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Sampson v. Subaru of America, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. California

November 13, 2019

JOHN SAMPSON; and LESLIE SAMPSON, Plaintiffs,
v.
SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC.; and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants.

          ORDER

          HON. WILLIAM Q. HAYES UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         The matters before the Court are 1) the Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (ECF No. 11); and 2) the Motion to Remand (ECF No. 12) filed by Plaintiffs John Sampson and Leslie Sampson.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 30, 2019, Plaintiffs John Sampson and Leslie Sampson initiated this action by filing a Complaint against Defendant Subaru of America, Inc. (“Subaru”) and Does 1 through 10 in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of San Diego. (ECF No. 1-3). Plaintiffs allege that Subaru manufactured or distributed a defective Subaru Outback, failed to repair the vehicle, failed to provide sufficient service literature or parts to repair facilities, breached an express warranty, and breached the implied warranty of merchantability. Plaintiffs bring claims against Subaru for 1) violation of California's Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, California Civil Code §§ 1790 et seq.; and 2) violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (“MMWA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 2301 et seq. Plaintiffs seek damages, restitution, civil penalties, attorneys' fees, costs, interest, and other relief as the Court may deem proper. On August 30, 2019, Subaru removed the action to this Court based on federal question jurisdiction over the MMWA claim and supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. (ECF No. 1).

         On September 30, 2019, Plaintiffs filed 1) a Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (ECF No. 11); and 2) a Motion to Remand (ECF No. 12). On October 18, 2019, Subaru filed Responses in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motions. (ECF Nos. 20, 21). On October 25, 2019, Plaintiffs filed Replies. (ECF Nos. 23, 24).

         II. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND

         Plaintiffs seek leave to amend the Complaint to 1) dismiss the MMWA claim with prejudice; and 2) join Kearney Mesa Hyundai Subaru (“KMHS”) as a defendant.

         a. MMWA Claim

         Plaintiffs contends that the Court should allow Plaintiffs to amend the Complaint to dismiss the MMWA claim with prejudice “because none of the factors militating against amendment, such as undue delay, bad faith, futility, or undue prejudice to Defendant, are present.” (ECF No. 11 at 2). Subaru “does not object to plaintiffs' proposed dismissal of their Magnuson-Moss claim with prejudice.” (ECF No. 20 at 2).

         Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that, after the time for amendment “as a matter of course” has passed, “a party may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). A court “should freely give leave when justice so requires.” Id. District courts consider several factors in deciding whether to grant a motion to amend under Rule 15(a):

In the absence of any apparent or declared reason - such as undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment, etc. - the leave sought should, as the rules require, be ‘freely given.'

Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); see Bowles v. Reade, 198 F.3d 752, 757-58 (9th Cir. 1999) (“Liberality in granting a plaintiff leave to amend is subject to the qualification that the amendment not cause undue prejudice to the defendant, is not sought in bad faith, and is not futile . . . . Additionally, the district court may consider the factor of undue delay . . . . Undue delay by itself, however, is insufficient to justify denying a motion to amend.”) (citation omitted). “Not all of the [Foman] factors merit equal weight . . . . [T]he 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) (citations omitted). “The party opposing amendment bears the burden of showing prejudice.” DCD Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 187 (9th Cir. 1987). “Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the remaining Foman factors, there exists a presumption under Rule 15(a) in favor of granting leave to amend.” Eminence Capital, 316 F.3d at 1052.

         Subaru does not oppose Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend to dismiss the MMWA claim. There has been no showing that any of the Foman factors warrant deviating from the “presumption under Rule 15(a) in favor of granting leave to amend.” Id. Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint to dismiss the MMWA claim with prejudice is granted.

         b. Jo ...


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