Ragsdale v. Amsted Rail Company, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 27 Motion to Amend Complaint. Amended Complaint shall be filed, in form attached to motion, on or before October 15, 2013. Signed by Magistrate Judge Kenneth G. Gale on 10/1/2013. (df)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
AMSTED RAIL COMPANY, INC. )
and BRIAN ROBINSON,
Case No. 13-2257-EFM-KGG
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON
PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND
Before the Court is Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to File an Amended
Complaint (Doc. 27), seeking to remove language regarding service of process, add
additional factual allegations, and include claims for punitive damages as well as
pre-judgment and post-judgment interest. Having reviewed the submissions of the
parties, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs’ motion.
Plaintiff filed the present lawsuit against Defendants in the District Court of
Wyandotte County, Kansas, alleging wrongful termination, workers compensation
retaliation, and conspiracy to terminate his employment. (Doc. 1-1.) Defendant
removed the case to federal court (Doc. 1) and subsequently filed a Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 3). In conjunction with his response to the dispositive motion (Doc.
9), Plaintiff also filed a Motion to Remand the case back to state court (Doc. 10).
Both the Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Remand are currently pending before
the District Court. As stated above, Plaintiff brings the current motion seeking to
remove language regarding service of process, add factual allegations regarding
Defendant Robinson’s corporate authority, and include claims for punitive
damages as well as pre-judgment and post-judgment interest. (See Doc. 28.) In
their response, Defendants oppose only Plaintiff’s proposed factual allegation
regarding “Defendant Robinson’s firing ability.” (Doc. 30, at 3.)
Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a) provides that leave to amend shall be freely given when
justice so requires. In the absence of any apparent or declared reason, such as
undue delay, undue prejudice to the opposing party, bad faith or dilatory motive,
failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, or futility of
amendment, leave to amend should, as the rules require, be freely given. Foman v.
Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S. Ct. 227, 230, 9 L. Ed. 2d 222 (1962); Frank v.
U.S. West, Inc., 3 F.3d 1357, 1365 (10th Cir. 1993).
The proposed allegation at issue states that Defendant Robinson “had
corporate authority to and/or was free to exercise his sole discretion to terminate
Plaintiff’s employment.” (Doc. 27-1, at 2, ¶ 9.) Defendant argues that this
requested amendment is futile because an individual cannot be liable for worker’s
compensation retaliation under Kansas law. Rebarchek v. Farmers Co-op
Elevator, 272 Kan. 546, 562, 35 P.3d 892 (2001).
While the Court agrees with this conclusion of law, this does not necessarily
invalidate Plaintiff’s request to amend his pleading to include the requested factual
allegation. Defendant’s argument regarding the legal viability of Plaintiff’s cause
of action against Defendant Robinson will be addressed by the District Court in the
context of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. In the interim, this Court will allow
Plaintiff to include the additional factual allegation regarding Robinson’s alleged
Mindful of the admonition that leave to amend shall be freely given, Foman,
371 U.S. at 182, 83 S. Ct. at 230, and without prejudice to Defendant’s pending
Motion to Dismiss, it is therefore Ordered that Plaintiffs’ Motion for Leave to
Amend (Doc. 27) is hereby GRANTED. The amended pleading shall be filed, in
the form attached to Plaintiffs’ motion, on or before October 15, 2013.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion (Doc. 27) is
hereby GRANTED as more fully set forth above.
Dated at Wichita, Kansas, on this 1st day of October, 2013.
S/ KENNETH G. GALE
KENNETH G. GALE
United States Magistrate Judge
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