Valley Boys, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Company et al
ORDER denying the Plaintiff's 62 Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint. Ordered by Magistrate Judge F.A. Gossett. (MKR)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
VALLEY BOYS, INC.,
This matter is before the court on the Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint
(Filing No. 62) filed by the plaintiff, Valley Boys Inc. (“Valley Boys”). The court will
deny the motion.
Valley Boys filed the present action against Allstate Insurance Company
(“Allstate”) for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of Allstate’s alleged failure to
pay the full amount of loss sustained by several of Allstate’s insureds after a hailstorm on
April 9, 2013.
(Filing No. 1-1 at pp. 6-7).
Valley Boys alleges it was assigned
twenty-seven claims of Allstate insureds under their policies with Allstate. (Filing No.
1-1 at pp. 6-7, 20). The complaint alleges Allstate owes its insureds, and Valley Boys as
assignee, an additional $569,065.14 for various services and repairs Valley Boys provided
to Allstate’s insureds. (Filing No. 1-1 at pp. 7-20). Valley Boys seeks leave to amend its
complaint to add two additional claims assigned to it by Allstate insureds (“the Brunken
and Sather claims”). (Filing No. 62).
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15, the Court should “freely give leave” to
amend a pleading “when justice so requires.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). Nevertheless, a
party does not have an absolute right to amend and “denial of leave to amend may be
justified by undue delay, bad faith on the part of the moving party, futility of the
amendment or unfair prejudice to the opposing party.” Amrine v. Brooks, 522 F.3d 823,
833 (8th Cir. 2008) (quotation and citation omitted). When a party seeks leave to amend
under Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure outside of the time period
established by a scheduling order, the party must first demonstrate good cause under Rule
16(b). See Popoalii v. Corr. Med. Servs., 512 F.3d 488, 497 (8th Cir. 2008); Sherman v.
Winco Fireworks, Inc., 532 F.3d 709, 716 (8th Cir. 2008). “The primary measure of Rule
16’s good cause standard is the moving party’s diligence in attempting to meet the case
management order’s requirements.” Bradford v. DANA Corp., 249 F.3d 807, 809 (8th
Cir. 2001). “[I]f the reason for seeking the amendment is apparent before the deadline and
no offsetting factors appear, the Rule 16 deadline must govern.” Financial Holding Corp.
v. Garnac Grain Co., 127 F.R.D. 165, 166 (W.D. Mo. 1989). Whether to grant a motion
for leave to amend is within the sound discretion of the district court. Popoalii, 512 F.3d
The scheduling order in this case provided February 27, 2015, as the deadline to
amend pleadings. (Filing No. 28 at p. 1). Valley Boys filed the present motion to amend
on March 28, 2016, more than a year after the deadline. Valley Boys argues it did not
have standing to bring the Brunken and Sather claims prior to the amendment deadline
because both claims were assigned to it subsequent to the amendment deadline. (Filing
No. 70 at p. 2). Although it appears both assignments did occur subsequent to the
amendment deadline, the Sather claim was assigned to Valley Boys on June 17, 2015,
nearly nine months before Valley Boys filed of the present motion. The Brunken claim
was assigned to Valley Boys on January 11, 2016. (Filing No. 62-1 at pp. 51-52).
According to the complaint, each assigned claim arises out Allstate’s alleged failure to pay
the full amount of loss sustained by its insureds after a hailstorm on April 9, 2013. Valley
Boys does not explain the protracted delay in obtaining the Brunken and Sather claim
assignments, nor does Valley Boys explain why it did not seek to amend the complaint nine
months ago after obtaining the Sather claim assignment.
Moreover, permitting Valley Boys to amend its complaint at this time to add
additional claims would impair Allstate’s ability to conduct adequate discovery.
Following several extensions of time, the most recent progression order provides that
written discovery shall close June 30, 2016, and fact depositions by July 29, 2016. (Filing
No. 58). Adding additional claims at this time would result in additional discovery and
likely delay the proceedings. See Popp Telcom v. Am. Sharecom, Inc., 210 F.3d 928, 943
(8th Cir. 2000) (“Where an amendment would likely result in the burdens of additional
discovery and delay to the proceedings, a court usually does not abuse its discretion in
denying leave to amend.”).
Finally, it is unclear which amended pleading Valley Boys seeks to file. This
court’s local rules provides that a party “must file as an attachment to the motion an
unsigned copy of the proposed amended pleading that clearly identifies the proposed
amendments.” NECivR 15.1(a). Valley Boys attached an “Amended Complaint and
Demand for Jury Trial” to its motion to amend. (Filing No. 62-1). However, prior to
filing the instant motion, counsel for Valley Boys conferred with opposing counsel
regarding a “Second Amended Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial,” which differs
substantially from the proposed amended complaint attached to the motion. (Filing No.
69-1). Valley Boys’ brief in support of its motion also refers to a proposed Second
Amended Complaint. (Filing No. 70 at pp. 4-5). Having fully considered the matter, the
Court concludes that Valley Boys’ motion for leave to file an amended complaint should
be denied. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED: Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File Amended Complaint
(Filing No. 62) is denied.
DATED: June 14, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
s/ F.A. Gossett
United States Magistrate Judge
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