Segalman v. Southwest Airlines Co.

Filing 26

MEMORANDUM and ORDER signed by Judge Morrison C. England, Jr on 6/19/12: Plaintiff's Motion to Amend (ECF No. 17) is GRANTED, and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 16) is DENIED as moot. Plaintiff shall file his Second Amended Complaint not later than five (5) days following the date this Memorandum and Order is electronically filed. (Kaminski, H)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 ROBERT SEGALMAN, 12 13 14 No. 2:11-cv-01800-MCE-CKD Plaintiff, v. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO., 15 Defendant. 16 ----oo0oo---- 17 18 Plaintiff Robert Segalman (“Plaintiff”) initiated this 19 action on July 8, 2011. Presently before the Court are Defendant 20 Southwest Airline’s (“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s 21 First Amended Complaint (“Defendant’s Motion”) and Plaintiff’s 22 Motion for Leave to File a Second Amended Complaint (“Plaintiff’s 23 Motion”). 24 GRANTED and Defendant’s Motion is DENIED as moot.1 For the following reasons, Plaintiff’s Motion is 25 26 27 28 1 Because oral argument will not be of material assistance, the Court orders this matter submitted on the briefs. E.D. Cal. Local Rule 230(g). 1 BACKGROUND 1 2 3 According to Plaintiff, who has Cerebral Palsy and can 4 neither walk nor talk aloud, he has been injured on multiple 5 occasions by Defendant airline’s improper stowage and transport 6 of his power wheelchair during the course of his various flights. 7 For example, in one instance, Plaintiff arrived at his 8 destination terminal to find his chair’s seat belt broken. 9 Plaintiff subsequently fell out of the chair and broke his shin 10 in two places. 11 returned to him with no power, so he was forced to utilize a 12 manual wheelchair with the assistance of an attendant for 13 extended periods of time. 14 operative First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), Plaintiff alleges 15 three causes of action against Defendant for: 1) violation of the 16 Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (“ACAA”), 49 U.S.C. § 41705; 17 2) discriminatory practices in public accommodations, California 18 Civil Code §§ 51, 52, 54, 54.1, 54.3; and 3) negligence. 19 On other occasions, Plaintiff’s chair was Accordingly, by way of his currently Defendant has now moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s FAC arguing 20 first that Plaintiff’s state law claims are preempted by the ACAA 21 and, second, that Plaintiff has no private right of action under 22 federal law. 23 own Motion seeking leave to amend. 24 “[w]hile it is true the ACAA preempts state law disability 25 discrimination claims as to liability informing conduct and the 26 standard of care as to negligence, it does not in every instance 27 preempt state law remedies.” 28 (emphasis in original). Plaintiff opposed Defendant’s Motion and filed his According to Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s Opposition, 5:4-6 2 1 Plaintiff thus “requests leave to amend to remove [those] 2 allegations, to remove the ACAA claim and to add an ADA claim.” 3 Id., 5:8-9. 4 of the state law remedies is improper.” 5 Plaintiff nonetheless still argues that “dismissal Id., 5:9-10. For its part, Defendant opposes Plaintiff’s Motion “because 6 an amended pleading would be futile, and the complaint would be 7 subject to dismissal.” 8 specifically, Defendant contends Plaintiff’s state law claims as 9 alleged in the proposed SAC, like those in the FAC, are still 10 preempted by the ACAA and that airlines are excluded from the 11 ADA’s reach. 12 rejects Defendant’s arguments as premature and hereby GRANTS 13 Plaintiff’s Motion. Defendant’s Opposition, 2:12-13. Id., 2:13-18. More For the following reasons, the Court 14 ANALYSIS 15 16 17 “The court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice 18 so requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). “This policy is to be 19 applied with extreme liberality.” 20 Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1051 (internal citations and 21 quotations omitted). 22 dilatory motive on the part of the movant,...undue prejudice to 23 the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, [or] 24 futility of the amendment...,” leave to amend should be granted. 25 Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962); Eminence Capital, 26 316 F.3d at 1052 (listing the Foman factors as those to be 27 considered when deciding whether to grant leave to amend). 28 /// Eminence Capital, LLC v. Indeed, absent “undue delay, bad faith or 3 1 Denying leave to amend is proper only if it is clear that “the 2 complaint could not be saved by any amendment.” 3 Techs., Inc. v. Crest Group, Inc., 499 F.3d 1048, 1056 (9th Cir. 4 2007) (internal citations and quotations omitted). 5 Intri-Plex Having considered all of the above factors, the Court now 6 holds that leave to amend is warranted. First, there is no 7 evidence before the Court, nor does Defendant argue, that 8 Plaintiff filed his instant Motion in bad faith or with a 9 dilatory motive. In addition, the fact Plaintiff’s claims are of 10 great import not just to him but to the public further supports 11 granting leave to amend here. 12 litigation is in its infancy, Defendant will suffer no prejudice 13 if Plaintiff is permitted to amend. 14 Defendant’s only argument in opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion is 15 that amendment would be futile. 16 7:2-5. 17 determination on less than a full record. 18 reasons just stated, Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend is GRANTED. 19 /// 20 /// 21 /// 22 /// 23 /// 24 /// 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// Moreover, given that this Perhaps recognizing as much, See Plaintiff’s Opposition, This Court is unwilling, however, to make that 4 Accordingly, for the CONCLUSION 1 2 3 For the reasons just stated, Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend 4 (ECF No. 17) is GRANTED, and Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss (ECF 5 No. 16) is DENIED as moot. 6 Amended Complaint not later than five (5) days following the date 7 this Memorandum and Order is electronically filed. 8 9 Plaintiff shall file his Second IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: June 19, 2012 10 11 12 _____________________________ MORRISON C. ENGLAND, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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