Workplace ‘Waterboarding’ Suit Gets Second Life

January 28, 2011 ( – A former salesman for a Utah motivational coaching business has won the right to pursue his lawsuit against his former employer over allegations a supervisor waterboarded him.

Associate Justice Matthew B. Durrant, writing for the Utah Supreme Court, threw out a move by a lower court dismissing the suit filed by plaintiff Chad Hudgens against Prosper, Inc. and the former supervisor allegedly performing the waterboarding exercise, Joshua Christopherson.

Durrant ruled the lower court was wrong in its refusal to allow Hudgens a chance to redraft and refile his complaint and sent the case back to allow the lower court judge to do that. The lower court judge did not properly explain the refusal to allow the case to be refiled as required, Durrant asserted.

Hudgens claimed Christopherson told a group of Prosper workers in May 2007 to go to a hill near the company’s Utah offices and then ordered Hudgens’ co-workers to hold his arms and legs while Hudgens lay on the ground. According to the suit, Christopherson then slowly poured water on his nose and mouth (see Ex-Utah Motivational Coaching Firm Salesman Sues over ‘Waterboarding’).

The Utah Supreme Court ruling is at