Dawson v. Continental Insurance Company, The
ORDER granting 18 the Joint Motion to Stay Discovery Pending Ruling on Defendants Motion to Dismiss Doc. No. 18 is GRANTED. Discovery, including initial disclosures, is STAYED pending ruling on the Motion to Dismiss. It is further ORDERED that the Scheduling Conference set for April 10, 2014, is VACATED. The parties shall file a status report within ten days of the ruling on the Motion to Dismiss to advise if the Scheduling Conference should be reset, by Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya on 3/24/2014.(evana, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya
Civil Action No. 13–cv–03511–PAB–KMT
THE CONTINENTAL INSURANCE COMPANY,
This matter is before the court on the “Joint Motion to Stay Discovery Pending Ruling on
Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss” (Doc. No. 18, filed March 19, 2014).
In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant unreasonably delayed payments under a
settlement entered into pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act
(“LHWCA”) and its Defense Base Act Extension (“DBA”), and allegedly engaged in other acts
of bad faith. (Doc. No. 1.) Defendant has moved to dismiss on the bases that these claims are
preempted in their entirety by federal law. (Doc. No. 15.) The parties now move for a stay if
discovery pending ruling on the Motion to Dismiss.
Although the stay of proceedings in a case is generally disfavored, the court has
discretion to stay discovery while a dispositive motion is pending. See Wason Ranch Corp. v.
Hecla Mining Co., No. 07–cv–00267–EWN–MEH, 2007 WL 1655362, at *1 (D. Colo. June 6,
2007) (“A stay of all discovery is generally disfavored in this District.”) (citation omitted); String
Cheese Incident, LLC v. Stylus Shows, Inc., No. 1:02–cv–01934–LTB–PAC, 2006 WL 894955,
at *2 (D. Colo. Mar. 30, 2006) (finding that a thirty day stay of discovery was appropriate when
a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction was pending); Nankivil v. Lockheed Martin
Corp., 216 F.R.D. 689, 692 (M.D.Fla.2003) (A stay may be appropriate if “resolution of a
preliminary motion may dispose of the entire action.”); 8 Charles Alan Wright, et al., Federal
Practice and Procedure § 2040, at 521–22 (2d ed. 1994) (“[W]hen one issue may be
determinative of a case, the court has discretion to stay discovery on other issues until the critical
issue has been decided.”); Vivid Techs., Inc. v. Am. Sci. & Eng’g, Inc., 200 F .3d 795, 804 (Fed.
Cir. 1999) (“When a particular issue may be dispositive, the court may stay discovery concerning
other issues until the critical issue is resolved.”); Gilbert v. Ferry, 401 F.3d 411, 415–16 (6th Cir.
2005) (finding that ordering a stay of discovery is not an abuse of discretion when a defendant
has filed a motion to dismiss challenging the court's actual subject matter jurisdiction); Chavous
v. D.C. Fin. Responsibility & Mgmt. Assistance Auth., 201 F.R.D. 1, 2 (D.D.C. 2005) (“A stay of
discovery pending the determination of a dispositive motion is an eminently logical means to
prevent wasting the time and effort of all concerned, and to make the most efficient use of
judicial resources.”) (internal quotation omitted).
When exercising its discretion, the court considers the following factors: (1) the interest
of the plaintiff in proceeding expeditiously with discovery and the potential prejudice to the
plaintiff of a delay; (2) the burden on the defendants of proceeding with discovery; (3) the
convenience to the xourt of staying discovery; (4) the interests of nonparties in either staying or
proceeding with discovery; and (5) the public interest in either staying or proceeding with
discovery. String Cheese Incident, 2006 WL 894955, at *2 (citing FDIC v. Renda, No. 85–
2216–O, 1987 WL 348635, at *2 (D. Kan. Aug. 6, 1987)).
As to the first and second String Cheese factors, because both parties move for a stay of
discovery, there is no prejudice that will result from the stay. With regard to the third factor, it is
certainly more convenient for the Court to grant the stay of discovery until it is clear that the case
will proceed. See Chavous, 201 F.R.D. at 5 (Staying discovery pending decision on a dispositive
motion that would fully resolve the case “furthers the ends of economy and efficiency, since if
[the motion] is granted, there will be no need for [further proceedings].”). Here, the pending
motion to dismiss will resolve all issues if it is granted. Thus, the third factor weighs in favor of
granting a stay.
With regard to the fourth factor, no nonparties with significant particularized interests in
this case have been identified. The court therefore finds that absent any specific nonparty
interests that would be affected, the fourth factor neither weighs in favor of nor against granting
a stay. Finally, with regard to the fifth factor, the court finds that the public’s primary interest in
this case is a general interest in its efficient and just resolution. Avoiding wasteful efforts by the
court clearly serves this interest. Thus, the fifth factor weighs in favor of granting a stay.
Weighing the relevant factors, the court finds that a stay of proceedings is warranted in
light of the pending Motion to Dismiss.
Therefore, it is
ORDERED that the “Joint Motion to Stay Discovery Pending Ruling on Defendant’s
Motion to Dismiss” (Doc. No. 18) is GRANTED. Discovery, including initial disclosures, is
STAYED pending ruling on the Motion to Dismiss. It is further
ORDERED that the Scheduling Conference set for April 10, 2014, is VACATED. The
parties shall file a status report within ten days of the ruling on the Motion to Dismiss to advise if
the Scheduling Conference should be reset.
Dates this 24th day of March, 2014.
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