Dominguez et al v. Excel Manufacturing Co Inc

Filing 61

ORDER by Judge Laporte denying 41 Motion to Bifurcate (edllc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/4/2010)

Download PDF
Dominguez et al v. Excel Manufacturing Co Inc Doc. 61 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA JUAN and JUANA DOMINGUEZ, Plaintiff, v. EXCEL MANUFACTURING, INC., Defendant. / This is a personal injury action against a machine manufacturer relating to injuries sustained by Plaintiff during his use of a "horizontal baler" machine" in the course of his employment. Defendant has filed a motion to bifurcate trial of liability from trial of damages pursuant t Rule 42(b), on grounds that separate trials would promote convenience and judicial economy while not resulting in prejudice to any party. The question of whether to bifurcate a trial is a matter committed to this Court's discretion. See, e.g., Danjaq LLC v. Sony Corp., 263 F.3d 942, 961 (9th Cir. 2001). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(b) provides: "The court, in furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice, or when separate trials will be conducive to expedition and economy, may order a separate trial of any claim, cross-claim, counterclaim, or third-party claim, or of any separate issue or of any number of claims, cross-claims, counterclaims, third-party claims, or issues, always preserving inviolate the right of trial by jury as declared by the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution or as given by a statute of the United States." When deciding whether to bifurcate, courts consider: (1) whether separate trials would be in furtherance of convenience; (2) whether separate trials would avoid prejudice; (3) whether separate trials would serve judicial economy; (4) whether separate trials would reduce the No. 09-3611 EDL ORDER DENYING MOTION TO BIFURCATE WITHOUT PREJUDICE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 risk of jury confusion; and (5) whether the issues are clearly separable. See William W. Schwarzer, Civil Procedure Before Trial, 16:160.4 (The Rutter Group 2005). Having considered these factors, as well as the considerations discussed in Hamm v. Am. Home Products, 888 F. Supp. 1037 (E.D. Cal. 1995) and Tuey v. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, 2009 WL 928328 (E.D. Cal. 2009), the Court hereby DENIES the motion to bifurcate without prejudice. The Court generally disfavors bifurcation, but Defendant is not prohibited from raising the issue in a motion in limine if it believes in good faith that it can make a stronger showing. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: October 4, 2010 ELIZABETH D. LAPORTE United States Magistrate Judge 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?