Is a Plaintiff’s Immigration Status Relevant In a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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The United States District Court recently issued an interesting decision in an Illinois personal injury case. In Zuniga v. Morris Material Handling, Inc., 2011 WL 663136 (N.D.N.Y 2011), the plaintiff was injured while working at a construction site when the hoist assembly of an overhead crane fell and struck him. Zuniga sought recovery of expenses for medical expenses, damages for pain and suffering and compensation for loss of earnings and loss of future earning capacity as a result of the injuries he sustained from the incident.

During the deposition, Zuniga was asked about his immigration status in relation to his wage claim. Zuniga asserted his Fifth Amendment privileges and refused to answer that line of questioning. This motion followed, in which the defendant sought to compel Zuniga to answer the immigration-related questions.

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