Former U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner has been unsuccessful in his attempt to dismiss a lawsuit brought against him by an Indiana man, Brian Vukadinovich. Vukadinovich claims that Posner owes him $170,000 for his work at the Posner Center of Justice for Pro Se’s, a center for self-represented litigants that was founded by Posner.
On Monday, September 25, 2023, U.S. District Judge Theresa Springmann in Hammond, Indiana, adopted the recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Joshua Kolar to reject Posner’s arguments. Posner had claimed that Vukadinovich waited too long to file the lawsuit and that he could not be held personally liable. However, Springmann ruled that it was unclear from Vukadinovich’s complaint when the payments were due and that further evidence was required to determine whether the statute of limitations applied.
Vukadinovich alleged that Posner recruited him to work at the center in 2018, offering him an annual salary of $120,000 as the co-executive director. Posner personally guaranteed Vukadinovich’s salary, regardless of the financial condition of the center. However, Posner failed to pay Vukadinovich the full amount owed, resulting in the $170,000 claim.
Posner’s legal team argued that Posner was not legally capable of entering into any agreement due to a confirmed diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. However, their motion to dismiss focused on other grounds, including the statute of limitations.
Springmann sided with Vukadinovich, stating that he had plausibly alleged that Posner entered into an oral contract with him in March 2018, which included a personal guarantee. Springmann noted that, at this stage of the proceedings, the allegations of Posner’s personal liability should be assumed to be true.
Posner had also argued that any contract formed was with the center and not with him personally. However, Springmann agreed with Judge Kolar’s assessment that Vukadinovich had sufficiently alleged a personal contract with Posner.
The ruling by Judge Springmann allows the lawsuit to proceed, with further evidence and arguments to be presented in court.
The case highlights the legal dispute between Vukadinovich and Posner over the alleged unpaid salary, and the court’s decision indicates that Vukadinovich’s claims have merit and warrant further examination.
Posner is a retired judge from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He joined the court in 1981 after being appointed by President Ronald Reagan and served on the court until his retirement from judicial service in September 2017. His info can be found on ballotpedia.org.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.