Nelson v. Schultz, No. 17-2092 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Nelson, Schultz, and Rodgers formed an LLC to develop a mixed‐use luxury skyscraper on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The LLC’s operating agreement provided that development fees would be divided among the LLC’s managers “as they mutually agree” and that a manager of the LLC could be removed for cause by a majority vote of its owners. In 2005, Rodgers and Schultz voted to remove Nelson, allegedly causing him a loss of $1.13 million on the Ritz‐Carlton Residences. Nelson sued for breach of contract and torts. During discovery Schultz and Rodgers asked Nelson to produce bank statements and tax returns, which, they said, they needed to defend against his claims. After Nelson refused, the district court granted the defendants’ motion to compel their production and warned Nelson, twice, that it would dismiss the case if he did not produce the documents or provide an affidavit documenting a diligent search for them. Nelson did neither. The Seventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of the case for want of prosecution, rejecting an argument that the district judge erred by not assessing whether his misconduct justified dismissing the case. The judge sufficiently evaluated the matter and did not abuse his discretion by dismissing the suit after multiple warnings.