United States District Court, E.D. California
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
MORRISON C. ENGLAND, JR., JUDGE.
August 5, 2015, Plaintiff Allianz Sigorta, S.A. filed its
Complaint against Defendants Ameritech Industries, Inc., and
Eagle Engines (collectively, “Defendant”).
Compl., ECF No. 1. Plaintiff, an insurance company, insured
the aircraft that is the subject of the present litigation.
Defendant Eagle Engines is-or was at the time of the
incident-a division or subsidiary of Defendant Ameritech.
Eagle Engines performed an overhaul of the aircraft's
engine shortly before the aircraft was forced to undertake an
emergency landing due to engine failure in flight.
Plaintiff's Complaint alleges claims of negligence and
negligent misrepresentation stemming from Defendant's
alleged failure to adequately overhaul the subject engine.
August 10, 2016, after multiple failed attempts to properly
notice its motion, Defendant noticed an amended motion to
compel before Magistrate Judge Allison Claire, and filed an
amended joint statement regarding the discovery disagreement
the next day. ECF Nos. 43 and 44. Judge Claire denied the
motion to compel on August 12, 2016, because-among other
things-discovery had closed August 8, and the motion was
therefore untimely. See Order Denying Motion to
Compel, ECF No. 46.
August 31, 2016, Plaintiff filed its Motion for Leave to
Amend the Complaint, seeking to add (1) a claim of negligence
per se, (2) a claim for violation of California's Unfair
Competition Law (“UCL”), and (3) allegations
supporting exemplary damages. See Pl. Mot., ECF No.
50. Thereafter, on September 1, 2016, Defendant filed its
Motion for 115-Day Extension of Time, seeking to extend the
discovery cutoff in order to obtain a ruling on the
previously denied motion to compel before Judge Claire.
See Def. Mot., ECF No. 51. Each party opposes the
motion of the other, and each party has filed a reply in
response to those oppositions. See Pl. Opp, ECF No.
52; Def. Resp., ECF No. 53; Pl. Reply, ECF No. 54; Def.
Reply, ECF No. 56. The motions were taken under submission
October 3, 2016.
December 1, 2016, Defendant filed its motion for summary
judgement (“MSJ”). Def. MSJ, ECF No. 63.
Plaintiff then filed its cross-motion for summary judgment on
December 6, 2016, and separately opposed Defendant's MSJ
on December 22, 2016. Pl. MSJ, ECF No. 66; Pl. Opp. MSJ, ECF
No. 68. Defendant then filed a motion in limine
(“MIL”) to exclude certain expert opinions cited
in Plaintiff's MSJ on December 30, 2016, and separately
opposed Plaintiff's cross-MSJ on January 5, 2017. MIL,
ECF No. 70; Def. Opp. MSJ, ECF No. 71. Plaintiff opposed
Defendant's MIL on January 12, 2017. Pl. Opp. MIL, ECF
No. 75. Each party filed its respective replies concerning
the MSJs and MIL as well. See ECF Nos. 74, 76, 77.
The MSJs and MIL were taken under submission March 20,
reasons discussed below, Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to
Amend the Complaint is GRANTED; Defendant's Motion for
115-Day Extension of Time regarding the discovery cutoff is
GRANTED; Plaintiff's MSJ, Defendant's MSJ, and
Defendant's MIL are STRICKEN for failure to comply with
the terms, intent, and spirit of the Court's Pretrial
Scheduling Order (“PTSO, ” ECF No. 12). As
detailed below, the parties may refile dispositive motions at
a later date, pursuant to the directions and timeline
Leave to File An Amended Complaint
a motion to amend is subject to Rule 15(a) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides that “[t]he
court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so
requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). However,
“[o]nce the district court ha[s] filed a pretrial
scheduling order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
16[, ] which establishe[s] a timetable for amending
pleadings[, ] that rule's standards control[ ].”
Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, Inc., 975 F.2d 604,
607-08 (9th Cir. 1992); see In re W. States Wholesale
Natural Gas Antitrust Litig., 715 F.3d 716, 737 (9th
16(b) requires a party seeking leave to amend to demonstrate
“good cause.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b). “Rule
16(b)'s ‘good cause' standard primarily
considers the diligence of the party seeking
amendment.” Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609.
“If that party was not diligent, the inquiry should
end.” Id. Although “the focus of the
inquiry is upon the moving party's reasons for seeking
modification, ” a court may make its determination by
noting the prejudice to other parties. Id.
cause is found, the court must then evaluate the request to
amend in light of Rule 15(a)'s liberal standard.
Id. at 608. Leave to amend should be granted unless
amendment: (1) would cause prejudice to the opposing party,
(2) is sought in bad faith, (3) creates undue delay, (4) or
is futile. Chudacoff v. Univ. Med. Ctr. of S. Nev.,
649 F.3d 1143, 1153 (9th Cir. 2011) (citing Foman v.
Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)). “Because Rule
16(b)'s ‘good cause' inquiry essentially
incorporates the first three factors, if a court finds that
good cause exists, it should then deny a motion for leave to
amend only if such amendment would be futile.”
Baisa v. Indymac Fed. Reserve, No.
2:09-CV-01464-WBS-JFM, 2010 WL 2348736, at *1 (E.D. Cal. June
Extension of Time
its motion for extension of time, Defendant seeks an
extension of the discovery cutoff, which requires amendment
of the PTSO. As with Plaintiff's motion for leave to file
an amended complaint, any motion seeking to amend the PTSO
must meet the “good cause” standard of Rule 16.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b). In explaining this standard, the Ninth
Circuit has stated:
A district court may modify the pretrial schedule “if
it cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the
party seeking the extension.” Moreover, carelessness is
not compatible with a finding of diligence and offers no
reason for granting of relief. Although the existence or
degree of prejudice to the party opposing the modification
might supply additional reasons to deny a motion, the focus
of the inquiry is upon the moving party's reasons for
seeking modifications. If that party was not diligent, the
inquiry should end.
Johnson, 975 F.2d at 609 (citations omitted).
Violation of Pretrial Scheduling Order
scheduling order ‘is not a frivolous piece of paper,
idly entered, which can be cavalierly disregarded by counsel
without peril.' [citation omitted] . . . Disregard of the
order would undermine the court's ability to control its
docket, disrupt the agreed-upon course of the litigation, and
reward the indolent and the cavalier.”
Johnson, 975 F.2d at 610. If a party fails to obey a