Case Caption: Irvin Powell v. Fam Protective Services, Inc.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2019-0034Date: 04/16/2020Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: 2020 VI 3Summary: In an interlocutory review of an issue certified by the Superior Court pursuant to 4 V.I.C. § 33(c) – whether a corporate employer sued for wrongful discharge under the Virgin Islands Wrongful Discharge Act was required to specifically plead as an affirmative defense in its initial answer each permissible ground for discharge under 24 V.I.C. § 76(a)-(c) or be deemed to have waived such defenses – the certified question is answered in the affirmative. It is further confirmed that the Superior Court generally retains discretion (considering well-recognized factors) to allow later amendment of the pleadings to assert a previously-omitted affirmative defense, but that in this instance it was an abuse of discretion to allow late assertion of such defenses eight years after the case began. Accordingly, the Superior Court’s March 1, 2019 amended order denying the plaintiff’s motion for reconsideration and its October 26, 2018 order accepting the defendant’s amended answer are vacated, and this action is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion