Hayes v. Wright Medical Technology, Inc. et al

Filing 27

ORDER Granting 25 Plaintiff's Motion For Leave to File A First Amended Complaint. Signed by Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo on 12/28/2016. (dxj).

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 LESTER HAYES, Case No.: 16-CV-1072-CAB-(WVC) Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT [Doc. No. 25] WRIGHT MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY, INC., a Delaware corporation; and WRIGHT MEDICAL GROUP, INC., a Delaware corporation, 15 16 Defendants. 17 18 This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a first 19 20 amended complaint. [Doc. No. 25.] For the reasons discussed below, the motion is 21 GRANTED. 22 I. Background 23 On May 3, 2016, Plaintiff filed this action alleging a variety of common law tort 24 claims arising out of the failure of Defendants’ hip replacement device. [Doc. No. 1.] 25 On October 7, 2016, this Court dismissed without prejudice the manufacturing 26 defect, breach of implied warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment, 27 and negligent misrepresentation claims. [Doc. No. 15.] In that order, Plaintiff was given 28 1 16-CV-1072-CAB-(WVC) 1 until October 21, 2016 to file an amended complaint consistent with the Court’s 2 instructions. [Id.] On October 21, 2016, Defendant Wright Medical Technology (“Wright”) filed its 3 4 answer. [Doc. No. 19.] 5 On November 19, 2016, Plaintiff sought leave to amend his complaint to add 6 MicroPort as an additional defendant in this matter. [Doc. No. 25.] Defendant Wright 7 has not opposed the motion. 8 9 10 No scheduling order has been issued. II. Discussion Plaintiff seeks leave to amend under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a), which 11 states “[t]he court shall freely give when justice so requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). 12 Courts commonly use four factors to determine the propriety of a motion for leave to 13 amend: bad faith, undue delay, prejudice to the opposing party, and futility of 14 amendment. Ditto v. McCurdy, 510 F.3d 1070, 1078-79 (9th Cir. 2007); Loehr v. 15 Ventura Cnty. Cmty. Coll. Dist., 743 F.2d 1310, 1319 (9th Cir. 1984); Howey v. United 16 States, 481 F.2d 1187, 1190 (9th Cir. 1973). “When weighing these factors . . . all 17 inferences should be made in favor of granting the motion to amend.” Hofstetter v. 18 Chase Home Fin., LLC, 751 F. Supp. 2d 1116, 1122 (N.D. Cal 2010) (citing Griggs v. 19 Pace Am. Grp., Inc., 170 F.3d 877, 880 (9th Cir. 1999)). 20 The Ninth Circuit has held that “it is the consideration of prejudice to the opposing 21 party that carries the greatest weight.” Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 22 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003). “Absent prejudice, or a strong showing of any of the 23 remaining Foman factors, there exists a presumption under Rule 15(a) in favor of 24 granting leave to amend.” Id. The fact that Defendant did not oppose this motion 25 supports the conclusion that there is no prejudice. Therefore, this factor weighs in favor 26 of granting leave to amend. 27 28 “[A] proposed amendment is futile only if no set of facts can be proved under the amendment to the pleadings that would constitute a valid and sufficient claim or 2 16-CV-1072-CAB-(WVC) 1 defense.” Miller v. Rykoff-Sexton, Inc., 845 F.2d 209, 214 (9th Cir. 1988). Futile 2 amendments to a complaint should not be permitted. DCD Programs, Ltd. v. Leighton, 3 833 F.2d 183, 188 (9th Cir. 1987) (citations omitted.). Here, the amended complaint 4 alleges that when MicroPort acquired the OrthoRecon Division of Wright in 2014, it 5 engaged in the manufacture, labeling, marketing, promotion, and distribution of the 6 PROFEMUR® Total Hip System implanted in Plaintiff. [Doc. No. 25-2 ¶¶ 54, 57.] 7 Further, it alleges that following the acquisition and prior to the failure of Plaintiff’s hip 8 device, MicroPort became aware of issues surrounding the PROFEMUR® modular neck 9 component.1 [Id. ¶¶ 56, 99, 104.] Additionally, it is alleged that despite knowing about 10 the likelihood of failure, MicroPort did not warn of the potential danger for fracture until 11 it issued a limited voluntary recall in August 2016, two months after the device implanted 12 in Plaintiff failed. [Id. ¶¶ 55, 57.] At this early stage in the litigation, the Court cannot 13 conclude that amendment of Plaintiff’s complaint to add MicroPort as a Defendant would 14 be futile. 15 Plaintiff has filed his motion approximately 6½ months after filing the original 16 complaint, which weights in favor of granting the leave to amend. There is nothing in the 17 record to suggest that the leave to amend is being sought in bad faith, therefore there is no 18 cause to deny the leave to amend on this basis. 19 III. Conclusion 20 Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a first amended complaint is GRANTED. The 21 Clerk SHALL DOCKET Exhibit A attached to Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file amended 22 complaint [Doc. No. 25-2] as Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint. Defendants 23 // 24 // 25 // 26 27 1 28 The PROFEMUR® Total Hip System is compromised of the PROFEMUR® modular neck component and the PROFEMUR® stem component. 3 16-CV-1072-CAB-(WVC) 1 shall respond to Plaintiff’s amended complaint within the limits established by the Federal 2 Rules of Civil Procedure. 3 4 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: December 28, 2016 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4 16-CV-1072-CAB-(WVC)

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?