Lee v. Regions Hospital et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION; overruling Plaintiff's Objection 29 and affirming the Magistrate Judge's June 7,2017, Order 26 . (Written Opinion). Signed by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim on 10/02/2017. (JMK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
Civil No. 15-3801 (JRT/KMM)
CLAIRE J. LEE,
REGIONS HOSPITAL, HEALTH
PARTNERS INC., and PARK
AND ORDER OVERRULING
Claire J. Lee, 10101 Lyndale Avenue South, Apartment 219, Bloomington,
MN 55420, pro se plaintiff.
Carolin J. Nearing, LARSON KING, LLP, 2800 Wells Fargo, 30 East
Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN 55101, for defendants.
Plaintiff Claire J. Lee brings this action against Defendants Regions Hospital,
Health Partners Inc., and Park Nicollet Clinics (collectively, “Defendants”) based on a
hospital visit in October 2013. (Am. Compl. ¶ 7, Oct. 13, 2015, Docket No. 3.) Lee
initially filed this action on October 5, 2015. (Compl., Oct. 5, 2015, Docket No. 1.) On
May 26, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Janie S. Mayeron entered a pretrial scheduling
order setting a discovery deadline for May 1, 2017. (Pretrial Scheduling Order at 3, May
26, 2016, Docket No. 16.) On June 6, 2017, Lee filed a motion seeking a four-to-six
month extension of the discovery deadline based on events in her life that had made it
difficult to comply with the deadline, including losing her house, disability, and a death
in the family.
(Pl.’s Mot. for Extension of Time, June 6, 2017, Docket No. 24.)
Defendants opposed the request, noting that Lee had failed to respond to any of
Defendants’ correspondence and Lee had not complied with any deadlines in this case.
(Defs.’ Letter to Magistrate Judge at 1, June 2, 2017, Docket No. 22.)
On June 7, 2017, U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine Menendez granted Lee’s
request, finding good cause for “a modest extension of the remaining deadlines in this
case” and extending the discovery deadline to August 7, 2017. (Order at 2, June 7, 2017,
Docket No. 26.) The Magistrate Judge, however, noted “the lengthy time this case has
been pending” and that the pretrial scheduling order “allowed a significant time for the
completion of discovery.” (Id.) Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge stated that “further
extensions will not be granted.” (Id.)
On August 10, 2017, Lee filed a letter, which the Court construes as an objection
to the Magistrate Judge’s June 7 Order. (Pl.’s Obj. to Order, Aug. 10, 2017, Docket No.
29.) Lee argues that the Magistrate Judge’s decision not to allow further extensions was
an abuse of discretion. (Id. at 1.) Lee discusses the events of the past year, which she
argues prevented her from completing discovery.
Lee contends that she has
established good cause to further extend the discovery deadline based on her disabilities
and health issues. (Id. at 2.) Defendants oppose Lee’s request and challenge Lee’s
contention that she could not have complied with the deadline in this case; notably,
Defendants state that Lee represented herself in other litigation during the pendency of
this case, including completing a trial and appeal in March 2017. (Defs.’ Letter to
District Judge, Aug. 8, 2017, Docket No. 27; see also Defs.’ Letter to Magistrate Judge at
1-2 (noting Lee’s participation in other litigation).)
“The standard of review applicable to an appeal of a Magistrate Judge’s order on
nondispositive pretrial matters is extremely deferential.”
Roble v. Celestica Corp.,
627 F. Supp. 2d 1008, 1014 (D. Minn. 2007). The Court will reverse such an order only
if it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(a); D. Minn. LR 72.2(a)(3).
The Court finds no error in the Magistrate Judge’s decision not to allow further
extensions of the discovery deadline. This case has been pending for close to two years.
According to Defendants’ representations, which Lee has not contested, Lee has not
complied with any deadlines in this case, responded to Defendants’ attempts to comply
with deadlines in this case, or engaged in any discovery during the existing discovery
period. There is no indication that Lee has attempted to diligently pursue her claims in
this case, even while she participated in other litigation; further, there is no indication that
Lee will complete discovery, rather than seeking further extensions, if the Court grants an
extension. Finding no error in the Magistrate Judge’s Order, the Court will overrule
Lee’s objection and affirm the Magistrate Judge’s June 7 Order.
Based on the foregoing, and all the files, records, and proceedings herein, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that Lee’s Objection [Docket No. 29] is OVERRULED and the
Magistrate Judge’s June 7, 2017, Order [Docket No. 26] is AFFIRMED.
DATED: October 2, 2017
at Minneapolis, Minnesota.
_______s/John R. Tunheim__________
JOHN R. TUNHEIM
United States District Court
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