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Richard Baker v. Major League Baseball Properties

July 2, 2012

RICHARD BAKER
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PROPERTIES, INC., MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ENTERPRISES, INC., SAN DIEGO PADRES, WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC, INC. AND GMR, LLC, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hayes, Judge:

ORDER AND RELATED COUNTER AND CROSS CLAIMS

The matter before the Court is the Motion for Leave to Amend Fourth Amended Complaint in Order to Add Defendant filed by Plaintiff Richard Baker. (ECF No. 242.)

BACKGROUND

On March 18, 2008, Plaintiff initiated this action by filing a complaint regarding injuries suffered in San Diego, California, on March 20, 2006. (ECF No. 1). The complaint named Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., Major League Baseball Enterprises, Inc., Major League Baseball Players Association, World Baseball Classic, Inc., San Diego Padres Baseball Club, LP, City of San Diego, Ace Parking, Inc., JMI Sports LLC, American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc., and ABC Insurance Company as Defendants. Id.

On April 23, 2008, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint adding Ballpark Village LLC as a Defendant. (ECF No. 15). On September 1, 2008, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint. (ECF No. 66). On September 9, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Third Amended Complaint adding GMR Marketing, LLC ("GMR") as a Defendant. (ECF No. 145). On August 5, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Fourth Amended Complaint adding Buzztone, Inc. as a Defendant. (ECF No. 187).

On August 30, 2011, GMR filed a Third Party Complaint naming HOK Group, Inc. ("HOK"), Buzztone, Inc., New Era Cap Co., Inc., and Ballpark Village, LLC as Third Party Defendants. (ECF No. 193, 236).

On April, 30 2012, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Amend the Fourth Amended Complaint in Order to Add HOK as a Defendant. (ECF No. 242). On May 21, 2012, HOK filed an opposition to the motion. (ECF No. 251). On May 29, 2012, Plaintiff filed a reply. (ECF No. 252).

CONTENTIONS OF THE PARTIES

Plaintiff contends that HOK's involvement in the case was "not fully known" until after HOK was brought into the case by third party complaint in August 2011 and HOK's employee was deposed in March 2012. (ECF No. 242-1 at 2). Plaintiff contends that HOK "was as much a part of the negligent operation that caused [Plaintiff's] injuries as any other Defendant...." Id. at 5. Plaintiff contends that the proposed Fifth Amended Complaint relates back to the date of the original complaint under Rule 15(c) and that HOK would not be prejudiced by the amendment.

HOK contends that the proposed Fifth Amended Complaint is time barred pursuant to California statute of limitations and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c) regarding relation back of amended pleadings. HOK contends that it would be prejudiced by the proposed Fifth Amended Complaint and that Plaintiff has unduly delayed in filing the amendment.

APPLICABLE LAW

"A party may amend its pleading once as a matter of course." FED. R. CIV. P. 15(a)(1).

"In all other cases, a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave. The court should freely give leave when justice so requires." FED. R. CIV. P. 15(a)(2). "Liberality in granting a plaintiff leave to amend is subject to the qualification that the amendment not cause undue prejudice to the defendant, is not sought in bad faith, and is not futile." Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.3d 752, 757 (9th Cir. 1999). "Leave to amend need not be given if a complaint, as amended, is subject to dismissal." Moore v. Kayport Package Express, Inc., 885 F.2d 531, 538 (9th Cir. 1989).

"[T]he district court's discretion to deny leave to amend is particularly broad where plaintiff has previously amended the complaint." City of Los Angeles v. San Pedro Boat Works, 635 F.3d 440, 454 (9th Cir. 2011) quoting Ascon ...


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