Washington — A federal judge has dismissed most of the lawsuits the Plastics Industry Association and former CEO Tony Radoszewski filed against each other after he was fired in 2022, saying that neither side would likely come out of a trial "looking good."
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson urged both sides to try to settle, saying in comments from the bench at an online Washington hearing that the case involves a relatively small amount of money and "is not likely to invoke much sympathy from the jury."
Jackson dismissed a lawsuit Radoszewski brought against the association, where he contended he was fired unfairly in March 2022. He had sought one year's salary of $546,000 and miscellaneous costs, for a total of $609,250.
She also tossed out part of a countersuit the association brought against its former CEO and allowed part of it to move forward. But she told the two sides to first try to settle their court fight and avoid a trial.
"It's hard to imagine how anyone would come out of this looking good, given Radoszewski's behavior and [the association's] failure to do anything about it for two and a half years," Jackson said.
In March 2022, the association fired Radoszewski, who had been hired in August 2019, saying that he had not relocated from his home in Texas to the group's Washington headquarters, after court documents say he told the group's leaders in the interview process that he would.
The association's countersuit sought $163,000 in relocation expenses it paid to Radoszewski as part of his employment contract.
Jackson dismissed part of the association's countersuit and said other parts of it could continue, but she also urged both sides to try to resolve it, according to a transcript of the July 20 hearing viewed at the federal courthouse in Washington.
"We could launch into discovery and we could brief motions for summary judgment, which will require all the parties to expend considerable funds to resolve a case that doesn't involve a lot of money and it's not likely to invoke much sympathy from the jury for either side," she said. "I would encourage the parties to think very hard about whether there's a way to resolve this dispute among themselves."
In a brief statement, the association did not address potential settlement talks or next steps and said it wanted to move forward.
“We appreciate the court’s decision and all the work that our team at Keller & Heckman [its attorneys] and [the association] have done on behalf of our members in this matter,” said Tad McGwire, chair of the group’s board and president of Industrial Heater Corp. “We are happy to be moving forward as an association.”
A lawyer for Radoszewski, Michael Oddo, declined to comment “while litigation is pending.”