UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 3, 2011
PHYLLIS GRENZEBACH AS A SURVIVING HEIR OF ROBERT ANDERSON, AND KATHLEEN RYAN AS A SURVIVING HEIR OF MICHAEL MERGEN, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND A CLASS OF SIMILARLY-SITUATED PERSONS, PLAINTIFFS,
STAYING ACTION EHC MANAGEMENT, LLC; EVERGREEN AT ARVIN, LLC; EVERGREEN AT CHICO, LLC; EVERGREEN AT FULLERTON, LLC; EVERGREEN AT LAKEPORT, LLC; EVERGREEN AT OROVILLE, LLC; EVERGREEN AT PETALUMA, LLC; EVERGREEN AT SALINAS, LLC; EVERGREEN AT TRACY, LLC; EVERGREEN AT HEARTWOOD AVENUE, LLC; EVERGREEN AT SPRINGS ROAD, LLC; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 100, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge
Presently before the Court are two motions to dismiss filed by Defendants in this action, which alleges noncompliance with California's minimum staffing requirements for skilled nursing facilities. Defendants have brought to the Court's attention a case, Wehlage v. EmpRes Healthcare, Inc., et al., N.D. Cal. Case No. 4:10-cv-058390-CW filed in 2010 prior to commencement of the instant lawsuit. Defendants request, among other potential remedies, that this matter be stayed pending disposition of the Wehlage action, since both cases involve similar class-wide claims that inadequate nursing levels violated residents' rights under California Business and Professions Code § 1430(b), and further both entail alleged violations of California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq. and 17500 et seq. In addition, according to the defense, the Defendants in both lawsuits are markedly similar.
Plaintiffs have agreed, by way of opposition to Defendants' Motion, that this matter be stayed pending the outcome of motions to dismiss in Wehlage that were heard on April 7, 2011 and turn upon similar abstention issues. Plaintiffs argue that judicial economy may be served by awaiting the Northern District's ruling on those motions, particular since coordination of both lawsuits may result.*fn1
The Court agrees that this matter should be stayed pending a ruling on the Wehlage motions. The case is accordingly stayed, with the motions to dismiss now before the Court (ECF No. 22 and 23) held in abeyance until after a decision on the Wehlage motions has been issued. The currently scheduled hearing date of May 5, 2011 for the motions before this Court are accordingly vacated.
The parties are directed to notify the Court not later than ten (10) days following the date a ruling has been made by the Northern District in the Wehlage matter. The parties are further directed to attach a copy of the Northern District's ruling to their notification in that regard. Finally, in the event that no ruling has been made on the Wehlage motions, the parties are directed to file a Status Report not later than sixty (60) days following the date of this Order to advise this Court of where matters stand.
IT IS SO ORDERED.