Banks, Jr. v. Louisiana Marine Operators, LLC
ORDER AND REASONS granting 14 MOTION to Continue Trial and PreTrial Dates. IT IS ORDERED that the pretrial conference and the trial are hereby continued. A preliminary conference will be held by telephone on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. for the purpose of scheduling a pre-trial conference and trial on the merits. The Court will initiate the telephone conference call and will be represented at the conference by its case manager. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that discovery is closed, except as to the issue of plaintiff's medical condition and damages. The deadline for expert reports has passed and will not be reset. Signed by Judge Sarah S. Vance on 7/13/2017.(cg)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
FREDDIE BANKS, JR.
LOUISIANA MARINE OPERATORS,
SECTION “R” (4)
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court is plaintiff’s motion to continue trial. 1
following reasons, the Court grants the motion.
This case arises out of an accident on Defendant Louisiana Marine
Operators, LLC’s vessel, the M/V MAXX B. 2 Plaintiff Freddie Banks, Jr.
alleges that he was employed by defendant aboard the M/V MAXX B when
he suffered injuries after falling down the stairs. 3 On October 18, 2016,
plaintiff filed a seaman’s complaint for damages against defendant. 4 Plaintiff
R. Doc. 14.
R. Doc. 1 at 2.
Id. at 1-6.
alleges that defendant failed to provide to provide a reasonably safe place to
work and engaged in other acts of negligence.5 Plaintiff seeks maintenance
and cure for his injuries, damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, punitive damages,
and other relief.6
The Court entered a scheduling order in this case that established a
discovery deadline of July 11, 2017, and a trial date of August 21, 2017. 7
Plaintiff now moves to continue trial because his medical condition is
Plaintiff states that he recently sought treatment from an
orthopaedic surgeon, who advised plaintiff that he may need surgery on his
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) provides that “[a] schedule may
be modified only for good cause and with the judge’s consent.” Fed. R. Civ.
P. 16(b)(4). The “good cause standard requires the party seeking relief to
show that the deadlines cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the
party needing the extension.” S & W Enterprises, L.L.C. v. SouthTrust Bank
Id. at 3.
Id. at 5-6.
R. Doc. 8 at 3.
R. Doc. 14.
R. Doc. 14-2 at 2.
of Ala., NA, 315 F.3d 533, 535 (5th Cir. 2003) (internal citations omitted).
Whether to grant or deny a continuance is within the sound discretion of the
trial court. United States v. Alix, 86 F.3d 429, 434 (5th Cir. 1996). In
deciding whether to grant a continuance, the Court’s “judgment range is
exceedingly wide,” for it “must consider not only the facts of the particular
case but also all of the demands on counsel’s time and the court’s.” Streber
v. Hunter, 221 F.3d 701, 736 (5th Cir. 2000) (internal citations omitted).
Trial in this matter is currently scheduled for August 21, 2017.10
Neither party has previously requested a continuance in this matter. Plaintiff
argues that a continuance is necessary because it is not possible to enter into
meaningful settlement negotiations given plaintiff’s uncertain medical
condition. 11 Defendant opposes a continuance, but is willing to withdraw its
opposition if the expert deadline is not reset.12 Plaintiff states that he does
not plan to call a liability expert and does not request an extension of the
The Court finds that plaintiff’s uncertain medical condition constitutes
good cause to justify the continuance of the trial. See Jones v. Phil Guilbeau
R. Doc. 8 at 3.
R. Doc. 14-2 at 2.
R. Doc. 16 at 2.
R. Doc. 19.
Offshore, Inc., No. 13-5078, 2014 WL 4186784, at *1 (E.D. La. Aug. 22,
2014); Augman v. Seacor Marine, L.L.C., No. 07-1508, 2008 WL 8694786,
at *3 (E.D. La. June 23, 2008). Accordingly, the Court will grant plaintiff’s
motion. The Court will not extend the deadline for expert reports.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS plaintiff’s motion. IT IS
ORDERED that the pretrial conference and the trial are hereby continued.
A preliminary conference will be held by telephone on Thursday, August 17,
2017, at 11:00 a.m. for the purpose of scheduling a pre-trial conference and
trial on the merits. The Court will initiate the telephone conference call and
will be represented at the conference by its case manager.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that discovery is closed, except as to the
issue of plaintiff’s medical condition and damages. The deadline for expert
reports has passed and will not be reset.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this _____ day of July, 2017.
SARAH S. VANCE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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