Citing deposition delays, ex-Bayonne worker suing city seeking default judgement


Citing deposition delays that go back to December, a former Bayonne City Hall employee is seeking default judgement in her hostile work environment case.

Twitter photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

In a 40-page motion to strike answers and enter default filed this afternoon, Juan Cervantes, counsel for Sincerrae Ross, notes that the lawsuit was filed in December 2019 and the court ruled to have depositions move forward in December 2022.

The lawsuit asserts that City Hall was “a sexually charged hostile work environment and a culture of sex within the work place.”

Cervantes further claims that the defendants, have gone out of their way to drag the case out since then, and while a trial date is set for October 24th, a ruling now is justified.

“Depositions of three individual Defendants were completed on April 18, 2023, and April 19, 2023; the deposition of individual Defendant Linda Vanderweeden began on April 19, 2023, however the deposition was suspended when the witness did not return from a break she requested after being shown a video of an incident that occurred between her and the Plaintiff,” he wrote.

“Counsel for Defendants indicated that Defendant Vanderweeden had a ‘health emergency,’ but no further information has since been provided. Thereafter, counsel for Defendants advised that the three witnesses that were scheduled to appear on April 20, 2023, would be unavailable to sit for depositions.”

While Vanderweeden, a parking enforcement supervisor who was Ross’ boss, Mayor Jimmy Davis, former Business Administrator Terrence Malloy, and four others had deposition dates scheduled in April, May, and June (with some also in February and March), none have happened yet.

“Counsel for Defendants, without providing exceptional circumstances, advised that none of the noticed Defendants would appear for deposition on these dates. Perhaps most egregiously, on each day prior to the date of scheduled depositions the undersigned was not informed that no Defendants intended to appear until after 4:30 p.m., despite the undersigned requesting confirmation in the morning,” Cervantes wrote.

“It is believed that the delay in informing the undersigned until late in the day was an underhanded tactic to further frustrate the Plaintiff while demonstrating Defendants’ complete lack of indifference to this matter … It is respectfully submitted that Defendants are out of opportunities to make amends for their conduct.”

Hudson County Superior Court Judge Joseph Turula will decide if the circumstances necessitates striking the answers and ruling for default summary for the plaintiff.

Bayonne officials could not be reached on Friday, but it has regularly been the city’s position that they do not comment on pending litigation.

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