by Abigail Crouse, Esq., Gray Plant Mooty, Minneapolis
“Can’t we sue them for this?” That’s the sentiment many employers express after being on the receiving end of a lawsuit that they think is based on untrue facts. Although it is never satisfying to be told “that wouldn’t be a good idea,” this is generally the right answer for various reasons.
First, any such counterclaim is unlikely to be successful unless there is a strong factual basis for the counterclaim.
Second, when faced with a lawsuit, it is important to determine an overall litigation strategy and theme early in the case. A decision to sue an employee may detract from an otherwise strong defense.
Third, a lawsuit or a counterclaim that is filed against an employee because the employer is angry about being sued may be considered retaliatory—and may, in and of itself, lead to additional liability.
Countersuit may be retaliation
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