Stewart v. Mesrobian et al.
ORDER : For the following reasons, plaintiff's motion for entry of final judgment under Fed. R.Civ. P. 54(b) 307 is denied. [See STATEMENT] Signed by the Honorable Philip G. Reinhard on 11/27/2017. Electronic notice (jp, ) (Main Document 347 replaced on 11/27/2017) (jp, ).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
LAVERTIS STEWART (A-15380) ,
EVANSTON INSURANCE COMPANY as
Special Representative for the Estate of
ANTREAS MESROBIAN; JILL WAHL;
IMHOTEP CARTER; WEXFORD HEALTH
SOURCES, INC.; ARTHUR FUNK; JOHN
DOE TWO; JOHN DOE THREE; JOHN DOE
FOUR; JOHN DOE FIVE; JOHN DOE SIX;
JOHN DOE SEVEN; JOHN DOE EIGHT;
JOHN DOE NINE; JOHN DOE TEN; JOHN
DOE ELEVEN; JOHN DOE TWELVE; JOHN
DOE THIRTEEN; JOHN DOE FOURTEEN;
and JOHN DOE FIFTEEN,
12 C 50273
Judge Philip G. Reinhard
For the following reasons, plaintiff’s motion for entry of final judgment under Fed. R.
Civ. P. 54(b)  is denied.
This case has a long procedural history, detailed in the court’s previous orders. See
; ; . Familiarity with these matters is assumed. In relevant part, on March 29,
2017, this court granted the IDOC defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings and
dismissed the IDOC defendants from the case. See . On April 21, 2017, plaintiff filed a
motion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) for an order directing entry of final judgment against plaintiff
with respect to the court’s dismissal of the IDOC defendants, so that plaintiff can appeal that
ruling. See . On May 22, 2017, defendants filed a response in opposition to the motion
. On June 12, 2017, plaintiff filed a reply . These matters are now ripe for the court’s
Rule 54(b) provides as follows:
When an action presents more than one claim for relief—whether as a claim,
counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party claim—or when multiple parties are
involved, the court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more, but
fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court expressly determines that there
is no just reason for delay.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b). As plaintiff points out, Rule 54(b) sets forth three requirements: (1) the
action involves multiple parties or claims for relief; (2) the order sought to be certified finally
decided the rights and liabilities of a party and; (3) the determination by the district court that no
just reason exists for delaying the appeal. See Local P–171 v. Thompson Farms Co., 642 F.2d
1065, 1069-1071 (7th Cir. 1981). Both parties agree that requirements (1) and (2) are met in this
case, and thus the only dispute is whether no just reason exists for delaying the appeal.
A determination as to whether no just reason exists is within the discretion of the district
court; the Seventh Circuit has noted that the following (non-exclusive) factors are relevant to this
(1) The relationship between the adjudicated and unadjudicated claims; (2) the
possibility that the need for review might or might not be mooted by future
developments in the district court; (3) the possibility that the reviewing court
might be obliged to consider the same issue a second time; (4) the presence or
absence of a claim or counterclaim which could result in set-off against the
judgment sought to be made final; (5) miscellaneous factors such as delay,
economic and solvency considerations, shortening the time of trial, frivolity of
competing claims, expense, and the like.
See Bank of Lincolnwood v. Fed. Leasing, Inc., 622 F.2d 944, 949 (7th Cir. 1980).
In his reply, plaintiff notes that “[a]t the suggestion of the remaining defendants, the
remaining defendants and Plaintiff have agreed to seek a stay of discovery if the Court grants this
Motion.” See  at 5. As such, there very likely will be a delay to these proceedings, which
have already been delayed five years through the pleadings stage, if the motion is granted.
Further, the court notes that the court’s statute of limitations analysis reached all parties in the
case, and the court’s reasoning and various holdings on the statute of limitations issues are
intertwined. This court made the contested ruling that plaintiff’s claims against Dr. Funk and Dr.
Mesrobian’s were timely, which those defendants may well decide to challenge on appeal after
final judgment. As such, an appeal by the IDOC defendants now would potentially force the
Seventh Circuit to review on multiple occasions the procedural history and rulings in this case
regarding the statute of limitations analysis. The court understands plaintiff’s arguments
regarding the risk of reversal and potential delays, but for the foregoing reasons finds that the
various factors weigh against a finding that no just reason exists for delaying the appeal. As such,
plaintiff’s motion  is denied.
United States District Court Judge
Electronic Notices. (LC)
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