IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company v. Kasneci
ORDER Granting 102 MOTION to Consolidate Cases filed by IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company. Signed by District Judge John Corbett O'Meara. (WBar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
IDS PROPERTY CASUALTY
Case No. 13-11233
Honorable John Corbett O’Meara
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE
This matter came before the court on plaintiff/counter-defendant IDS Property
Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff Frano Kasneci filed a response March 20, 2017; and IDS
filed a reply brief March 27, 2017. Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1 (f)(2), no oral
argument was heard.
IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company ("IDS") filed this action March 20,
2013, seeking to enforce a settlement agreement entered into by the parties that had
previously sought to resolve at least a portion of Franco Kasneci's claim for benefits
under Michigan's No-Fault Insurance Act, Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§ 500.3101 et
seq. Those benefits all stemmed from Kasneci's March 20, 2007 motor vehicle
accident. Although this case initially concerned only the settlement agreement
between the parties, Kasneci subsequently filed counterclaims seeking to recoup other
benefits under the No-Fault Act.
While this litigation was pending, Kasneci brought a second action against IDS,
which was removed to this court January 12, 2016. Case No. 16-10095 ("the Second
Case"), was originally assigned to Judge Terrence Berg and has now been re-assigned
to this court as a companion to the original suit ("the First Case") filed in 2013. In the
Second Case, Kasneci seeks payment for allegedly overdue No-Fault benefits
stemming from the same March 20, 2007 motor vehicle accident. In addition, the
court notes that Ameriprise Auto and Home Insurance Company, d/b/a IDS, the
defendant in the Second Case, has filed a motion to consolidate with this, the First
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Rule 42(a) of the Civil Rules of Civil Procedure provides the following:
Consolidation. If actions before the court involve a common question
of law or fact, the court may:
(1) join for hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in the actions;
(2) consolidate the actions; or
(3) issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or delay.
In determining whether cases involving common questions of law or fact should
be consolidated, a court should weigh the interests of judicial economy against the
potential for new delays, expense, confusion or prejudice. See Banacki v. One West
Bank, FSB, 276 F.R.D. 567, 571 (E.D. Mich. 2011).
Thus, the decision to consolidate is one that must be made thoughtfully,
with specific reference to the factors identified above. Care must be
taken that consolidation does not result in unavoidable prejudice or
unfair advantage. Conservation of judicial resources is a laudable goal.
However, if the savings to the judicial system are slight, the risk of
prejudice to a party must be viewed with even greater scrutiny.
Cantrell v. GAF Corp., 999 F.2d 1107, 1011 (6th Cir. 1993).
In this case there exist common questions of law and fact. Despite the fact that
the First Case was brought to enforce a settlement agreement, the counterclaims in that
case involve Kasneci's rights to benefits under Michigan's No-Fault Act. Likewise,
his claims in the Second Case are for benefits stemming from the same 2007 auto
accident. Although his counterclaims in the First Case and claims in the Second Case
cover two different time periods, this factor weighs in favor of consolidation in order
to prevent the possibility of inconsistent results.
After finding that common issues of law and fact exist, the court finds that the
slight risk of prejudice to Kasneci--that potential benefit payments may be further
delayed--is outweighed by avoiding the possibility of inconsistent results, as well as
promoting efficient use of resources for both legal counsel and the court.
It is hereby ORDERED that IDS's March 7, 2017 motion to consolidate is
s/John Corbett O'Meara
United States District Judge
Date: May 22, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon counsel
of record on this date, May 22, 2017, using the ECF system.
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