Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Klotz v. Lowe's Home Centers, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

February 13, 2018

JAMES KLOTZ, Plaintiff,
v.
LOWE'S HOME CENTERS, LLC, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CHARLES A. SHAW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on plaintiff James Klotz's (“Plaintiff”) motion for leave to file a third amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2).[1] Defendant Lowe's Home Centers, L.L.C. (“Defendant”) opposes the motion. Plaintiff filed a reply, and the motion is now fully briefed. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's third motion to amend the complaint will be denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed this action in Missouri state court in July 2016. The case arises out of an alleged incident that occurred at a Lowe's store located in Arnold, Missouri and resulted in personal injury to Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges three theories of liability in his original petition. Although Plaintiff did not explicitly identify or label the legal theories he seeks to advance, the Court interprets Count I as an allegation of premises liability, [2] Count II as an allegation of third- party criminal liability; and Count III as an allegation that Lowe's assumed a legal duty to warn Plaintiff.

         On January 25, 2017, Defendant removed the case to this Court based on diversity of citizenship jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), and it was assigned to the Honorable Carol E. Jackson. A Case Management Order setting scheduling deadlines was issued on March 2, 2017. (Doc. 15). On March 31, 2017, Plaintiff filed a first amended complaint without leave of Court, attempting to add two individual defendants, and also filed a motion to remand. Judge Jackson issued a Memorandum and Order denying plaintiff's motion to remand and striking Plaintiff's first amended complaint on April 21, 2017. (Doc. 30). The parties subsequently engaged in discovery.

         The case was reassigned to the undersigned on July 28, 2017 upon Judge Jackson's retirement, and an Amended Case Management Order was issued the same date. (Doc. 34). Under both case management orders, the deadline for motions for leave to amend pleadings was March 31, 2017. No. party sought to amend that deadline. On September 27, 2017 Plaintiff filed a motion for leave to file a second amended complaint pursuant to Rule 15(a)(2). The Court denied Plaintiff's motion and explained that Plaintiff's application of Rule 15(a)(2) was incorrect. Specifically, the undersigned stated that because the deadline for motions to amend pleadings in this case passed on March 31, 2017, Plaintiff was required to show good cause for the amendment under Rule 16(b)(4). See Mem. and Order of Oct. 24, 2017. (Doc. 46). The Court found that Plaintiff made no effort to show the existence of good cause, and denied Plaintiff's second motion to amend the complaint.

         On December 29, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant motion for “leave to file third amended complaint.” Despite the Court's explanation in its previous order, Plaintiff again seeks to file an amended complaint pursuant to Rule 15(a)(2) and makes no mention of Rule 16(b)(4)'s “good cause” standard. Plaintiff asserts that he seeks leave to amend the complaint “in order to allege facts developed in discovery, including the depositions of Defendant's employees completed November 14, 2017.” Plaintiff's motion contains no explanation as to what the newly discovered facts are.

         Defendant opposes the motion for leave, arguing that Rule 16(b)(4)'s “good cause” standard, not the “freely given” standard of Rule 15(a), applies because the Case Management Order's deadline to amend pleadings has passed. Defendant states that Plaintiff has not shown good cause for his untimely amendment, proffered almost ten months past the deadline, and cannot show diligence because the facts added to Plaintiff's proposed amended complaint are not novel and were available to him prior to the depositions of Lowe's employees. Defendant further notes that Plaintiff has not provided an explanation as to which facts were recently discovered and why his complaint must be amended to include them.

         Defendant additionally argues that permitting Plaintiff to amend the complaint at this time would cause undue prejudice to Defendant. Defendant has submitted a motion for summary judgment based on the legal theories set forth in Plaintiff's petition. Defendant argues that Plaintiff should not be permitted to avoid an adverse summary judgment ruling by seeking leave to amend.

         Plaintiff replies that Defendant removed the case from state court on January 25, 2017 and filed its answer on January 26, 2017, and that “amendments in response to a recently raised defense can be appropriate.” Reply at 1. Instead of explaining or even summarizing the allegedly newly discovered facts in his reply, Plaintiff refers the Court to his response to Lowe's motion for summary judgment for the “basis for many of the allegations in the proposed third amended complaint.” Id. at 4.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         It is well established that a “motion for leave to amend filed outside the district court's Rule 16(b) scheduling order requires a showing of good cause.” Kmak v. American Century Cos., Inc., 873 F.3d 1030, 1034 (8th Cir. 2017) (quoting Williams v. TESCO Servs., Inc., 719 F.3d 968, 977 (8th Cir. 2013)). “The primary measure of good cause is the movant's diligence.” Id. (quoting Harris v. FedEx Nat'l LTL, Inc., 760 F.3d 780, 786 (8th Cir. 2014)). Courts generally do not consider prejudice to the nonmoving party if the party seeking leave to amend has not been diligent in meeting the case management order's deadlines. Id. (quoting Hartis v. Chicago Title Ins. Co., 694 F.3d 935 948 (8th Cir. 2012)). Furthermore, it is not an abuse of discretion to deny a motion to amend the pleadings where the nonmoving party has moved for summary judgment. See Davis v. City of St. John, 182 F. App'x 626, 627 (8th Cir. 2006) (unpublished per curiam) (affirming denial of leave to amend where plaintiffs sought to amend their complaint eight months after the Case Management Order's deadline for amendment of pleadings).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Because the Case Management Order's deadline for motions to amend pleadings in this case passed on March 31, 2017, Plaintiff is required to show good cause for the amendment under Rule 16(b)(4). Kmak, 873 F.3d at 1034. This Court previously informed Plaintiff that Rule 16(b)(4)'s good cause standard, and not Rule 15(a)'s standard, is the correct standard that must be met. Despite the Court's previous Order, Plaintiff repeats the same error. Plaintiff again fails to address the issue of good cause and instead relies ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.