Sawant et al v. Ramsey et al
ORDER Granting 421 Oral Motion to Amend Complaint. See attached Memorandum of Decision. Signed by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on 6/21/12. (Hildebrand, J.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
ANIL SAWANT, ET AL.,
GEOFFREY W. RAMSEY, ET AL.,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
No. 3:07-cv-980 (VLB)
June 21, 2012
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT TO ADD
Before the Court is a motion to amend the Complaint to conform to the
testimony adduced at trial. Following the conclusion of trial in this matter, the
Court discovered and informed the parties that an individual named Matthew
Samuel whom the parties listed as a plaintiff in their joint trial memorandum and
who testified at trial is not named as a Plaintiff in the Complaint [Dkt. #1] filed on
June 25, 2007. After the Court notified the Parties of this issue, the Plaintiffs
moved for leave to amend the Complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 15(b).
Defendant lodged and objection. Plaintiffs’ Motion is hereby granted for the
The instant case is brought by a group of plaintiffs who opted out of a
class action. Matthew Samuel filed an opt-out form excluding himself from the
class members entitled to share in the class action settlement and proceeded to
prosecute his claim in this case. All parties proceeded as though Matthew Samuel
was named in the Complaint. The case was litigated in its entirety as if Matthew
Samuel was in fact a Plaintiff named in the Complaint. Defendants’ initial
discovery requests, including their First Request for Production of Documents to
Plaintiffs and First Set of Interrogatories to Plaintiffs both named Matthew Samuel
as a Plaintiff. Defendants conducted a deposition of Mr. Samuel. Although the
discovery in this case was conducted in conjunction with a related state court
case, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in this case requesting
an order of summary judgment as to Matthew Samuel’s claims. Defendants
included Matthew Samuel as a plaintiff in their Joint Trial Memorandum, did not
object to the introduction of his testimony at trial, which testimony would have
been irrelevant had he not been a plaintiff, and cross examined him.
The Defendants have had ample notice that Matthew Samuel was intended
to be a plaintiff in this case, and would have been a plaintiff but for an inadvertent
clerical error. Defendants have had full opportunity to discover facts relative to
his claims. Their ability to mount a defense has not been hampered in any way.
They have effectively and repeatedly acquiesced and consented to his inclusion
as a plaintiff. Accordingly, the Court finds that there would be minimal if any
prejudice, as that term is defined in this context, to the Defendants from the
addition, albeit late, of Matthew Samuel as a Plaintiff through the amendment of
the Complaint. See Cunningham v. Quaker Oats Co., Fisher-Price Division, 107
F.R.D. 66 (W.D.N.Y. 1985)(exercising its discretion under Rule 15(b) to grant a
post-verdict amendment to the complaint to add a plaintiff upon a finding that the
requested amendment was not necessitated by bad faith of dilatory motive and
that the defendant would not suffer undue prejudice where the issues as to the
plaintiff sought to be added were tried by the implied consent of both parties);
see also Andujar v. Rogowski, 113 F.R.D. 151 (S.D.N.Y. 1986)(allowing the
admission of a plaintiff pursuant to Fed. R. Civ P. Rule 15 and prohibiting a
statute of limitations defense reasoning that “[a]s long as a defendant is fully
apprised of a claim arising from specific conduct and has prepared to defend the
actions against him, he will not be prejudiced by the addition of a new plaintiff
and thus should not be allowed to raise a statute of limitations defense.”).
Where Matthew Samuel opted out from the prior class action in which
Defendant Murphy and Defendant Ramsey were named as Defendants, and where
Defendants have treated Matthew Samuel as a plaintiff throughout the entire
course of this case, including both the discovery and trial phases, it is irrefutable
that Defendants have been fully apprised of Mr. Samuel’s claim against them,
have prepared to defend against his claim and did in fact defend against his claim
at trial, and thus they will not be prejudiced by the addition of Mr. Samuel as a
Plaintiff in this case.
Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the Complaint to add Matthew
Samuel as a plaintiff is hereby GRANTED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. Vanessa L. Bryant
United States District Judge
Dated at Hartford, Connecticut: June 21, 2012
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