Scruggs denies Steve Patterson cross-claim, also denies bribing DeLaughter

In November Steve Patterson filed a cross-claim against Scruggs in the Wilson case. NMC gives details of the claim here, and the claim can be found here.

In it Patterson’s attorney writes:

4. Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges that Scruggs is guilty of bribing Judge DeLaughter, and
defrauding the plaintiff, by and through Peters, and that those actions caused a favorable result in the
Wilson case. Patterson had no involvement at all in those circumstances other than introducing
Scruggs to the local counsel, Peters. Patterson received no funds, was not compensated in any way,
shape or form and is therefore guilty of no active negligence, but at most, passive negligence (which
he denies), and was completely unaware of the possibility that Scruggs would allegedly perform any
criminal act of any sort to bring potential liability upon himself and others.

However Scruggs responds:

4. The allegations contained in the first sentence of paragraph 4 are denied. Scruggs
lacks information sufficient to admit or deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 4.

In the next paragraph of Patterson’s cross-claim his lawyers write:

5. Scruggs, according to plaintiff, is allegedly guilty of the crimes charged to him in regard
to Judge DeLaughter and has pled guilty to some of the same. Therefore, by his own admission, he
is guilty of a crime which is one of the elements requiring common law indemnity in favor of
Patterson if Patterson had any vicarious responsibility. Of course, if Patterson has no liability to
Wilson, Scruggs is not required to indemnify Patterson. However, if Patterson is found to be liable
for any negligence, gross negligence or under any other theory that did not include his active
participation creating civil liability without Scruggs, and he is deemed to be vicariously liable only
because of Scruggs’ actions, then he is entitled to complete indemnity for any judgment, settlement,
attorney’s fees, costs and other consequential or punitive damages caused by cross-defendant,Scruggs.

To which Scruggs’ side responds in his answer:

5. The allegations contained in paragraph 5 are denied.

Patterson also then contends Scruggs breached a settlement agreement they reached while being transferred to Oxford for the DeLaughter trial. Here is what he wrote:

7. In July 2009, when Scruggs was being temporarily held in Atlanta, Georgia, where
Patterson and Scruggs were both in transition to Oxford, Mississippi as witnesses for the
DeLaughter trial, Scruggs, on repeated occasions, told Patterson that he was going to settle this case,
that he felt responsible for the case and that when he settled, he would pay sufficient funds to dismiss
all defendants, specifically including defendant, Patterson, and defendant, Patterson, would be out
no money or settlement funds at all in the case. The consideration agreed to for Scruggs settling the
matter on behalf of Patterson was that Patterson would not file a claim against Scruggs. Scruggs has
now settled the case without notifying defendant, Patterson, or his counsel, and has materially
breached the settlement agreement that Scruggs himself made with Patterson and this action seeks
enforcement of that settlement agreement. Patterson requests that Scruggs be required to reimburse
Patterson for any settlement, between defendant, Patterson, and the plaintiff, Wilson, or any jury
verdict against Patterson, along with attorney’s fees and costs for the wrongful breach of the
agreement as well as punitive damages for the intentional and reckless breach of the settlement
agreement.

In his answer filed Tuesday, Scruggs also denied this aspect of Patterson’s claim:

7. The allegations contained in paragraph 7 are denied.

Here is the full text of Scruggs’ cross-claim:

ANSWER OF RICHARD F. SCRUGGS TO CROSS CLAIM
FILED BY STEPHEN A. PATTERSON
COMES NOW, Defendant Richard F. Scruggs (“Scruggs”) and responds to the Cross
Claim filed by Stephen A. Patterson (“Patterson”) as follows:
1. Answering the allegations contained in paragraph 1, to the extent this paragraph
alleges a cause of action for indemnity against Scruggs, those allegations are denied. The
remaining allegations contained in this paragraph are not directed at Scruggs and no response is
required.
2. Scruggs lacks information sufficient to admit or deny the allegations contained in
paragraph 2.
3. Scruggs lacks information sufficient to admit or deny the allegations contained in
paragraph 3.
4. The allegations contained in the first sentence of paragraph 4 are denied. Scruggs
lacks information sufficient to admit or deny the remaining allegations contained in paragraph 4.
5. The allegations contained in paragraph 5 are denied.
Case 3:09-cv-00006-DH Document 89 Filed 12/15/2009 Page 1 of 5
6. Answering paragraph 6, Scruggs adopts and incorporates all previous responses
made to this cross claim.
7. The allegations contained in paragraph 7 are denied.
8. Answering the addendum paragraph, the allegations contained therein are denied.
And now, having answered the allegations contained in Patterson’s cross claim, Scruggs
pleads the following affirmative defenses act as a bar to Patterson’s claims.
FIRST DEFENSE
The cross claim fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
SECOND DEFENSE
Count II of the cross claim alleging breach of settlement agreement fails for lack
of consideration.
THIRD DEFENSE
The cross claim is barred by the Doctrine of Unclean Hands.
FOURTH DEFENSE
The claims are barred by the statute of frauds.
FIFTH DEFENSE
Patterson’s claim for punitive damages is prohibited by the due process clause of
the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and by Article 3, Section 14 of the
Mississippi Constitution.
Imposition of punitive damages against Scruggs in this case would deprive Scruggs of
rights secured to it by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States
Constitution for the following reasons:
Case 3:09-cv-00006-DH Document 89 Filed 12/15/2009 Page 2 of 5
(a) The procedures may result in the award of joint and several judgments against
multiple defendants for difference alleged acts of wrongdoing;
(b) The procedures fail to provide means for awarding separate judgments against
multiple defendants;
(c) The procedures fail to provide a limit on the amount of the award against this
defendant;
(d) The procedures fail to provide specific standards for the award of punitive damages;
(e) The procedures fail to provide specific standards for the amount of the award of
punitive damages;
(f) The procedures permit the award of punitive damages upon satisfaction of a standard
of proof less than that applicable to the imposition of criminal sanctions;
(g) The procedures permit multiple awards of punitive damages for the same alleged
conduct;
(h) The procedures fail to provide a clear and consistent appellate standard of review of
an award of punitive damages;
(i) The procedures may permit the admission of evidence relative to punitive damages in
the same proceeding during which liability and compensatory damages are determined;
(j) The standard of conduct upon which punitive damages are sought is vague, and fails
to give adequate notice of the conduct prescribed.
Case 3:09-cv-00006-DH Document 89 Filed 12/15/2009 Page 3 of 5
Respectfully submitted,
JACKS, ADAMS & NORQUIST, P.A.
Attorneys for Defendant Richard F. Scruggs
By: /s/Jamie F. Jacks

YallPolitics
12/15/9