Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Oushana v. Lowe's Home Centers, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. California

April 7, 2017

NORA OUSHANA, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
LOWE'S HOME CENTERS, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDING GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT (ECF 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

         Currently before the Court is Plaintiffs Nora Oushana (“Plaintiff Oushana”) and Scarlet Karamian's (“Plaintiff Karamian”) motion for leave to file a second amended complaint, [1] which was referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) and Local Rule 302. On April 7, 2017, the Court vacated the April 12, 2017 hearing and took the matter under submission.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On August 10, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the complaint in this action in the Superior Court of California, County of Stanislaus, alleging a claim for general negligence. (ECF No. 1 at 10-14.[2]) On August 30, 2016, Plaintiff filed an amendment naming Lowe's Home Center, LLC, (“Defendant Lowe's”) as a defendant. Also on that date, Plaintiffs filed a request for dismissal without prejudice as to Defendants Lowe's Companies, Inc., and Lowe's HIW, Inc. The dismissal was entered on August 30, 2016. On September 12, 2016, Defendant Lowe's filed its answer to Plaintiff's complaint. On October 24, 2016, Plaintiffs each served a statement of damages. On November 16, 2016, Plaintiffs served a case management conference statement. On November 18, 2016, Defendant Electrolux Home Products, Inc. (“Defendant EHP”) filed its answer to Plaintiff's complaint and served a request for prior pleadings.

         On November 23, 2016, Defendant Lowe's removed this action to the Eastern District of California. (ECF No. 1.) On January 17, 2017, the parties filed a joint scheduling report. (ECF No. 8.) On January 24, 2017, the Court held a scheduling conference, and the pretrial scheduling order issued in this action on January 26, 2017. (ECF Nos. 10, 11.)

         Plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint and a request for judicial notice on March 10, 2017.[3] (ECF No. 12.) On March 28, 2017, Defendant EHP filed an opposition to the motion and an objection to Plaintiffs' request for judicial notice. (ECF No. 13.) On March 29, 2017, Defendant Lowe's filed an opposition to the motion and objections to Plaintiffs' request for judicial notice. (ECF No. 14.) On April 5, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a reply to Defendant EHP's opposition and a reply to Defendant Lowe's opposition. (ECF Nos. 15, 16.)

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Plaintiffs seek leave to file a second amended complaint under Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1). Otherwise, a party may amend only by leave of the court or by written consent of the adverse party, and leave shall be freely given when justice so requires.

         Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2).

         In determining whether to grant leave to amend, the court considers five factors: “(1) bad faith; (2) undue delay; (3) prejudice to the opposing party; (4) futility of amendment; and (5) whether the plaintiff has previously amended his complaint.” Nunes v. Ashcroft, 375 F.3d 805, 808 (9th Cir. 2004). The factors are not given equal weight and futility alone is sufficient to justify the denial of a motion to amend. Washington v. Lowe's HIW Inc., 75 F.Supp.3d 1240, 1245 (N.D. Cal. 2014), appeal dismissed (Feb. 25, 2015). “[I]t is the consideration of prejudice to the opposing party that carries the greatest weight.” Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003). “Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining [ ] factors, there exists a presumption under Rule 15(a) in favor of granting leave to amend.” Id.

         Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the schedule may be modified only for good cause. Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). Therefore, the moving party who seeks to amend a complaint and modify the scheduling order must first demonstrate that good cause exists for the modification of the scheduling order and, if good cause is shown, the party must demonstrate that the proposed amendment is proper under Rule 15. See Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 608 (9th Cir. 1992).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs seek to file a second amended complaint adding claims for products liability-negligence liability, products liability-strict liability, actual fraud/deceit, negligent misrepresentation, constructive fraud, and breach of the implied warranty of fitness. Plaintiffs assert that Defendants will suffer no prejudice if they are allowed to amend the complaint and that they do not have a bad faith or dilatory motive in seeking to amend their complaint. Defendant EHP opposes the motion on the grounds that there is strong evidence of undue delay, undue prejudice to Defendants, and futility of the amendments. Defendant Lowe's opposes the motion on the grounds that the motion to amend is the product of undue delay, is not supported by good cause, is prejudicial to Defendant Lowe's, and is proposed in bad faith and/or is futile.

         As Defendant Lowe's argues that Plaintiffs have not shown good cause to amend, the Court first addresses whether the good cause standard applies to the instant motion for leave to file the second amended complaint.

         A. Good Cause to Amend Scheduling Order

         The scheduling order in this matter provided that “[a]ll proposed amendments must (A) be supported by good cause pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b) if the amendment requires any modification to the existing schedule, see Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604, 609 (9th Cir. 1992), and (B) establish, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a), that such an amendment is not (1) prejudicial to the opposing party, (2) the product of undue delay, (3) proposed in bad faith, or (4) futile, see Forman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).”

         Here, the proposed amendment does not require any modification to the existing schedule. Therefore, pursuant to the scheduling order, Plaintiffs do not need to show good cause pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b) in order to amend the complaint.

         B. Amendment Pursuant to Rule 15

         The Court now discusses whether the five factors that courts consider when deciding a motion for leave to amend weigh in favor of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.