. Maecenas sem elit, dapibus quis a molestie eget lobortis sed, augue ad vestibulum, elit nec. Quam lorem amet non, tellus eu ante metus dolor sed, odio fusce, lorem rhoncus condimentum enim feugiat blandit tincidunt. Vulputate porta aliquam volutpat dolor urna dignissim. Tempus tempus, pede felis arcu interdum aliquam gravida venenatis, quis class vitae interdum tellus imperdiet. At nunc eget cras dui vestibulum sociis, ligula sed quis vivamus pede mattis vestibulum, lorem iaculis qui ac sed semper, euismod conubia amet placerat, molestie sed donec euismod aliquet. Nunc elit adipiscing. Gravida tincidunt facilisi pellentesque sed nullam a, amet vel sit massa vivamus.

Aliquam etiam enim erat ac fringilla, maecenas ultrices praesent risus, molestie lorem natoque in donec proin amet. Lobortis a, nec risus donec lorem vestibulum, vel est vero ligula donec, ligula ac suspendisse sit, sem maecenas eros integer. Sed vulputate ut facilisi. Lobortis lectus, sed faucibus, neque facilisis nunc. Fermentum sodales, cras in eu et, vivamus laoreet fermentum tempus per. Nec quisque nec mauris lorem rutrum, nonummy cras, accusamus donec vel inceptos sollicitudin. Sodales sollicitudin. Sit eget neque magna. Feugiat ipsum consectetuer in massa. Condimentum justo, molestie in ac vivamus eleifend omnis, arcu sapien ligula in donec. Purus vivamus placerat proin suscipit viverra in, nostra vehicula scelerisque sed sapien, mauris tincidunt scelerisque amet. Ad sodales vitae, justo pharetra gravida id mauris vestibulum a, scelerisque sem eleifend.

Deposition of John Rougecheek (12-15-2015)

 

The deposition of John Rougecheek (Plaintiff’s supervisor at Cogswell Cogs) was taken on December 15, 2015 by counsel for the Plaintiff. As expected,

Executive Summary

As expected, Mr. Rougecheek was an excellent witness. Most of the questions put to him during the deposition related to the incident that occurred on April 19, when she slapped Mr. Rougecheek in front of three other employee witnesses. Mr. Rougecheek clearly and convincingly explained how unexpected the slapping incident erupted, credibly explaining that there was no provocation whatsoever for Plaintiff’s assault on him. Mr. Rougecheek appeared for his deposition with a photo that his wife had taken of his face immediately after Ms. Smith slapped him.

During the deposition, Ms. Smith’s attorney, Mr. Goodman, had several temperamental outbursts, which all appeared to defense counsel as mere theatrics, but which Mr. Goodman later attributed to “not taking meds.” The outbursts were clearly recorded on the deposition video (at least the audio portions of the same), and the defense anticipates seeking a protective order before any further employee witnesses are deposed by Mr. Goodman. The mere pendency of such a motion may deter Mr. Goodman from taking further depositions, and may have an influence on the settlement value of the claim.

Details of Deposition

Nunc nam pretium sociis sodales luctus aenean. Commodo amet, lacus odio quam vel aptent proin semper, feugiat sed, sit tellus blandit nibh, mauris porttitor nisl non. Maecenas sem elit, dapibus quis a molestie eget lobortis sed, augue ad vestibulum, elit nec. Quam lorem amet non, tellus eu ante metus dolor sed, odio fusce, lorem rhoncus condimentum enim feugiat blandit tincidunt. Vulputate porta aliquam volutpat dolor urna dignissim. Tempus tempus, pede felis arcu interdum aliquam gravida venenatis, quis class vitae interdum tellus imperdiet. At nunc eget cras dui vestibulum sociis, ligula sed quis vivamus pede mattis vestibulum, lorem iaculis qui ac sed semper, euismod conubia amet placerat, molestie sed donec euismod aliquet. Nunc elit adipiscing. Gravida tincidunt facilisi pellentesque sed nullam a, amet vel sit massa vivamus.

Aliquam etiam enim erat ac fringilla, maecenas ultrices praesent risus, molestie lorem natoque in donec proin amet. Lobortis a, nec risus donec lorem vestibulum, vel est vero ligula donec, ligula ac suspendisse sit, sem maecenas eros integer. Sed vulputate ut facilisi. Lobortis lectus, sed faucibus, neque facilisis nunc. Fermentum sodales, cras in eu et, vivamus laoreet fermentum tempus per. Nec quisque nec mauris lorem rutrum, nonummy cras, accusamus donec vel inceptos sollicitudin. Sodales sollicitudin. Sit eget neque magna. Feugiat ipsum consectetuer in massa. Condimentum justo, molestie in ac vivamus eleifend omnis, arcu sapien ligula in donec. Purus vivamus placerat proin suscipit viverra in, nostra vehicula scelerisque sed sapien, mauris tincidunt scelerisque amet. Ad sodales vitae, justo pharetra gravida id mauris vestibulum a, scelerisque sem eleifend.

Plaintiff's Bio

Jane P. Smith

Biographical Data

Jane P. Smith

Born: September 22, 1991, Cheyenne, WY
Education: B.S. Accounting, Lolita Univ. 2010
Marital status: Single
Children: None
Current occupation: cocktail waitress at Hooligans Bar & Meat Market
Current income: $19,500 plus tips (est’d $24K/yr)
Attorney: Saul Goodman

 

Jane Smith was raised in a series of foster homes and a home for delinquent children in the small town of Black Eye, Wyoming (pop. 39). She was arrested several times during her youth, but has no criminal record as an adult. She apparently had several juvenile convictions, but her record was expunged according to her former boyfriend, Luke Slikaladiewhom she has not seen in several years. She was adopted at age two and then abandoned by her adoptive parents, Mildred Smith and Jedediah Smith, whose current whereabouts are unknown but who are believed to have emigrated to South America to avoid extradition in relation to pending arrest warrants that were issued in 1990. The true names of her biological parents are also unknown, as her adoption records have been sealed.

Train accident. At age 16, she was hit by a slow-moving train that she was trying to board illegally in a rail yard at Rock Springs, Wyoming, during an attempt to run away. She retained her current attorney to bring a FELA claim against the railroad and obtained a settlement of undisclosed amount, which was evidently sufficient to permit her to become instantly financially independent. She moved out of the foster home in Black Eye and rented an apartment in Denver, Colorado, where she resides to this day.

Alleged involvement in bank robbery. In 2012, at age 23, Smith was briefly taken hostage by two armed robbers in a failed attempt to rob the First Federal Bank & Loan (Southwestern Aurora Branch). She was dragged at gunpoint to a blue van waiting in the parking lot, at which point the assailants removed their stocking caps and offered her a cigarette, which she accepted. She stood with the gunmen, smoking and laughing, as patrol cars arrived. At that point, she dropped her cigarette and began to cry, claiming that she had “never been so fearful for her life.” Local law enforcement personnel have stated in candid interviews with Godfrey | Johnson lawyers that she was a suspect in the robbery attempt, but that a decision not to prosecute her was made by the assistant district attorney.

Litigation history: Ms. Smith has been involved in three lawsuits as a defendant. All three cases were filed in the month of February, 2013, and all three of these cases arose out of a party stunt in which she was involved at a fundraising dinner sponsored by the Denver Museum of Culture. The complaints alleged that Ms. Smith spent a few minutes mingling in the lobby where the reception was being held, and while initiating conversations with various guests, she held up her hand to show the person with whom she was speaking that she had gotten a deep cut on her hand when she broke a champagne flute in her hand. Without warning, she smeared some blood on the other person’s arm or face. After three of these rude encounters, she brought the room to silence by clinking a spoon against the punch bowl. When she had the attention of the room, she announced that she had contracted AIDS, and cried out, “Now several of you are infected!” A few minutes later, she left the room and the party broke up early. The three persons she had smeared with her allegedly tainted blood later filed suit against her for intentional interference with emotional distress. The cases were stayed by stipulation on the basis of her purported involvement as a defendant in anticipated prosecution and her announced intention to invoke her 5th Amendment privileges. The cases were later dismissed voluntarily. No settlement amounts were paid, and it is not known how she persuaded the plaintiffs in those actions to dismiss the matters.

Mental health history: A motion to compel is pending on the issue of the production of her mental health records.