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Certain Underwriters at Lloyds Subscribing to Policy No. 0801Q16413M13 v. Transport Continental, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

May 31, 2017

CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYDS SUBSCRIBING TO POLICY NO. 0801Q16413M13, Plaintiff,
v.
TRANSPORT CONTINENTAL, INC., AND TRANSPORT CONTINENTAL LOGISTICS, Defendants.

          ORDER: (1) DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS; AND (DOC. NO. 26) (2) GRANTING DEFENDANTS' UNOPPOSED MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL OF RECORD (DOC. NO. 29)

          Hon. Anthony J. Battaglia United States District Judge

         Presently before the Court are two motions: Defendants Transport Continental, Inc., and Transport Continental Logistics' (collectively referred to as “Defendants”) motion to dismiss and their motion to withdraw as counsel of record. (Doc. Nos. 26, 29.) Upon review of the parties' arguments in support and opposition of the motions, the Court finds the motions suitable for determination on the papers and without oral argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1.d.1. Accordingly, the motion hearing set for June 29, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 4A is vacated. As set forth more fully below, Defendants' motion to dismiss is DENIED and their motion to withdraw as attorney is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         Plaintiff Certain Underwriters at Lloyds Subscribing to Policy No. 0801Q16413M13 (“Plaintiff”) is a group of insurance syndicates associated with Lloyds of London, which are citizens of the United Kingdom. (Doc. No. 1 ¶ 1.) Specifically, Plaintiff was the first party cargo insurer of the cargo that is the subject of this action. (Id.) Defendants are corporations that are citizens of Texas, which are engaged in business as motor truck carriers, bailees for hire, and logistics providers within the United States. (Id. ¶ 2.)

         The instant matter centers on the transport of a laser cutting machine (the “Cargo”). (Id. ¶ 4.) On or about October 30, 2014, Defendants agreed orally and in writing to provide a transportation trailer to carry the Cargo from Queretaro, Mexico, to Chickasha, Oklahoma. (Id.) The contract was made in San Diego and stated that the Cargo was to be delivered in the same condition as when it was received. (Id.)

         However, in breach of the foregoing contract, Defendants allegedly delivered the Cargo to its final destination severely damaged, with a total loss amount of $275, 000. (Id. ¶ 5.) As a result, Plaintiff was obligated to indemnify the owner of the Cargo for the entire amount of the loss. (Id.)

         Plaintiff filed its Complaint on November 4, 2016, alleging breach of contract, negligence, and bailment. (See generally Doc. No. 1.) On December 12, 2016, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, or, in the alternative, to transfer venue, (Doc. No. 6), which was denied on March 20, 2017. (Doc. No. 23.) Subsequently, Defendants filed the present motion, its motion to dismiss on April 17, 2017. (Doc. No. 26.) On May 1, 2017, one of Defendants' counsel, Brittany Shaw, filed a motion to withdraw as counsel of record. (Doc. No. 29.) ///

         LEGALSTANDARD

         A. Motion to Dismiss A motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a plaintiff's complaint and allows a court to dismiss a complaint upon a finding that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001). “[A] court may dismiss a complaint as a matter of law for (1) lack of a cognizable legal theory or (2) insufficient facts under a cognizable legal claim.” SmileCare Dental Grp. v. Delta Dental Plan of Cal., 88 F.3d 780, 783 (9th Cir. 1996) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). However, a complaint will survive a motion to dismiss if it contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). In making this determination, a court reviews the contents of the complaint, accepting all factual allegations as true, and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Cedars-Sinai Med. Ctr. v. Nat'l League of Postmasters of U.S., 497 F.3d 972, 975 (9th Cir. 2007).

         Notwithstanding this deference, the reviewing court need not accept “legal conclusions” as true. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). It is also improper for a court to assume “the [plaintiff] can prove facts that [he or she] has not alleged.” Associated Gen. Contractors of Cal., Inc. v. Cal. State Council of Carpenters, 459 U.S. 519, 526 (1983).

         B. Motion to Withdraw as Counsel

         “An attorney may not withdraw as counsel except by leave of court, and the decision to grant or deny counsel's motion to withdraw is committed to the discretion of the trial court.” Beard v. Shuttermart of Cal., Inc., Case No. 07CV594 WQH (NLS), 2008 WL 410694, at *2 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 13, 2008) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); see also CivLR 83.3(f)(3). “In ruling on a motion to withdraw as counsel, courts consider: (1) the reasons why withdrawal is sought; (2) the prejudice withdrawal may cause to other litigants; (3) the harm withdrawal might cause to the administration of justice; and (4) the degree to which withdrawal will delay the resolution of the case.” Leatt Corp. v. Innovative Safety Tech., LLC, No. 09-CV-1301-IEG (POR), 2010 WL 444708, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Feb. 2, 2010) (citation omitted).

         DISCUSSION

         A. Plaintiff&# ...


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