Business

Lawsuit Accuses Trulieve of ‘Doctoring’ Evidence to Court

By Willis Jacobson
@trulieve_fl

A man who is suing multi-state operator Trulieve over a failed job opportunity accused the company of “doctoring” and withholding key evidence related to his lawsuit.

Logan Lyttle filed suit against the Florida-based company and third-party contractor Personal Security Concepts in September 2019 on grounds that Trulieve used the contractor to illegally run a consumer report on him without his permission as part of its screening process. Consumer reports typically contain credit reports and other criminal and background information. By not obtaining his permission prior to running the report, Lyttle’s suit claims Trulieve violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

In 2019, Lyttle claims, he was offered conditional employment at a Trulieve call center, but he says it was rescinded after Trulieve received the report from Personal Security Concepts. Trulieve has said it included unspecified information about a criminal record. Lyttle says he was not given a chance to respond.

On Monday, Lyttle filed a motion (read it here) for sanctions against Trulieve in a Tampa federal court. The motion accuses Trulieve and its attorneys of defrauding the court by altering evidence and withholding documents it told the court had been produced.

Specifically, Lyttle’s motion alleges that Trulieve submitted a printout of an email from Personal Security Concepts that removed red highlighting from a section header that read: “Florida Criminal History Found* – see attached.” Lyttle alleges that Trulieve did this in an attempt to strengthen its defense that Lyttle’s background check wasn’t a consumer report and therefore didn’t violate the FCRA. 

Lyttle, however, argues the report falls under the definition of a consumer report because Personal Security Concepts assembled and evaluated information for Trulieve. By doing so, Lyttle’s lawsuit charges, Personal Security Concepts acted as a consumer reporting agency. Lyttle’s suit also alleges Trulieve withheld documents that would have hurt its case.

“Trulieve perpetuated the fraud to present an alternate and more favorable reality to the Court,” the motion read. “If Plaintiff had not conducted third party discovery, Trulieve’s misconduct would not have been exposed.”

The suit asks the court to “invoke its full sanctioning powers to punish Trulieve, entering a default judgment against it to deter future misconduct.”

Trulieve has more than 50 MED dispensaries in Florida, plus more licensed businesses that are open or poised to open in California, Connecticut and Massachusetts. It is one of the largest operators in the country.

Lyttle’s motion claims his lawyer became aware of the “striking” differences in the emails presented to the court by Trulieve and the ones obtained in discovery after requesting documents directly from Personal Security Concepts.

The motion says the court would have been “duped” by Trulieve’s alleged fraud if not for the finding.

“Trulieve intended to conceal and misrepresent the truth, striking ‘at the very foundations of the adversary system and the judicial process,’” the motion stated.

Trulieve has previously defended itself in the case by alleging that Personal Security Concepts simply procures public records and does not regularly assemble or evaluate consumer information. Because of this, Trulieve argues, the firm’s work falls outside the purview of the FCRA.

Personal Security Concepts settled with Lyttle in June and has been dismissed from the suit.

Lyttle is represented by Marc Edelman of Morgan & Morgan. When reached Tuesday, Edelman cited a personal policy to not comment on pending litigation.

Trulieve is represented by attorneys Janet McEnery, Andrew Mclaughlin and Glenn Burhans Jr., of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson. They did not immediately respond Tuesday to messages seeking comment.

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