Butterfield v. Wade Tours, Inc.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDERED, that Third-Party Defendant Ricons Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 28) is GRANTED; and it is further ORDERED, that Defendant Wades Third-Party Complaint (Dkt. No. 7) is DISMISSED without prejudice. Signed by Senior Judge Lawrence E. Kahn on September 22, 2011. (sas)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
WADE TOURS, INC.,
WADE TOURS, INC.,
-againstMOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES, INC.;
RICON CORPORATION; and
PETER PAN BUS LINES, INC.,
MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER
Plaintiff Barbara Butterfield (“Plaintiff”) filed a Complaint on March 31, 2010, alleging
that Defendant Wade Bus Tours Inc. (“Defendant” or “Wade”) violated her rights pursuant to the
Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Dkt. No. 1 (“Complaint”). The Complaint also
alleges state law claims of negligence, and violations of Section 296 of the the New York State
Human Rights Law and Section 349 of the New York State General Business Law. Id. In her
Complaint, Plaintiff sought compensatory damages, preliminary and permanent injunctions, and
costs and attorneys’ fees from Defendant Wade. Id. at 7. Defendant filed a Third-Party
Complaint on May 27, 2010, stating claims against Motor Coach Industries, Inc. (“MCI”), Peter
Pan Bus Lines, Inc. (“Peter Pan”), and Ricon Corporation (“Ricon”) for full indemnification of
any damages awarded to Plaintiff. Dkt. No. 7 (“Third-Party Complaint”).
The action against Third-Party Defendant Peter Pan was discontinued without prejudice
on September 1, 2010. See Dkt. No. 26 (“Peter Pan Discontinuance”). Third-Party Defendant
Ricon filed a Motion to dismiss the Third-Party Complaint on September 2, 2010. Dkt. No. 28
(“Motion”). On March 16, 2011, all claims asserted against Defendant Wade and Third-Party
Defendant MCI were discontinued with prejudice. See Dkt. No. 46 (“Wade Discontinuance”);
Dkt. No. 47 (“MCI Discontinuance”).
Presently before the Court – and the only matter remaining before the Court in this
litigation – is Ricon’s Motion to dismiss the Third-Party Complaint. For the reasons that follow,
Ricon’s Motion is granted.
On December 6, 2009, Plaintiff participated in a chartered bus trip from Schenectady to
New York City aboard a bus owned by Wade. Compl. ¶ 1. Plaintiff has had both legs
amputated, and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Id. ¶¶ 7-8. Plaintiff scheduled the bus trip with
Wade specifically because its buses were wheelchair accessible. Id. ¶ 9. When Plaintiff first
attempted to board the bus, the driver had difficulty operating the wheelchair lift. Id. ¶ 11. After
the bus reached its destination in New York City, the driver was unable to operate the lift, forcing
Plaintiff to remain on the bus for several hours. Id. ¶¶ 12-13. Later that afternoon, Wade
authorized the driver of the bus to return to Schenectady with Plaintiff and her family members.
Id. ¶ 22. Upon arrival in Schenectady, Plaintiff was removed from the bus by the use of a
forklift. Id. ¶ 24.
The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the Third-Party Complaint pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1367(a). Pursuant to § 1367, a district court may decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over a state law claim if all claims over which it had original jurisdiction are
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. §1367(c)(3); First Capital Asset Mgmt., Inc. v. Satinwood, Inc., 385 F.3d
159, 182-83 (2d Cir. 2004). In determining whether to exercise supplemental jurisdiction, a
district court may “weigh and balance several factors, including considerations of judicial
economy, convenience, and fairness to litigants.” Purgess v. Sharrock, 33 F.3d 134, 138 (2d. Cir.
1994) (citing Castellano v. Board of Trustees, 937 F.2d 752, 758 (2d Cir. 1991)). A court should
consider and weigh such factors at every stage of the litigation. Williams v. Berkshire Fin. Grp.,
Inc., 491 F. Supp. 2d 320, 329 (E.D.N.Y. 2007). Generally, “if federal claims are dismissed
before trial . . . the state claims should be dismissed as well.” Castellano, 937 F.2d at 758.
In this case, all of Plaintiff’s federal claims against Wade under the ADA have been
discontinued with prejudice, and all outstanding claims against Ricon would be decided pursuant
to state law. See Rounseville v. Zahl, 13 F.3d 625, 631 (2d Cir. 1994) (holding that district court
abused its discretion in retaining jurisdiction over a state law claim after the federal claims had
been dismissed). The Court therefore declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Wade’s
state law claims against Ricon, and dismisses such claims without prejudice.
Accordingly, it is hereby:
ORDERED, that Third-Party Defendant Ricon’s Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. No. 28) is
GRANTED; and it is further
ORDERED, that Defendant Wade’s Third-Party Complaint (Dkt. No. 7) is DISMISSED
without prejudice; and it is further
ORDERED, that the Clerk serve copies of this Order on the parties.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
September 22, 2011
Albany, New York
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