The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge
ORDER REGARDING PLAINTIFF'S
MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST
On July 13, 2012, Plaintiff Deverin Karol filed a Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint. (Doc. 28.) On July 27, 2012, Defendants Med-Trans Corporation and Air Medical Group Holdings, Inc. (collectively "MTC") filed their opposition to the motion. (Doc. 29.) Thereafter, on August 3, 2012, Plaintiff filed his reply to the opposition. (Doc. 32.)
On August 7, 2012, this Court determined the matter was suitable for decision without oral argument pursuant to Local Rule 230(g).*fn1 The hearing scheduled for August 10, 2012, was vacated and the matter was deemed submitted for written findings. (Doc. 34.)
RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL SUMMARY
Plaintiff was employed as a helicopter pilot for Defendant MTC between January 7, 2007 and August 12, 2010, at MTC's Air George base located at Children's Hospital of Central California ("CHCC"). MTC contracts with CHCC to provide helicopters and pilots for medical air transportation. CHCC provides medical staff that accompany MTC's pilots and oversee the care of the patients during transport. On May 25, 2011, Plaintiff filed a complaint alleging that, while he was employed at MTC, he witnessed and experienced violations of California and Federal labor laws, as well as violations of regulations promulgated under the Federal Aviation Act ("FAA"). Plaintiff contends that his supervisors regularly and knowingly ordered him to bypass FAA regulations, and lied to CHCC staff about the airworthiness of the aircraft used to provide transportation services. Plaintiff further alleges that his complaints about MTC's unlawful labor practices, as well as his concerns regarding helicopter safety, were met with unwarranted disciplinary reports, exaggerated allegations of workplace "misconduct," and an accusation that Plaintiff falsified a risk assessment report.
Plaintiff's original complaint alleges the following causes of action: (1) retaliation in violation of California Labor Code section 6310; (2) wrongful termination in violation of public policy; (3) a violation of California Labor Code section 522; and (4) slander in violation of California Civil Code section 46. He seeks general, special and punitive damages, attorneys' fees, pre-and post-judgment interest, costs, and other just relief. (Doc. 1.)
On May 17, 2012, the parties filed a Joint Statement Regarding Discovery Dispute concerning Defendants' Motion to Quash Deposition Subpoenas of CHCC and Chetal Patel, M.D. (See Doc. 19.) On June 19, 2012, this Court issued its Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Quash Subpoenas. The Court reasoned that because the complaint referenced only Plaintiff's belief that he was terminated as the result of his complaints about violations of air safety regulations and labor laws, whether or not any type of payment was made by MTC to CHCC was not relevant to any claim or defense asserted. (Doc. 23.)
Plaintiff now seeks leave to amend his complaint regarding the purported payments made by MTC to CHCC.
Under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a plaintiff may amend his complaint once "as a matter of course," and without leave of court, before a response has been filed. Bonin v. Calderon, 59 F.3d 815, 845 (9th Cir. 1995). However, a party can only amend the pleading with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave once a responsive pleading has been filed. Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). Here, Defendants filed a responsive pleading to Plaintiff's complaint on June 22, 2011, thus, leave of Court is required. (Doc. 9.)
The United States Supreme Court has stated that [i]n the absence of any apparent or declared reason -- such as undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility ...