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Rancho Agricola Santa Monica, S. de R.L. de C.V. v. Westar Seeds International

September 29, 2009

RANCHO AGRICOLA SANTA MONICA, S. DE R.L. DE C.V., PLAINTIFF,
v.
WESTAR SEEDS INTERNATIONAL, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Jeffrey T. Miller United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE WITHOUT PREJUDICE

Defendant Westar Seeds International, Inc. ("Westar") moves to consolidate this action with a related action, Martin Acosta v. Westar Seeds International, Inc., Case No. 09cv0706 JM(JMA) (the "Acosta action"). Plaintiff Rancho Agricola Santa Monica, S. de R.L. de C.V. ("Agricola") opposes the motion. Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), this matter is appropriate for decision without oral argument. For the reasons set forth below, the motion to consolidate is denied without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

On October 28, 2008 Agricola commenced this diversity action alleging claims arising from its purchase of onion seeds from Westar. On April 8, 2009, Agricola's counsel, representing another plaintiff, Martin Acosta, filed another diversity action alleging claims arising from the purchase of onion seeds from Westar.

On May 18, 2009 the court low numbered the Acosta action to the present action.

Following a case management conference on May 7, 2009, Magistrate Judge Adler issued coordinated case management schedules in both cases with the same pretrial conference and trial dates. The parties continue to conduct coordinated discovery in both actions.

The following briefly describes the nature of the two actions.

The Present Action, No. 08cv1998

Plaintiff Agricola alleges that in March 2008 it purchased 300 pounds of "Ringmaster" variety onion seeds from Westar for planting at Agricola's farm in Mexico. (Compl. ¶5). Agricola planted 130 acres with the Westar seeds and, before harvest, discovered that the seeds were not the "Ringmaster" variety but "seeds from a non-bulbing variety of onion mixed in with seeds of another, unknown variety of bulbing onion." (Compl. ¶8, 9). Agricola later discovered that "none of the onions that grew from the seed purchased from Defendant were 'Ringmaster' onions." (Compl. ¶11). Agricola alleges damages of about $4,000,000.

Based upon the above generally described conduct, Plaintiff alleges eight claims for (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of express warranty, (3) breach of implied warranty of merchantability, (4) breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, (5) products liability, (6) negligence, (7) negligent misrepresentation, and (8) fraud.

The Related Action, 09cv0706

Plaintiff Acosta alleges that in March 2008 he purchased 150 pounds of "Ringmaster" variety onion seeds from Westar for planting at his farm in Mexico. (Compl. ¶5). Acosta planted 62 acres with the Westar seeds and, before harvest, discovered that the seeds were not the "Ringmaster" variety but "seeds from a nonbulbing variety of onion mixed in with seeds of another, unknown variety of bulbing onion." (Compl. ¶¶8, 9). Acosta alleges that it was later determined that "onions that grew from the onion plants purchased from Defendant were not 'Ringmaster' onions, and that the seeds were defective." (Compl. ¶10).

Based upon the above generally described conduct, Acosta alleges the same eight claims for (1) breach of contract, (2) breach of express warranty, (3) breach of implied warranty of merchantability, (4) breach of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, (5) products ...


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