United States District Court, S.D. California
DANIELLE TRUIJILLO, as Guardian Ad Litem for KADEN PORTER, a minor, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated; LACEY MORALES, as Guardian Ad Litem for ISABEL MORALES., a minor, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated; BEVERLY HOY, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated;, Plaintiffs,
AMETEK, INC., a Delaware corporation; SENIOR OPERATIONS, LLC, a limited liability company; THOMAS DEENEY; and DOES 2 through 100, inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
FILE AMENDED SECOND COMPLAINT [DKT. NO. 89]
Gonzalo P. Curiel United States District Judge.
the Court is Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their
First Amended Complaint. Dkt No. 89. The motion has been
fully briefed. Dkt. Nos. 94, 96. The Court deems
Plaintiffs' motion suitable for disposition without oral
argument pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7.1(d)(1). Having
reviewed Plaintiffs' moving papers and the applicable
law, and for the reasons set forth below, the Court
GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion for leave to
29, 2015, Plaintiffs, Danielle Trujillo, as Guardian Ad Litem
for Kaden Porter, Lacey Morales, as Guardian Ad Litem for
Isabel Morales, and Beverly Hoy on behalf of themselves and
others similarly situated (“Plaintiffs”), filed
this lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court against
Defendants, Ametek, Inc., Senior Operations, LLC, and DOES
1-100 (“Defendants”). On June 25, 2015,
Defendant, Senior Operations, LLC, removed this matter to
federal court. Dkt. No. 1.
August 7, 2015, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint
(“FAC”). Dkt. No. 21. The amended complaint named
Ametek Inc. and Senior Operations, LLC, as Defendants and
again reserved DOES 1 through 100 as unnamed defendants.
Id. Subsequently, Defendants filed motions to
dismiss Plaintiffs' FAC. Dkt. Nos. 24, 25. On October 2,
2015, Plaintiffs filed responses to the motions. Dkt. Nos.
33, 34. On November 11, 2015, this Court granted in part and
denied in part Defendants' motions to dismiss. Dkt. No.
March 8, 2017, Plaintiffs moved to file a Second Amended
Complaint (“SAC”). Dkt. No. 89. Plaintiffs'
SAC sought to add Thomas Deeney as a defendant, taking the
place of DOE 1. On March 24, 2017, Defendant Ametek (as
moving “Defendant”), filed a response in
opposition to amendment. Dkt. No. 94. On March 31, 2017,
Plaintiffs filed a reply. Dkt. No. 96.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Rule”) 15(a),
leave to amend a complaint after a responsive pleading has
been filed may be allowed by leave of the court and
“shall freely be given when justice so requires.”
Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). “If the underlying facts or
circumstances relied upon by a plaintiff may be a proper
subject of relief, he ought to be afforded an opportunity to
test his claim on the merits.” Foman, 371 U.S.
at 182. Granting leave to amend rests in the sound discretion
of the trial court. Int'l Ass'n of Machinists
& Aerospace Workers v. Republic Airlines, 761 F.2d
1386, 1390 (9th Cir. 1985). This discretion must be guided by
the strong federal policy favoring the disposition of cases
on the merits and permitting amendments with “extreme
liberality.” DCD Programs Ltd. v. Leighton,
833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir. 1987). “This liberality in
granting leave to amend is not dependent on whether the
amendment will add causes of action or parties.”
Rule 15(a) favors the disposition of cases on the merits and
weighs in favor of amendment, the nonmoving party bears the
burden of demonstrating why leave to amend should not be
granted. Genentech, Inc. v. Abbott Labs., 127 F.R.D.
529, 530-31 (N.D. Cal. 1989). In assessing the propriety of
an amendment, courts consider several factors: (1) undue
delay; (2) bad faith or dilatory motive; (3) prejudice to the
opposing party; (4) repeated failure to cure deficiencies by
amendments previously permitted; and (5) futility of
amendment. Foman, 371 U.S. at 182; United States
v. Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d 984, 995 (9th Cir.
factors do not carry equal weight. The possibility of delay
alone, for instance, cannot justify denial of leave to amend.
See DCD Programs, 833 F.2d at 186. But when delay is
combined with a showing of prejudice, bad faith, or futility
of amendment, leave to amend will likely be denied.
Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.2d 752, 758 (9th Cir. 1999).
The single most important factor is whether prejudice would
result to the non-movant as a consequence of the amendment.
William Inglis & Sons Baking Co. v. ITT Continental
Baking Co., 668 F.2d 1014, 1053 n.68 (9th Cir. 1981).
Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining
factors, there exists a presumption in favor of granting
leave to amend. Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon,
Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003).
seek leave to amend to add Thomas Deeney, a natural person,
as a defendant. Plaintiffs contend that during a December
2016 deposition of Deeney, Plaintiffs learned new information
that implicates Deeney as having been responsible for the
acts or omissions that caused Plaintiffs' injuries.
Defendant Ametek opposes Plaintiffs' motion on multiple
grounds, emphasizing above all that the recent deposition of
Deeney did not reveal new facts or evidence justifying
amendment. The Court will consider Defendant's arguments
Unjustified and Undue Delay
points to three circumstances indicating that Plaintiffs have
unduly delayed in seeking to add Deeney as a defendant. One,
Defendant argues that Plaintiffs had sufficient information
at least a year before filing the current motion, to assess
Deeney's role and responsibilities at Ametek and to add
him as a defendant. Dkt. No. 94 at 5. Defendant argues that
the administrative record, on which Plaintiffs' initial
complaint relied, is “replete with references, notices,
orders and correspondence involving, addressed to, or
authored by Mr. Deeney on behalf of AMETEK.”
Id. at 6. Defendant further argues that Deeney had
already been identified by Ametek in its Rule 26(a) Initial
Disclosures as the Ametek representative “most
knowledgeable as to facts and circumstances regarding”
the current dispute. Lastly, Defendants point out ...