Maranon v. Santa Clara Stadium Authority et al

Filing 44

ORDER GRANTING 38 MOTION TO AMEND AND VACATING HEARING. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 4/24/2017. (blflc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/24/2017)

Download PDF
1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 ANTHONY MARANON, Plaintiff, 8 9 10 11 Case No. 15-cv-04709-BLF ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND AND VACATING HEARING v. SANTA CLARA STADIUM AUTHORITY, et al., [Re: ECF 38] United States District Court Northern District of California Defendants. 12 13 Plaintiff Anthony Maranon brings this suit against Santa Clara Stadium Authority 14 (“Stadium Authority”), the City of Santa Clara (“City”), and Forty Niners Stadium Management 15 Company LLC (“Stadium Management) (collectively, “Defendants”) following an incident at 16 Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California (the “Facility”), in which he fell out of his wheelchair 17 after his wheel became lodged in a drainage grate that had excessive openings in violation of 18 applicable federal and state access standards. See generally Compl., ECF 1. Maranon asserts: 19 violation of Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. 20 §§ 12131–34, 12181–89; violations of the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 51; 21 denial of full and equal access to public facilities; negligence per se; negligence based on premises 22 liability; dangerous conditions of public property, pursuant to Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 830, 835; and a 23 breach of statutory duty, pursuant to Cal. Gov’t Code § 815.6. See generally id. 24 Presently before the Court is Maranon’s unopposed motion to amend his complaint in 25 order to allege a claim of negligence against his medical providers, whom he alleges contributed to 26 the injuries he suffered from the incident at the Facility. Mot. 1–2, ECF 38. Pursuant to Civil 27 L.R. 7-1(b), the Court finds Plaintiff’s motion suitable for submission without oral argument and 28 hereby VACATES the hearing scheduled for June 1, 2017. For the reasons set forth herein, the 1 Court GRANTS Plaintiff’s motion. 2 I. LEGAL STANDARD Fed. R. Civ. P. 15 provides that leave to amend pleadings generally should be given freely 4 “when justice so requires.” But leave may be denied based on “futility of amendment.” Foman v. 5 Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962). Fed. R. Civ. P. 20 sets forth specific standards for permissive 6 joinder. Under Rule 20, parties may be joined in a single lawsuit where the claims against them 7 arise from “the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any 8 question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.” A court may exercise 9 “supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are so related to claims in the action within 10 such original jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or controversy under Article III of 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 3 the U.S. Constitution.” 28 U.S.C. § 1367. 12 II. DISCUSSION In order to successfully join Mansour Jamal, Fook “Frank” Wong, and O’Connor Hospital 13 14 (collectively, “Medical Defendants”), Maranon must satisfy the permissive joinder requirements 15 of Rule 20.1 Oda v. United States, CV11-4514, 2012 WL 692409, at * 1 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2012). 16 Under Rule 20(a)(2), permissive joinder of defendants is proper if: “(A) any right to relief 17 is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising out of the 18 same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law 19 or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2). The Ninth 20 Circuit has interpreted the phrase “same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or 21 occurrences” to require a degree of factual commonality underlying the claims. Coughlin v. 22 Rogers, 130 F.3d 1348, 1350 (9th Cir. 1997). Typically, this means that a party “must assert 23 rights . . . that arise from related activities—a transaction or an occurrence or a series thereof.” 24 Bravado Int’l Grp. Merch. Servs. v. Cha, No. CV 09-9066, 2010 WL 2650432, at *4 (C.D. Cal. 25 June 30, 2010) (citation, internal quotation marks, and emphasis omitted). District courts have 26 reached different conclusions regarding whether overlapping liability alone is sufficient to satisfy 27 1 28 The Court is satisfied that it would have supplemental jurisdiction over the claims asserted against the Medical Defendants. 2 1 FRCP 20, and the Ninth Circuit has not yet decided this issue. See Oda, 2012 WL 692409, at *1– 2 2 (describing two lines of cases). 3 “Although the specific requirements of Rule 20 . . . may be satisfied, a trial court must also 4 examine the other relevant factors in a case in order to determine whether the permissive joinder 5 of a party will comport with the principles of fundamental fairness.” Desert Empire Bank v. Ins. 6 Co. of N. Am., 623 F.2d 1371, 1375 (9th Cir. 1980). Such factors may include judicial economy, 7 prejudice, and whether separate claims require different witnesses and documentary proof. SEC v. 8 Leslie, No. C 07–3444, 2010 WL 2991038, at *4 (N.D. Cal. July 29, 2010). 9 Maranon argues that the claims against the Medical Defendants arise out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences, because his medical negligence 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 claim against the Medical Defendants contributed to the same injuries he alleges were caused by 12 his fall at the Facility, will involve common witnesses and evidence as his personal injury claims 13 against Defendants, and he would be required to relitigate the same injuries in a separate action if 14 the Court denies his request. Mot. 5. Maranon further contends that denial of this motion will 15 make it difficult to apportion liability amongst all of the defendants, including the Medical 16 Defendants. Id. 17 The Court agrees with Maranon. Rule 20 simply requires “related activities” and 18 “similarity in the factual background of a claim.” Jacques v. Hyatt Corp., No. C 11-5364, 2012 19 WL 3010969, at *3 (N.D. Cal. July 23, 2012) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). 20 Maranon has set forth several relationships between the incident at the Facility and the subsequent 21 alleged medical negligence, specifically: that the injury caused by both incidents is the same, the 22 second claim would not exist but for the first, and there are overlapping damages. Mot. 4–5. 23 Maranon’s allegations therefore meet the threshold requirement. Cf. Wilson v. Famatex GmbH 24 Fabrik Fuer Textilausruestungsmaschinen, 726 F. Supp. 950, 951–52 (S.D.N.Y.1989) (finding the 25 threshold “series of occurrences” requirement satisfied where the plaintiff sued for products 26 liability and subsequent medical malpractice after an accident involving a dyeing machine). 27 28 FRCP 20 also requires at least on common question of law or fact. Jacques, 2012 WL 3010969, at *4. At a minimum, preexisting conditions, contributing factors, and the nature and 3 1 extent of Maranon’s injuries are common questions of fact for both claims. Moreover, each of the 2 defendants will surely be pointing to the other as the primary cause of the ultimate injuries. 3 Accordingly, Plaintiff’s complaint meets the second threshold requirement under FRCP 20. 4 Finally, the Court finds that permissive joinder of the Medical Defendants will comport 5 with the principles of fundamental fairness because the current parties have indicated that the 6 participation of the Medical Defendants “may be critical to a settlement.” See Stipulation to 7 Extend Deadline for Mediation ¶ 4, ECF 42. Plaintiff also contends that Defendants may be 8 prejudiced if the Medical Providers are not joined in this action because it would make 9 apportionment of liability amongst the defendants more difficult. Mot. 5. 10 For the foregoing reasons, the Court finds permissive joinder warranted and thus GRANTS United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Marnon’s motion to amend the complaint. Plaintiff shall file the amended complaint on or before 12 May 3, 2017. The last day to effectuate service of the amended complaint is July 1, 2017. 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. 14 15 16 17 Dated: April 24, 2017 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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?