Marilyn Haehn v. JetBlue Airways Corporation et al

Filing 17

ORDER by Judge Dean D. Pregerson: granting 12 JetBlues Motion for Leave to File Third Party Complaint. (lc) Modified on 7/6/2012 (lc).

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1 2 O 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 MARILYN HAEHN, 12 Plaintiff, 13 v. 14 JETBLUE AIRWAYS CORPORATION, 15 Defendant. ___________________________ ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No. CV 11-07781 DDP (JCGx) ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINT [Dkt. No. 12] 16 17 Presently before the court is Defendant JetBlue Airways 18 Corporation (“JetBlue”)’s Motion for Leave to File a Third-Party 19 Complaint. 20 the court grants the motion and adopts the following order. 21 I. 22 Having reviewed the papers submitted by the parties, Background In July 2011, Plaintiff Marilyn Haehn (“Haehn”) filed a 23 complaint against JetBlue in California Superior Court. 24 seeks compensation for injuries suffered during an emergency 25 evacuation of a JetBlue aircraft at the Sacramento County Airport. 26 JetBlue subsequently removed to this court and answered the 27 complaint in September 2011. 28 motion, seeking leave to file a third-party complaint. Haehn JetBlue then filed the instant JetBlue 1 argues that the County of Sacramento (the “County”) is liable for 2 contractual indemnification under its Sacramento International 3 Airport Scheduled Airline Operating Agreement and Terminal 4 Building Lease (the “Operating Agreement”). 5 motion. 6 II. 7 Haehn opposes the Legal Standard “A defending party may, as third-party plaintiff, serve a 8 summons and complaint on a nonparty who is or may be liable to it 9 for all or part of the claim against it.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 10 14(a)(1). 11 complaint within fourteen days of an original answer, the 12 defendant must first obtain leave to file. 13 If a defending party does not file the third-party Id. The decision to grant a defendant leave to implead a third- 14 party rests in the sound discretion of the trial court. See U.S. 15 v. One Mercedes Benz, 708 F.2d 444, 452 (9th Cir.1983). In 16 deciding whether to permit impleader, a court must consider the 17 prejudice to the original plaintiff, complication of issues to be 18 tried, likelihood of delay, and timeliness of the motion to 19 implead. 20 2000). Irwin v. Mascott, 94 F.Supp. 2d 1052, 1056 (N.D. Cal. 21 B. Analysis 22 JetBlue argues that under the terms of its operating 23 agreement with the County, it is s entitled to contractual 24 indemnification and contribution for claims relating to Haehn’s 25 injuries, and that because discovery is still in its early stages, 26 the introduction of the County as an additional defendant will not 27 cause undue delay. (Mot. 5-7) 28 2 1 Haehn argues that the introduction of governmental and 2 contractual issues, namely whether JetBlue followed or was 3 obligated to follow noticing procedures under California 4 Government Code §930.2, into an otherwise straightforward 5 negligence action will unduly delay and complicate resolution of 6 the case at hand. (Opp. 3) 7 unduly prejudiced by being forced to oppose a future motion for 8 change of venue by the County. (Opp. 3) 9 Haehn also argues that she will be The court is persuaded that impleader should be permitted. 10 The introduction of an additional defendant will not require the 11 duplication of any discovery, which remains in its early stages, 12 or unduly delay trial. 13 will raise contractual defenses, it is JetBlue, not Haehn, who 14 will bear the burden of responding. 15 hypothetical future motion to transfer venue create sufficient 16 prejudice to Haehn to warrant denial of JetBlue’s timely-filed 17 motion. 18 liable, the focus of the trial will remain on the cause of Haehn’s 19 injuries. 20 III. CONCLUSION 21 22 Even if Haehn is correct that the County Nor the does prospect of a Regardless whether JetBlue or the County is ultimately Impleader under Rule 14 is, therefore, appropriate. For the reasons stated above, JetBlue’s Motion for Leave to File Third Party Complaint is GRANTED. 23 24 IT IS SO ORDERED. 25 26 27 Dated: July 6, 2012 ____________________________ DEAN D. PREGERSON United States District Judge 28 3

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