United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND AND VACATING HEARING
[RE: ECF 38]
LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge.
Anthony Maranon brings this suit against Santa Clara Stadium
Authority (“Stadium Authority”), the City of
Santa Clara (“City”), and Forty Niners Stadium
Management Company LLC (“Stadium Management)
(collectively, “Defendants”) following an
incident at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California
(the “Facility”), in which he fell out of his
wheelchair after his wheel became lodged in a drainage grate
that had excessive openings in violation of applicable
federal and state access standards. See generally
Compl., ECF 1. Maranon asserts: violation of Titles II and
III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
(“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-34,
12181-89; violations of the California Unruh Civil Rights
Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 51; denial of full and equal
access to public facilities; negligence per se; negligence
based on premises liability; dangerous conditions of public
property, pursuant to Cal. Gov't Code §§ 830,
835; and a breach of statutory duty, pursuant to Cal.
Gov't Code § 815.6. See generally id.
before the Court is Maranon's unopposed motion to amend
his complaint in order to allege a claim of negligence
against his medical providers, whom he alleges contributed to
the injuries he suffered from the incident at the Facility.
Mot. 1-2, ECF 38. Pursuant to Civil L.R. 7-1(b), the Court
finds Plaintiff's motion suitable for submission without
oral argument and hereby VACATES the hearing scheduled for
June 1, 2017. For the reasons set forth herein, the Court
GRANTS Plaintiff's motion.
Civ. P. 15 provides that leave to amend pleadings generally
should be given freely “when justice so
requires.” But leave may be denied based on
“futility of amendment.” Foman v. Davis,
371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). Fed.R.Civ.P. 20 sets forth specific
standards for permissive joinder. Under Rule 20, parties may
be joined in a single lawsuit where the claims against them
arise from “the same transaction, occurrence, or series
of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or
fact common to all defendants will arise in the
action.” A court may exercise “supplemental
jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to
claims in the action within such original jurisdiction that
they form part of the same case or controversy under Article
III of the U.S. Constitution.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367.
order to successfully join Mansour Jamal, Fook
“Frank” Wong, and O'Connor Hospital
(collectively, “Medical Defendants”), Maranon
must satisfy the permissive joinder requirements of Rule
Oda v. United States, CV11-4514, 2012 WL 692409, at
* 1 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2012).
Rule 20(a)(2), permissive joinder of defendants is proper if:
“(A) any right to relief is asserted against them
jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or
arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law or
fact common to all defendants will arise in the
action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a)(2). The Ninth Circuit has
interpreted the phrase “same transaction, occurrence,
or series of transactions or occurrences” to require a
degree of factual commonality underlying the claims.
Coughlin v. Rogers, 130 F.3d 1348, 1350 (9th Cir.
1997). Typically, this means that a party “must assert
rights . . . that arise from related activities-a transaction
or an occurrence or a series thereof.” Bravado
Int'l Grp. Merch. Servs. v. Cha, No. CV 09-9066,
2010 WL 2650432, at *4 (C.D. Cal. June 30, 2010) (citation,
internal quotation marks, and emphasis omitted). District
courts have reached different conclusions regarding whether
overlapping liability alone is sufficient to satisfy FRCP 20,
and the Ninth Circuit has not yet decided this issue. See
Oda, 2012 WL 692409, at *1- 2 (describing two lines of
the specific requirements of Rule 20 . . . may be satisfied,
a trial court must also examine the other relevant factors in
a case in order to determine whether the permissive joinder
of a party will comport with the principles of fundamental
fairness.” Desert Empire Bank v. Ins. Co. of N.
Am., 623 F.2d 1371, 1375 (9th Cir. 1980). Such factors
may include judicial economy, prejudice, and whether separate
claims require different witnesses and documentary proof.
SEC v. Leslie, No. C 07-3444, 2010 WL 2991038, at *4
(N.D. Cal. July 29, 2010).
argues that the claims against the Medical Defendants arise
out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences, because his medical negligence
claim against the Medical Defendants contributed to the same
injuries he alleges were caused by his fall at the Facility,
will involve common witnesses and evidence as his personal
injury claims against Defendants, and he would be required to
relitigate the same injuries in a separate action if the
Court denies his request. Mot. 5. Maranon further contends
that denial of this motion will make it difficult to
apportion liability amongst all of the defendants, including
the Medical Defendants. Id.
Court agrees with Maranon. Rule 20 simply requires
“related activities” and “similarity in the
factual background of a claim.” Jacques v. Hyatt
Corp., No. C 11-5364, 2012 WL 3010969, at *3 (N.D. Cal.
July 23, 2012) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). Maranon has set forth several relationships between
the incident at the Facility and the subsequent alleged
medical negligence, specifically: that the injury caused by
both incidents is the same, the second claim would not exist
but for the first, and there are overlapping damages. Mot.
4-5. Maranon's allegations therefore meet the threshold
requirement. Cf. Wilson v. Famatex GmbH Fabrik Fuer
Textilausruestungsmaschinen, 726 F.Supp. 950, 951-52
(S.D.N.Y.1989) (finding the threshold “series of
occurrences” requirement satisfied where the plaintiff
sued for products liability and subsequent medical
malpractice after an accident involving a dyeing machine).
also requires at least on common question of law or fact.
Jacques, 2012 WL 3010969, at *4. At a minimum,
preexisting conditions, contributing factors, and the nature
and extent of Maranon's injuries are common questions of
fact for both claims. Moreover, each of the defendants will
surely be pointing to the other as the primary cause of the
ultimate injuries. Accordingly, Plaintiffs complaint meets
the second threshold requirement under FRCP 20.
the Court finds that permissive joinder of the Medical
Defendants will comport with the principles of fundamental
fairness because the current parties have indicated that the
participation of the Medical Defendants “may be
critical to a settlement.” See Stipulation to
Extend Deadline for Mediation ¶ 4, ECF 42. Plaintiff
also contends that Defendants may be prejudiced if the
Medical Providers are not joined in this action because it
would make apportionment of liability amongst the defendants
more difficult. Mot. 5.
foregoing reasons, the Court finds permissive joinder
warranted and thus GRANTS Marnon's motion to amend the
complaint. Plaintiff shall file the amended complaint on or
before May 3, 2017. The last day ...