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Barria v. Quantum Health

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


September 2, 2010

LUIS BARRIA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
QUANTUM HEALTH, INC.; PROPERTIES, LP; DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Janis L. Sammartino United States District Judge

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO SUBSTITUTE PLAINTIFF QUANTUM (Doc. No. 17)

Presently before the Court is Martha Barria's motion to substitute herself as Plaintiff in the above-captioned matter in place of her son, Luis Barria. (Doc. No. 17). For the reasons stated below, the Court DENIES the motion and DISMISSES the action for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Luis Barria commenced this action on July 13, 2009. In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he has a mobility impairment and uses a wheelchair. (Doc. No. 1 ("Compl.") ¶ 10.) Plaintiff claims that he "was and has been denied full and equal access to the facilities owned and/or operated by the Defendant because the property was inaccessibly to members of the disabled community who use wheelchairs for mobility." (Id. ¶ 11.) As such, Plaintiff asserts the following causes of action: (1) violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., ("ADA"); (2) violation of California Civil Code §§ 51, et seq., 52, et. seq., and 54, et. seq.; (3) violation of California Health and Safety Code § 19955, et seq; (4) Negligence per se; (5) Negligence; (6) Declaratory Relief; and (7) Injunctive Relief.

On February 23, 2010, Plaintiff passed away. (Doc. No. 16.) On May 11, 2010, Martha Barria filed the present motion to substitute in as Plaintiff as Luis Barria's successor-in-interest. (Doc. No. 17.) Defendants filed a response in opposition to the motion on June 29, 2010. (Doc. No. 19.) Martha Barria did not file a reply. A hearing on the motion set for July 15, 2010 was vacated and the matter taken under submission without oral argument.

DISCUSSION

Martha Barria moves to substitute in as Plaintiff for Luis Barria under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(a)(1). Rule 25(a)(1) provides, in pertinent part:

If a party dies and the claim is not extinguished, the court may order substitution of the proper party. A motion for substitution may be made by any party or by the decedent's successor or representative.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 25(a)(1).

Martha Barria concedes that Luis Barria's claims for injunctive relief are extinguished by his death. (Mem. ISO Mot. at 2.) The only remedy available to Plaintiff pursuant to his first cause of action for violation of Title III of the ADA pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188(a) is injunctive relief. See 42 U.S.C. § 12188(a); see also Wander v. Kaus, 304 F.3d 856, 858 (9th Cir. 2002); Fisher v. SJB-P.D. Inc., 214 F.3d 1115, 1120 (9th Cir. 2000). Claims for injunctive relief require the existence of a real or immediate threat of irreparable harm. Hangarter v. Provident Life and Acc. Ins. Co., 373 F.3d 998, 1021-22 (9th Cir. 2004). As such, the Court agrees with Martha Barria's concession that the death of Luis Barria render's his claims for injunctive relief moot. See Kennerly v. United States, 721 F.2d 1252, 1260 (9th Cir. 1983). Therefore, Plaintiff's first cause of action for violation of the ADA and seventh cause of action for injunctive relief are extinguished and Martha Barria is unable to substitute in as Plaintiff as to these claims.

The extinguishment of Plaintiff's ADA claim leaves only state law claims in this matter. A court has discretion to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims if the court has dismissed all claims over which it has original jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3); see also Acri v. Varian Assoc., Inc., 114 F.3d 999, 1000 n.2 (9th Cir. 1997). The litigation in this matter in within its early stages and therefore the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction. Accordingly, the Court dismisses the remaining state law causes of action without prejudice and does not reach the issue of substitution of Martha Barria as Plaintiff over these state law claims.

CONCLUSION

For those reasons, the Court DENIES Martha Barria's Motion for Substitution of Plaintiff. The case is DISMISSED without prejudice for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. The Clerk shall close the file.

20100902

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