Deruyver et al v. Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, LLC et al

Filing 15

ORDER Granting 13 Motion for Leave to File Third Party Complaint. Signed by Judge Marilyn L. Huff on 6/27/2017. (ag)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 13 14 HADLEY DERUYVER, by and through her Guardian ad Litem, Christopher DeRuyver; CHRISTOPHER DERUYVER; ROBYN DERUYVER; NATHANIEL DERUYVER; and ZACHARY DERUYVER, 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Case No.: 3:17-cv-00516-H-AGS ORDER GRANTING LEAVE TO FILE THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT [Doc. No. 13] Plaintiffs, v. OMNI LA COSTA RESORT & SPA, LLC, a limited liability company; FILLMORE LC HOLDINGS I, LLC, a limited liability company; DOE 1 FNU LNU, an individual; and DOES 2 through 50, inclusive, Defendants. 23 24 On February 2, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a complaint against Defendants in the Superior 25 Court of California. (Doc. No. 1 at 9, ¶ 3.) Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on 26 February 9, 2017. (Id.) The amended complaint alleges that Plaintiffs were in Defendants’ 27 restaurant when Plaintiff Hadley DeRuyver, a nine-month-old child, was severely burned 28 by spilled coffee. (Id. at 22.) Plaintiffs assert state law causes of action for general 1 3:17-cv-00516-H-AGS 1 negligence and premises liability. (Id. at 22-25.) On March 15, 2017, Defendants removed 2 the action to this Court on the basis of diversity jurisdiction. (Id. at 1-7.) Defendants 3 answered the amended complaint on March 22, 2017. (Doc. No. 3.) 4 On June 9, 2017, Defendants filed a motion for leave to file a third-party complaint 5 against Plaintiff’s nanny, Brittany Russ. (Doc. No. 13.) On June 26, 2017, Plaintiffs filed 6 a notice of non-opposition to the motion. (Doc. No. 14.) Pursuant to its discretion under 7 Local Rule 7.1(d)(1), the Court determines that the motion is fit for resolution without oral 8 argument. Accordingly, the Court submits the motion on the parties’ papers and vacates 9 the scheduled hearing. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants the motion. 10 Discussion 11 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 14(a)(1) provides that 12 [a] defending party may, as third-party plaintiff, serve a summons and complaint on a nonparty who is or may be liable to it for all or part of the claim against it. But the third-party plaintiff must, by motion, obtain the court’s leave if it files the third-party complaint more than 14 days after serving its original answer. 13 14 15 16 Thus, a defendant may assert a third-party claim under Rule 14(a)(1) “only when the 17 third-party’s liability is in some way dependent on the outcome of the main claim, or when 18 the third-party is secondarily liable to the defending party.” See Stewart v. American Int’l 19 Oil and Gas Co., 845 F.2d 196, 199–200 (9th Cir.1988). Put another way, “[t]he crucial 20 characteristic of a Rule 14 claim is that [the] defendant is attempting to transfer to the third- 21 party defendant the liability asserted against him by the original plaintiff” and so “[t]he 22 mere fact that the alleged third-party claim arises from the transaction or set of facts as the 23 original claim is not enough.” Stewart, 845 F.2d at 200 (citation omitted). 24 Defendants meet this derivative liability requirement: Defendants assert that Ms. 25 Russ was the nanny in charge of the infant Hadley at the time of her injury. (Doc. No. 13- 26 1 at 5.) Defendants argue that Ms. Russ is a culpable joint tortfeasor in this action and that 27 Defendants will have a right of equitable indemnity and contribution against Ms. Russ if 28 2 3:17-cv-00516-H-AGS 1 there is a verdict in favor of Plaintiffs. (Id.) Accordingly, for good cause shown, the Court 2 grants Defendants’ motion for leave to file a third-party complaint against Brittany Russ. 3 Conclusion 4 5 6 7 8 9 For the reasons above, the Court grants Defendants’ motion for leave to file a thirdparty complaint against Brittany Russ. IT IS SO ORDERED. DATED: June 27, 2017 MARILYN L. HUFF, District Judge UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 3:17-cv-00516-H-AGS

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