BRODIE et al v. SPEEDWAY LLC
ORDER denying 2 Motion to Reassign Case, for the reasons set forth in the attached Memorandum Opinion and Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell on 3/22/17. (kld)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CAROLINE BRODIE, ANGELA HUNTER,
and ACCESS NOW, INC., individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated,
MEMORANDUM OPINION and ORDER
ROBERT C. MITCHELL, United States Magistrate Judge
Presently pending before the court is Defendant Speedway LLC’s Motion for
Reassignment [ECF No. 6]. After a review of the accompanying Memorandum of Law,
Plaintiff’s Response in Opposition and Defendant’s Reply, the Motion will be denied.
Plaintiffs Caroline Brodie, Angela Hunter, and Access Now, Inc. (“Plaintiffs”) filed this
action, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, against Speedway on January
27, 2017, alleging violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §
12181 et seq., (the “ADA”). Specifically, Plaintiffs’ challenge Defendant’s corporate policies
and practices, which they contend result in accessibility barriers at Defendant’s parking facilities
in violation of the ADA. On February 22, 2017, Defendant filed a Motion to Reassign, asking
that the case be reassigned to the Honorable Joy Flowers Conti, Chief Judge of the United States
District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Defendants contend this case is related
to a previous matter over which Chief Judge Conti presided in 2015, Snyder v. Speedway, LLC,
No. 15-cv-77. One of the same properties and alleged violations in the above-encaptioned matter
were the subject of the Snyder case, involving some but not all of the same issues of fact.
As we recently noted in Badger et al. v. Advance Stores Co., Inc. d/b/a Advance Auto
Parts, No. 16-cv-1872, 2017 WL 782925 (W.D. Pa. March 1, 2017), the relatedness inquiry does
not focus solely on overlapping property and factual issues, but also looks to whether a related
assignment promotes just and efficient conduct of the action. Rule 40(E)(2) explicitly states that
the Judge who is assigned the later-filed case(s) may transfer it if “the cases are related or the
transfer would promote the convenience of the parties or witnesses or the just and efficient
conduct of the action.” Conversely, the Court may refuse to transfer a case to another judge
where it determines that it “would not promote the just and efficient conduct of [the] action.”
Snyder was resolved without any dispositive motions with minimal court involvement,
and Chief Judge Conti currently has no similar cases pending before her. This member of the
Court has numerous similar cases pending. Moreover, Snyder involved architectural barriers
themselves, while this case, in contrast, focuses on Defendant’s policies and practices which
Plaintiffs contend result in architectural barriers. Convenience and efficiency would therefore not
be promoted by reassigning this case to Chief Judge Conti. Additionally, on March 16, 2017,
defendant filed a district judge option and the matter has been assigned to Hon. Mark R. Hornak.
AND NOW, this 22nd day of March, 2017, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT the
Motion for Reassignment [ECF No. 6] is DENIED.
/s/ Robert C. Mitchell
ROBERT C. MITCHELL
United States Magistrate Judge
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