Bates v. AndersonAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff filed a complaint against a law firm and its attorneys (Defendants), alleging that Defendants committed legal malpractice when they advised Plaintiff, their former client, to sign a release with an insurer regarding his underlying suit arising from a vehicle accident. Defendants served discovery requests on Plaintiff, but Plaintiff’s responses to the requests for admission were not timely. Defendants moved for summary judgment based in large part on the fact that the requests for admission had not been timely answered and deemed admitted. Plaintiff filed a motion to withdraw or amend his admissions. The district court denied Plaintiff's motion, concluding that while granting Plaintiff’s motion would subserve the presentation of the merits of his case, it would prejudice Defendants. The court then granted summary judgment for Defendants. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to allow Plaintiff to withdraw or amend his admissions, as nothing in the record showed Defendants suffered prejudice sufficient to bar amendment of Plaintiff’s admissions. Remanded.