Bringuier et al v. Avco Corporation, et al
ORDER denying 108 Motion to Intervene; denying 114 Motion for Leave to File. Signed by US Magistrate Judge Marcos E. Lopez on 10/21/11. (Lopez, Marcos)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO
JORGE BRINGUIER, et. al.,
CIVIL NO.: 09-2140 (ADC)
AVCO CORP., INC., et. al.
ZULAIKA RODRÍGUEZ-DELGADO, et. al.,
CIVIL NO.: 10-1211 (ADC)
AERO INVESTMENT CORP., et. al.,
OPINION AND ORDER
Pending before the court is applicants’ motion to intervene under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure (“Rule”) 24(b)(1)(B). (D.E. No. 108.) Applicants are the plaintiffs in a separate pending
action against defendants Cessna Aircraft Company and Avco Corporation. See Vélez v. Cessna
Aircraft Company, 11-1821 (DRD).
Rule 24(b) provides, in pertinent part, that upon “timely motion, the court may permit anyone
to intervene who . . . has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of
law or fact.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b)(1)(B). The proposed intervenors’ claim arises out of the same
aviation incident as the instant case and propounds the same theory of liability. (D.E. No. 108, p.
2.) As such, applicants meet this threshold requirement.
Once the Rule 24(b)(1)(B) requirement is met, “the district court can [then] consider almost
any factor rationally relevant but enjoys very broad discretion in granting or denying the motion.”
Dagget v. Comm’n on Governmental Ethics & Election Practices, 172 F.3d 104, 113 (1st Cir. 1999)
(citing U.S. Postal Serv. v. Brennan, 579 F.2d 188, 191-92 (2d Cir. 1978)). One factor that the court
must consider is “whether intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the original
parties’ rights.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(b)(3).
Considering the advanced stage of the instant case, and this court’s responsibility to “secure
the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action,” Fed. R. Civ. P. 1, applicants’
motion is denied. The court in case number 11-1821 (DRD) reached the same conclusion in denying
applicants’ motion to consolidate their case with the instant case (D.E. No. 5 in case 11-1821
(DRD).) (“[J]udicial economy and efficiency would be compromised by consolidating these two
cases at this late juncture.”) Indeed, this case has been pending for nearly two years. (D.E. No. 1.)
Discovery is already well under way and is scheduled to conclude on January 31, 2012–a mere three
months from now. (D.E. No. 80.) Adding new parties at this point would inevitably slow the case’s
steady progression toward the April 9, 2012 pretrial and settlement conference.1
Applicants have presented no countervailing considerations that would justify allowing such
delay. They express concern that they will not be able to participate in an ongoing discovery dispute
in the instant case involving plaintiffs’ motion to compel defendant Aero Corporation to surrender
the wreckage of the plane crash for laboratory testing. (D.E. No. 108, p. 2; D.E. No. 93) Applicants
contend that their lack of participation will cause “custody of evidence problems.” (D.E. No. 108,
p. 2.) However, there is nothing preventing applicants from making the appropriate requests to the
Additionally, the applicants’ pending case was filed only three months ago. (D.E. No. 1 in 11-1821
(DRD.)) No discovery time line has been set nor has a case management order been entered.
court in case number 11-1821 (DRD) in order to preserve the evidence and secure their rights to
inspect it. Further, any decision by this court concerning the discovery dispute between the parties
in this case will not bind or prejudice the rights of the parties in case number 11-1821 (DRD). All
of the appropriate discovery mechanisms are available to the applicants, which they may use to
ensure their inspection of the wreckage.
Applicants additionally contend that defendants’ response to the motion to intervene (D.E.
No. 110) did not show how they would be harmed if intervention is allowed, and thus request leave
to file a reply. (D.E. No. 114.) As defendants already stated in their response in opposition, their
rights to a speedy adjudication of the instant action would be prejudiced by the delay that
intervention would cause. (D.E. No. 110, p. 2.)
Therefore, applicants’ motions to intervene (D.E. No. 108) and for leave to file a document
(D.E. No. 114) are hereby DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.2
In San Juan, Puerto Rico, this 21st day of October, 2011.
s/Marcos E. López
U.S. Magistrate Judge
There is a split of authority as to whether a motion to intervene is a nondispositive matter within the
meaning of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(a). Compare United States v. Certain Real Prop. & Premises, et.
al.,751 F. Supp. 1060 (E.D.N.Y. 1989) (treating motion to intervene as nondispositive), with Miss. Power & Light
Co., 621 F. Supp. 718 (S.D. Miss. 1985) (treating motion to intervene as dispositive). See also Oakland County, et.
al. v. Fed. Nat’l Mortg. Assoc., C.V. No. 11-12666, 2011 WL 4374252, *8 n.1 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 20, 2011) (noting
split). It appears that the First Circuit has not addressed this question. The order on the present motion will not
dispose “of a party’s claim or defense,” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a), because applicants will still have their claims
adjudicated in the separate action they have already filed. See Docket No. 11-1821 (DRD). Therefore, the
undersigned treats this as a nondispositive motion.
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