Oakes et al v. United Home Life Insurance Company et al
OPINION AND ORDER directing as follows: (1) plfs' Betty Oakes and J.T. Oakes's 35 MOTION for Leave to File Second Amended Complaint is GRANTED; (2) def United Home Life Insurance Company's 31 MOTION TO DISMISS is DENIED with leave to renew; def Bankers Life and Casualty Company's 33 MOTION TO DISMISS is DENIED with leave to renew. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 9/8/15. (Attachments: # 1 civil appeals checklist).(djy, ) .
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, EASTERN DIVISION
BETTY OAKES and J. T.
UNITED HOME LIFE INSURANCE )
COMPANY, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
OPINION AND ORDER
defendants United Home Life Insurance Company, Bankers
negligent and wanton hiring, supervision, training, and
U.S.C. §§ 1332 (diversity) and 1441 (removal).
This cause is before the court on (1) the Oakeses’
motion for leave to file a second amended complaint and
(2) United Home’s and Bankers Life’s motions to dismiss
the Oakeses’ first amended complaint.
For the reasons
that follow, the leave-to-amend motion will be granted,
and the dismissal motions will be denied.
pleadings must be filed by July 31.
July 27: The Oakeses filed a motion for leave to
file their first amended complaint to add new counts
against United Home and Bankers Life for negligent and
wanton hiring, supervision, training, and monitoring.
leave-to-amend motion, the Oakeses filed their first
motion to dismiss the Oakeses’ new counts, contending
that, in their first amended complaint, the Oakeses had
not pleaded facts sufficient to state claims under Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009).
motion to dismiss on the ground similar that asserted
in United Home’s dismissal motion.
That same day, the Oakeses filed the now-pending
motion for leave to file a second amended complaint,
which, if allowed, would set forth additional factual
contention asserted in United Home’s and Bankers Life’s
complaint is untimely.
“Both Rules 15 and 16 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure facially guide the court’s decision whether
to allow an untimely amendment to the [pleadings].”
Nobles v. Rural Cmty. Ins. Servs., 303 F. Supp. 2d
1279, 1283 (M.D. Ala. 2004) (Thompson, J.).
Rule 15 states that, “The court should freely give
leave [to amend] when justice so requires.” Fed. R.
Civ. P. 15(a)(2).
However, when a party seeks leave to
amend after the scheduling-order deadline, the court
must also apply Rule 16, which states that, “A schedule
Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4).
“good cause standard precludes modification unless the
schedule cannot ‘be met despite the diligence of the
party seeking the extension.’”
Sosa v. Airprint Sys.,
Inc., 133 F.3d 1417, 1418 (11th Cir. 1998) (per curiam)
(quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 16 advisory committee’s note).
Oakeses’ failure (with their motion for leave to file
their second amended complaint) to meet the scheduling
order’s amended-pleadings deadline was not the result
of lack of diligence.
United Home and Bankers Life did
not raise (and, indeed, for all practical purposes,
probably could not have raised) their Twombly and Iqbal
argument in opposition to the first amended complaint
passed, and the Oakeses promptly sought to remedy the
problem with a proposed second amended complaint.
filed their motion for leave to file a second amended
complaint, which would allege new factual details, a
mere two days after the Twombly and Iqbal argument was
first raised by United Home, and the same day it was
raised by Bankers Life.
Furthermore, United Home and
Bankers Life were aware of the new claims within the
time period provided by the uniform scheduling order
for amended pleadings.
As such, they would not be
Therefore, because the Oakeses’ failure to
meet the scheduling-order deadline was not dilatory and
unfairly prejudiced by the proposed second amendment,
there is sufficient good cause for this court to modify
amendment after the deadline.
Next, because the Oakeses have met their Rule 16
question: Does justice require that the proposed second
amendment be allowed?
Based on representations made by
the Oakeses during an on-the-record hearing on August
27, 2015, the court finds that the second amendment is
As the Oakeses explained, with their first
amended complaint they added new claims, albeit close
to the scheduling-order deadline, based on information
Bankers Life moved to dismiss on the Twombly and Iqbal
ground, the Oakeses promptly moved to amend their first
amended complaint with factual details that would be
responsive to United Home and Bankers Life’s
unfairly prejudiced by the proposed second amendment
pursuit of the new claims, the court finds that justice
requires that the Oakeses be allowed to continue to
Accordingly, the court
will grant the Oakeses’ motion for leave to file a
second amended complaint under the Rule 15 standard.
Finally, because the Oakeses will be allowed to
because this amendment is responsive to the Twombly and
Iqbal contention raised in United Home’s and Bankers
Life’s motions to dismiss, the dismissal motions will
be denied as moot, albeit with leave to renew should
dismissed as well.
* * *
Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
(1) Plaintiffs Betty Oakes and J.T. Oakes’s motion
(doc. no. 35) is granted.
(2) Defendant United Home Life Insurance Company’s
motion to dismiss (doc. no. 31) is denied with
leave to renew.
(3) Defendant Bankers Life and Casualty Company’s
motion to dismiss (doc. no. 33) is denied with
leave to renew.
DONE, this the 8th day of September, 2015.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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