Blaszkowski et al v. Mars Inc. et al
RESPONSE in Opposition re 457 Plaintiff's MOTION for Extension of Time to Amend to Add and/or Substitute Plaintiff Arna Cortazzo as a Plaintiff/Class Representative filed by Natura Pet Products, Inc.. (York, Jeffrey)
Blaszkowski et al v. Mars Inc. et al
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA MIAMI DIVISION CASE NO. 1:07-21221-CIV-ALTONAGA/BROWN RENEE BLASZKOWSKI, et al., individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, vs. MARS, INCORPORATED, et al., Defendants. ___________________________________ INTERIM OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO ADD AND/OR SUBSTITUTE ARNA CORTAZZO AS A PLAINTIFF/CLASS REPRESENTATIVE Defendant Natura Pet Product, Inc. ("Natura") opposes Plaintiffs' Motion to Add and/or Substitute Arna Cortazzo as a Plaintiff/Class Representative in this action on the following grounds and requests leave for formal briefing of this motion before the Court rules. 1. If proposed Plaintiff Cortazzo, who purports to have purchased Natura products in
Florida, is added to this case, Natura will be prejudiced. For example, all named Plaintiffs have pled a claim under Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act against Defendant Natura Pet Products, Inc. Plaintiffs now admit that no Plaintiff named in the Fourth Amended
Complaint purchased Natura products in Florida, which will result in judgment for Natura on this claim and allow Natura an award of attorneys' fees and costs against all of the named Plaintiffs. 2. Natura will be prejudiced because discovery has been ongoing in this action since
April; Defendants have conducted extensive written discovery on Plaintiffs, including motions to compel; Defendants have completed their subpoenas of third party vet records; and Natura is only now August 25 taking the deposition of the first named Plaintiff. It has taken four
months; two denied stay motions; and a motion to compel to get a single Plaintiff to sit for deposition. Further, Natura is taking the only scheduled Miami depositions this week, August 25 and August 29, and Natura's lead trial counsel is not located in this District. With class motions and the close of discovery only a few months away, any change in the parties and deposition schedule at this late stage will require additional discovery and costs and make it more difficult for Natura to meet the Court's schedule, which Natura wants to maintain so that this case can be promptly resolved on the merits. 3. Natura will be prejudiced if Ms. Cortazzo is allowed to join and her claims relate
back to the filing of the complaint against Natura as she will gain nearly a year on claims otherwise barred by the statute of limitations. 4. The time for addition of parties was once extended by the Court and that extended
deadline passed many months ago. Plaintiffs have shown no cause why proposed plaintiff Cortazzo could not have been added to the case before the January 2008 deadline. Not being needed earlier for jurisdiction is not good cause to add parties just because some Plaintiffs are now abandoning their claims. 5. Plaintiffs' counsel did not meet and confer regarding this motion pursuant to Rule
7.1. In an email on August 21, 2008, Catherine MacIvor wrote: Based on the dismissals, we are also seeking to add and/or substitute a Plaintiff, Arna Cortazzo, as to Defendant Natura only. Please advise as to your position by close of business tomorrow. No information at all was provided as to Ms. Cortazzo (who apparently is a Florida attorney), her purchases or her explanation of why she could not have joined the case prior to the deadline to add parties. Counsel for Natura responded on August 22 that it opposed adding any parties. Natura did not limit its reasons for the objection as plaintiffs' counsel represented to the Court;
Plaintiffs' counsel did not even inquire as to Natura's reasons. Plaintiffs' counsel then filed the motion on Friday after working hours knowing that Natura's counsel would be conducting Plaintiff Peters' deposition on Monday and perhaps would not even be able to respond before the Court ruled on the motion as unopposed. Such a pitiful effort to meet and confer should not satisfy Rule 7.1. Natura will be prejudiced by the addition of any parties at this late date, but particularly parties with unique claims against Natura such as Ms. Cortazzo is represented to have and which would otherwise be time barred from much of the class period represented by the currently named plaintiffs. Natura respectfully requests that the Court deny the motion or allow Natura time to fully brief the issues presented before ruling on the motion. McGUIREWOODS LLP By: s/Jeffrey S. York Jeffrey S. York Florida Bar No. 0987069 Michael M. Giel Florida Bar No. 000176760 50 N. Laura Street, Suite 3300 Jacksonville, Florida 32202 (904) 798-2680 (904) 360-6330 (fax) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
and HENDERSON & CAVERLY LLP Kristen E. Caverly Admitted Pro Hac Vice Post Office Box 9144 Rancho Sante Fe, California 92067 (858) 756-6342 (858) 756-4732 (fax) email@example.com ATTORNEYS AND TRIAL COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT NATURA PET PRODUCTS, INC.
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I HEREBY CERTIFY that on August 25, 2008, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court by using the CM/ECF system which will send a notice of electronic filing to the counsel so indicated on the attached Service List. s/Jeffrey S. York Attorney
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE RENEE BLASZKOWSKI, ET AL., VS. MARS, INCORPORATED, ET AL. Case No. 1:07-21221-CIV-ALTONAGA/TURNOFF SERVICE LIST
Catherine J. MacIvor, Esquire Jeffrey Eric Foreman, Esquire Jeffrey Bradford Maltzman, Esquire Darren W. Friedman, Esquire Bjorg Eikeland MALTZMAN FOREMAN PA One Biscayne Tower 2 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2300 Miami, FL 33131-1803 Telephone: (305) 358-6555 Facsimile: (305) 374-9077 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Plaintiffs John B.T. Murray, Jr., Esquire SQUIRE, SANDERS & DEMPSEY L.L.P. 1900 Phillips Point West 777 South Flagler Drive West Palm Beach, Florida 33401-6198 Telephone: (561) 650-7200 Facsimile: (561) 655-1509 email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants PETCO Animal Supplies Stores, Inc., PetSmart, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Target Corporation and Meijer, Inc. Mark C. Goodman, Esquire SQUIRE, SANDERS & DEMPSEY L.L.P. One Maritime Plaza, Suite 300 San Francisco, CA 94111 Telephone: (415) 954-0200 firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendants PETCO Animal Supplies Stores, Inc., PetSmart, Inc., Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., Target Corporation and Meijer, Inc. Rolando Andres Diaz, Esquire Peter S. Baumberger, Esquire KUBICKI DRAPER 25 W. Flagler Street Penthouse Miami, FL 33130-1712 Telephone: (305) 982-6708 Facsimile: (305) 374-7846 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Attorneys for Defendant Pet Supermarket, Inc. Alexander Shaknes, Esquire Amy W. Schulman, Esquire Lonnie L. Simpson, Esquire S. Douglas Knox, Esquire DLA PIPER LLP 100 N. Tampa Street Suite 2200 Tampa, Florida 33602-5809 Lonnie.firstname.lastname@example.org Douglas.email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants Menu Foods, Inc. and Menu Foods Income Fund Alexander Shaknes, Esquire Amy W. Schulman, Esquire DLA PIPER LLP 1251 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York 10020-1104 Alex.Shaknes@dlapiper.com firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendants Menu Foods, Inc. and Menu Foods Income Fund William C. Martin, Esquire DLA PIPER LLP 203 North LaSalle Street Suite 1900 Chicago, Illinois 60601-1293 William.Martin@dlapiper.com Attorneys for Defendants Menu Foods, Inc.
and Menu Foods Income Fund Hugh J. Turner, Jr., Esquire AKERMAN SENTERFITT 350 E. Las Olas Boulevard Suite 1600 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2229 Telephone: (954) 463-2700 Facsimile: (954) 463-2224 email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants Publix Super Markets, Inc and H.E. Butt Grocery Co. Gary L. Justice, Esquire Gail E. Lees, Esquire Omar Ortega, Esquire DORTA AND ORTEGA, P.A. Douglas Entrance 800 S. Douglas Road, Suite 149 Coral Gables, Florida 33134 Telephone: (305) 461-5454 Facsimile: (305) 461-5226 firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendant Mars, Incorporated, Mars Petcare U.S., and Nutro Products, Inc. Dane H. Butswinkas, Esquire Philip A. Sechler, Esquire Thomas G. Hentoff, Esquire Patrick J. Houlihan, Esquire Amy R. Davis, Esquire Juli Ann Lund, Esquire WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY LLP 725 Twelfth Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 200005 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Attorneys for Defendant Mars, Incorporated, Mars Petcare U.S., and Nutro Products, Inc. Benjamine Reid, Esquire
Olga M. Vieira, Esquire CARLTON FIELDS, P.A. 100 S.E. Second Street, Suite 4000 Bank of America Tower at International Place Miami, Florida 33131-9101 Telephone: (305) 530-0050 Facsimile: (305) 530-0055 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants Colgate-Palmolive Company and Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. John J. Kuster, Esquire James D. Arden, Esquire SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP 787 Seventh Avenue New York, NY 10019 Telephone: (212) 839-5300 Facsimile: (212) 839-5599 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants Colgate-Palmolive Company and Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. Kara L. McCall, Esquire SIDLEY AUSTIN LLP One South Dearborn Chicago, Illinois 60603 Telephone: (312) 853-2666 kmccall@Sidley.com Attorneys for Defendants Colgate-Palmolive Company and Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. Marcos Daniel Jiménez, Esquire Robert J. Alwine II, Esquire KENNY NACHWALTER, P.A. 1100 Miami Center 201 South Biscayne Boulevard Miami, Florida 33131 Telephone: (305) 373-1000 Facsimile: (305) 372-1861 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants Safeway, Inc. and The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC
Sherril M. Colombo, Esquire COZEN O'CONNOR Wachovia Center, Suite 4410 200 South Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL 33131 Telephone: (305) 704-5945 Facsimile: (305) 704-5955 firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendant Del Monte Foods, Co. Richard Fama, Esquire John J. McDonough, Esquire COZEN O'CONNOR 45 Broadway New York, New York 10006 Telephone: (212) 509-9400 Facsimile: (212) 509-9492 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendant Del Monte Foods John F. Mullen, Esquire COZEN O'CONNOR 1900 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 Telephone: (215) 665-2179 Facsimile: (215) 665-2013 email@example.com Attorneys for Defendant Del Monte Foods, Co. Carol A. Licko, Esquire HOGAN & HARTSON L.L.P. Mellon Financial Center 1111 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1900 Miami, FL 33131 Telephone: (305) 459-6500 Facsimile: (305) 459-6550 firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendants Nestlé USA, Inc. and Nestlé Purina Petcare Co. Robert C. Troyer, Esquire HOGAN & HARTSON L.L.P. 1200 17th Street One Tabor Center, suite 1500 Denver, Colorado 80202
Telephone: (303) 899-7300 Facsimile: (303) 899-7333 email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants Nestlé USA, Inc. and Nestlé Purina Petcare Co. Craig A. Hoover, Esquire Miranda L. Berge, Esquire E. Desmond Hogan, Esquire HOGAN & HARTSON L.L.P. 555 13TH Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20004 Telephone: (202) 637-5600 Facsimile: (202) 637-5910 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants Nestlé USA, Inc. and Nestlé Purina Petcare Co. James K. Reuss, Esquire LANE ALTON & HORST, LLC Two Miranova Place Suite 500 Columbus, Ohio 43215 Telephone: (614) 233-4719 JReuss@lanealton.com Attorneys for Defendant The Kroger Co. of Ohio Alan G. Greer, Esquire RICHMAN GREER, P.A. Miami Center Suite 1000 201 South Biscayne Boulevard Miami, FL 33131 Telephone: (305) 373-4000 Facsimile: (305) 373-4099 firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendants Procter & Gamble Co. and The Iams Co. D. Jeffrey Ireland, Esquire Brian D. Wright, Esquire Laura A. Sanom, Esquire FARUKI IRELAND & COX P.L.L. 500 Courthouse Plaza, S.W. 10 North Ludlow Street
Dayton, Ohio 45402 email@example.com Bwright@ficlaw.com firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendant Procter & Gamble Co. and The Iams Co. Robin L. Hanger, Esquire SQUIRE, SANDERS & DEMPSEY L.L.P. 200 S. Biscayne Boulevard 40th Floor Miami, Florida 33131-2398 Telephone: (305) 577-7040 Facsimile: (305) 577-7001 email@example.com Attorneys for Defendants PETCO Animal Supplies Stores, Inc. Ralph G. Patino, Esquire Dominick V. Tamarazzo, Esquire Carlos B. Salup, Esquire PATINO & ASSOCIATES, P.A. 225 Alcazar Avenue Coral Gables, Florida 33134 Telephone: (305) 443-6163 Facsimile: (305) 443-5635 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendants Pet Supplies "Plus" and Pet Supplies Plus/USA, Inc. Robert Valadez, Esquire Javier Thomas Duran, Esquire SHELTON & VALADEZ, P.C. 600 Navarro, Suite 500 San Antonio, Texas 78205 Telephone: (210) 349-0515 Facsimile: (210) 349-3666 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendant H.E. Butt Grocery Co. Craig P. Kalil, Esquire Joshua D. Poyer, Esquire ABALLI, MILNE, KALIL & ESCAGEDO, P.A.
2250 Sun Trust International Center One Southeast Third Avenue Miami, Florida 33131 Telephone: (305) 373-6600 Facsimile: (305) 373-7929 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendants New Albertson's Inc. and Albertson's LLC W. Randolph Teslik, Esquire Andrew Dober, Esquire AKIN GUMPSTRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP 1333 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20036 Telephone: (202) 887-4000 Facsimile: (202) 887-4288 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Attorneys for Defendants New Albertson's Inc. and Albertson's LLC C. Richard Fulmer, Jr., Esquire FULMER, LeROY, ALBEE, BAUMANN & GLASS, PLC 2866 East Oakland Park Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306 Telephone: (954) 707-4430 Facsimile: (954) 707-4431 rfulmer@Fulmer.LeRoy.com Attorneys for Defendant The Kroger Co. of Ohio Jason Joffe, Esquire SQUIRE SANDERS & DEMPSEY, LLP 200 South Biscayne Boulevard Suite 4000 Miami, Florida 33131 Telephone: (305) 577-7000 Facsimile: (305) 577-7001 email@example.com Attorneys for Defendant Meijer, Inc.
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