Precimed Inc. v. ECA Medical Instruments
ORDER adopting in part Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott's Report and Recommendation 31 . Plaintiff's motion for declaratory judgment is denied; plaintiff's motion to dismiss the third through sixth counterclaims is granted, and plaintiff's motion to strike is granted in part and denied in part. The matter is referred back to Magistrate Judge Scott for further proceedings. Signed by Hon. Richard J. Arcara on 5/12/14. (LAS)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
PRECIMED INC. d/b/a Greatbatch Medical,
DECISION AND ORDER
ECA MEDICAL INSTRUMENTS,
This breach of contract action was referred to Magistrate Judge Hugh B.
Scott for supervision of all pre-trial proceedings. Plaintiff Precimed Inc. d/b/a
Greatbatch Medical (“Greatbatch”) moved for the following: (1) a declaratory
judgment pursuant to Section 2201 and Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure; (2) dismissal of defendant ECA Medical Instrument’s (“ECA”) third
through sixth counterclaims; and (3) the striking of certain language from ECA’s
counterclaims on the basis that the language is irrelevant and inflammatory. (Dkt.
No. 16) On January 28, 2014, Magistrate Judge Scott issued a Report and
Recommendation recommending: (1) denying Greatbatch’s motion for
declaratory judgment; (2) granting Greatbatch’s motion to dismiss ECA’s third
through sixth counterclaims; and (3) denying without prejudice Greatbatch’s
motion to strike. (Dkt. No. 31)
Greatbatch filed objections on February 10, 2014. (Dkt. No. 32) ECA
responded on March 5, 2014, (Dkt. No. 34), and Greatbatch replied on March 17,
2014 (Dkt. No. 38). Oral argument was held April 14, 2014, at which time the
Court considered the matter submitted. As explained below, the Court adopts in
part and rejects in part the findings of the Report and Recommendation.
Motion for Declaratory Judgment
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1), this Court must make a de novo
determination of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which
objections have been made. Greatbatch objects to the Magistrate Judge’s
recommendation to deny its motion for declaratory judgment. Greatbatch also
contends that, if this Court denies its motion for declaratory judgment, “in no
event should this Court rule for [defendant] as a matter of law, as Magistrate
Judge Scott’s Report and Recommendation can be read to suggest in its analysis
section at pages 23, 26, 33.”
Upon de novo review, and after reviewing the submissions of the parties
and hearing oral argument, the Court adopts the Magistrate Judge’s
recommendation to deny Greatbatch’s motion for declaratory judgment. The
Court notes that it does not read Magistrate Judge Scott’s Report and
Recommendation to suggest a ruling for defendant as a matter of law, and the
Court does not so rule. Thus, Greatbatch’s motion for declaratory judgment is
denied and the matter shall be returned to the Magistrate Judge for any additional
discovery and/or pre-trial motions.
Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims
The Report and Recommendation recommends dismissal of ECA’s third
through sixth counterclaims. ECA has not objected to the Magistrate Judge’s
findings with respect to its motion to dismiss. “To accept the report and
recommendation of a magistrate, to which no objection has been made, a district
court need only satisfy itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record.”
Torres v. New York, 976 F. Supp. 249 (SDNY 1997). The Court finds that the
Magistrate Judge’s conclusions as to the counterclaims were neither clearly
erroneous nor contrary to law, and adopts the Report and Recommendation’s
recommendation to dismiss defendant’s third through sixth counterclaims.
Motion to Strike
Greatbatch further objects to the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation to
dismiss its motion to strike. Specifically, Greatbatch objects to the inclusion of
language about both its financial condition and prior lawsuits in ECA’s
counterclaims, on the grounds that the allegations are both immaterial and
impertinent pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f).1
Pursuant to Rule 12(f), the court may strike from a pleading an insufficient
A thorough list of the language which Greatbatch argues should be stricken is
set forth in Greatbatch’s Objections to the Report and Recommendation. (Dkt. No. 32,
defense or “any redundant, immaterial, impertinent or scandalous matter.” See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f). The Court is in agreement with Magistrate Judge Scott that
ECA’s allegations regarding Greatbatch’s financial condition and difficulties in the
orthopedics area are relevant to its allegations regarding breach of the agreement
for various financial and business reasons. Thus, the Court adopts Magistrate
Judge Scott’s recommendation to deny Greatbatch’s motion to strike those
allegations in the counterclaims.
However, the Court is not in agreement with Magistrate Judge Scott’s
findings with respect to allegations regarding the MRPA and Zimmer litigations.
The Court finds that these previous lawsuits have no bearing as to the issues
presented in this matter. The Court also finds that it is highly unlikely that
allegations regarding these lawsuits would be admissible at trial, and that the
allegations, as set forth in the counterclaims, serve only to cause prejudice to
Greatbatch. Further, it appears that both cases were dismissed shortly after they
were filed without any affirmative relief granted. See Lipsky v. Commonwealth
United Corp., 551 F.2d 887, 892 (2d. Cir. 1976); accord RSM Production Corp. v.
Fridman, 643 F. Supp. 2d 382, 403 (2d. Cir. 2009) (“Second Circuit case law is
clear that paragraphs in a complaint that are either based on, or rely on,
complaints in other actions that have been dismissed, settled, or are otherwise
resolved, are, as a matter of law, immaterial within the meaning of Fed. R. Civ. P.
12(f).”) Thus, the Court grants Greatbatch’s motion to strike any references in
Counterclaim Paragraphs 25, 28 and 44 to either the MRPA or Zimmer litigation.
For the foregoing reasons, and for the reasons set forth in Magistrate
Judge Scott’s Report and Recommendation to the extent that they are consistent
with this Decision and Order, the Court finds as follows: (1) Greatbatch’s motion
for declaratory judgment is denied; (2) Greatbatch’s motion to dismiss the third
through sixth counterclaims is granted; and (3) Greatbatch’s motion to strike is
granted in part and denied in part.
The matter is referred back to Magistrate Judge Scott for further
____Richard J. Arcara____________
HONORABLE RICHARD J. ARCARA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Dated: May 12, 2014
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