Court Strikes Requests to Admit in Employment Discrimination Case

In Kong v. Morrison-Tennenbaum PLLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 30529(U), 156864/2016 (Sup. Ct. NY Cty. March 1, 2019), an employment discrimination case, the court determined that various “requests to admit” were improper.

Judge Chan discussed the parameters of this disclosure device:

A notice to admit “is to be used only for disposing of uncontroverted questions of fact or those that are easily provable, and not for the purpose of compelling
admission of fundamental and material issues or ultimate facts that can only be resolved after full trial” (Hawthrone Group v RE Ventures, 7 AD3d 320, 321 [1st
Dept 2004]; see New Image Construction, Inc. v TDR Enterprises, Inc., 74 AD3d 680 [1st Dept 2010]; Hodes v City of New York, 165 AD2d 168 [1st Dept 1991]). Thus, a
notice to admit is “designed to elicit admissions on matters which the requesting party ‘reasonably believes there can be no substantial dispute[.]

Here, the court noted that in a prior order, the court denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment, on the ground that there were “numerous disputed issues of fact … including whether Plaintiff was an independent contractor or employee of Defendant and whether Plaintiff resigned from or was terminated under pretext for some reason other than pregnancy.”

It concluded that defendants’ disputed requests to admit in went “to the heart of what is at issue in this matter and are stricken.”