INDYCAR LLC v. BOSTON GRAND PRIX, et al.
ENTRY OVERRULING DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION AND ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION - For the foregoing reasons, the Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED, and the Defendant's objection is OVERRULED. (See Entry.) Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 1/4/2017.(JLS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
Case No. 1:16-cv-01274-TWP-MJD
ENTRY OVERRULING DEFENDANT’S OBJECTION AND
ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE’S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
This matter is before the Court on Defendant John Casey’s (“Mr. Casey”) Motion to
Dismiss or, in the alternative, stay the lawsuit filed against him filed by Plaintiff INDYCAR, LLC
(“INDYCAR”). (Filing No. 49.) Mr. Casey alleges this action should be dismissed or stayed,
because INDYCAR has failed to join non-party Boston Grand Prix, LLC (“BGP”) as a necessary
party under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(7) and 19. (Filing No. 49.) Magistrate Judge
Mark Dinsmore issued his Report and Recommendation on each of these motions. (Filing No.
59); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 72 and 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Magistrate Judge recommended the
motions be denied, (Filing No. 59 at 15), and Mr. Casey timely filed an objection, (Filing No. 61).
For the reasons that follow, the Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED and the objection is
This case arises out of the cancellation of an IndyCar race that was originally planned to
take place in September 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The dispute in this matter surrounds
INDYCAR’s claims that Mr. Casey breached the Personal Guaranty that he executed in
INDYCAR’s favor, guaranteeing certain sanction fee payments owed by non-party BGP. Mr.
Casey believes this action cannot proceed because necessary party, BGP, is not included as a party
in this matter. Mr. Casey contends an essential element of liability is proof that BGP breached the
underlying race agreement, therefore BGP is a necessary party to this action. The pertinent facts
of each motion are set forth in the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation. The Court
will dispense with further recitation.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
A district court may assign dispositive motions to a magistrate judge, in which case the
magistrate judge may submit to the district judge only a report and recommended disposition,
including any proposed findings of fact. Schur v. L.A. Weight Loss Ctrs., Inc., 577 F.3d 752, 760
(7th Cir. 2009); see 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b). “The magistrate judge’s
recommendation on a dispositive matter is not a final order, and the district judge makes the
ultimate decision to adopt, reject, or modify it.” Schur, 577 F.3d at 760; see 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1);
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). “A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those
portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is
made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Further, a judge “may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in
part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” Id. If a party fails to object
to a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation, or objects on some issues and not others, he
waives appellate review of the issues to which he has not objected. Johnson v. Zema Sys. Corp.,
170 F.3d 734, 739 (7th Cir. 1999). Non-dispositive motions are reviewed under the “clearly
erroneous or contrary to law” standard. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72.
Mr. Casey argues that dismissal is required because BGP is a necessary party to this lawsuit
and has not been joined. (Filing No. 61 at 4-5.) In short, the errors alleged by Mr. Casey all turn
on one finding in the Report and Recommendation, involving the interpretation of a Personal
Guaranty (“Guaranty”) signed by Mr. Casey and INDYCAR. The Magistrate Judge concluded
that the Guaranty between the parties was unconditional, or absolute. (Filing No. 59 at 8-9.) As
such, Mr. Casey’s liability in the event of breach is not preconditioned on the occurrence of any
collateral event. (Filing No. 59 at 8-9.) Mr. Casey contends that this finding is erroneous and
argues that, as a precondition to his liability under the Guaranty, there must first be a breach by
non-party BGP. (Filing No. 61 at 2-5.) Therefore, he argues, this case must be dismissed, because
BGP has not been joined. (Filing No. 61 at 2-5.)
The Court disagrees with Mr. Casey’s interpretation of the Guaranty. For precisely the
reasons laid out in the Report and Recommendation, the Guaranty is absolute and does not
predicate Mr. Casey’s liability on the occurrence of any breach by BGP. (Filing No. 59 at 8-10.)
The unambiguous language of the Guaranty makes clear that it is unconditional, (Filing No. 352), and contrary to Mr. Casey’s assertions, that language does not conflict with other agreements
between the parties, such as the Event Agreement, (Filing No. 34-2).
As Mr. Casey’s remaining arguments are all predicated on the contract interpretation that
this Court has rejected, no further discussion is necessary. The Court also notes that Mr. Casey
fails to develop his argument as to why this action should be stayed, as opposed to dismissed, so
the Court considers it abandoned.
For the foregoing reasons, the Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED, and the
Defendant’s objection is OVERRULED.
Elizabeth N. Johnson time
ICE MILLER LLP
Olga A. Voinarevich
ICE MILLER LLP
Angela Peace Krahulik
ICE MILLER LLP
David J. Cutshaw
COHEN & MALAD LLP
Edward B. Mulligan, V
COHEN & MALAD LLP
Michael R. Murphy
K&L GATES, LLP
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