Butler et al v. RD Expedited, Inc. et al
PRELIMINARY SCHEDULING ORDER: Telephone conference held on 9/25/2017. After discussion with the parties, it appears that these cases should be consolidated for discovery and for trial. Henceforth, the parties should file all motions in the 3:16- 2271 case. Motion to Amend Deadline is set for 1/31/2018. Discovery is set for 3/14/2018. Dispositive Motion deadline is set for 6/25/2018. A further telephone conference to discuss modifications to the scheduling order or to the trial date is set for 10:00 a.m., 11/20/2017. To participate in the conference call, parties will call 877-873-8017 and enter Code 1958322# at the scheduled time. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joe Brown on 9/25/17. (DOCKET TEXT SUMMARY ONLY-ATTORNEYS MUST OPEN THE PDF AND READ THE ORDER.)(dt)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
DIANE RANDOLPH, individually
and as surviving spouse and
n/o/k of RANDY RANDOLPH,
RD EXPEDITED, INC., et al.,
KIMBERLY BUTLER, et al.,
RD EXPEDITED, INC., et al.,
DIANE RANDOLPH, individually
and surviving spouse and n/o/k
of Randy Randolph, deceased,
MGR EXPRESS, INC., et al.,
PRELIMINARY SCHEDULING ORDER
A lengthy telephone call was held with the parties in this matter
September 25, 2017. Although it appears from the docket sheet that MGR Express,
Inc. and Abdulnasir Abdirizak have been served with summonses in the 1012 case
on July 29, 2017 (Docket Entry 6), and August 7, 2017 (Docket Entry 10). Neither of
these Defendants has filed any notice of appearance or other response in the matter.
Ms. Blackburn, counsel for RD Expedited, Inc. advised that on Friday she had been
contacted by an attorney in Chicago concerning MGR Express, Inc. The attorney
advised that he had just been contacted and was attempting to determine what
insurance coverage was involved and whether he would be representing MGR
Express or if other counsel would be secured.
The Chicago counsel did not
participate in the telephone call on September 25, 2017. Ms. Blackburn was
requested to recontact the attorney and advise him that the Court strongly
suggested that he contact Plaintiffs' counsel.
Plaintiff's counsel has not filed a motion for default, and in view of the
possibility of an attorney entering an appearance, the Magistrate Judge would
request that Plaintiffs' counsel not file a motion for default within 14 days of the
entry of this order.
In the two earlier cases, depositions have been scheduled in early
November for witnesses represented by Ms. Blackburn. Ms. Blackburn expressed a
concern that she did not want to be put in a situation where her witnesses had to be
deposed twice because of the late entry of MGR Express. Hopefully, the date of the
depositions can be resolved through discussion between the attorneys. It would be
the Magistrate Judge's hope that the current dates, which had been worked out by
all parties at the time, can be maintained.
After discussion with the parties, it appears that these cases should be
consolidated for discovery and for trial. Henceforth, the parties should file all
motions in the 3:16-2271 case.
The theory of the parties other than MGR Express and Abdulnasir
Abdirizak is as follows:
The Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Sec. 1332 (a)(1)-(2).
BRIEF THEORIES OF THE PARTIES:
PLAINTIFF: Diane Randolph brings claims for negligence, negligent
hiring, retention and training, gross negligence and claims for punitive damages
against the defendants as a result of crash that occurred July 8th, 2016 on State
Route 840 in Williamson County, Tennessee. A tractor-trailer operated by the
defendant driver Abdirahmaan while employed by motor carrier RD Expedited, Inc.
hit the rear of one vehicle and continued on and slammed into the rear of the Model
A Ford which was driven by Randy Randolph. Mr. Randolph’s Model A Ford was
sent careening off the road where it struck an embankment and landed him against
the embankment wall. He survived while he was pinned in the vehicle but was
unable to free himself, suffering excruciating pain. He ultimately was unable to
survive and later died from the injuries he suffered in this crash.
Diane Randolph avers that RD Expedited, Inc., a motor carrier, lacked and
did not enforce adequate policies to prevent distracted and fatigued driving of
professional drivers. Instead, RD Expedited, Inc., reckless indifference to these
practices actively encouraged and aided and/or abetted distracted, fatigued and
unsafe driving, all of which contributed to cause the horrific and untimely death of
Randy Randolph. Randy Randolph was a loving and respected family man and
member of the Middle Tennessee Community whose life was taken by RD
Diane Randolph brings claims for all damages available at law and equity for
physical pain and suffering suffered by Randy Randolph, loss of consortium and the
pecuniary value of her husband Randy Randolph and punitive damages.
DEFENDANTS: Defendants’ theory:
On July 8, 2016, Abdulkadir Abdirahmaan was operating a Freightliner
tractor trailer under the authority of and on behalf of RD Expedited, Inc.
Defendants do not deny the vehicle operated by Abdirahmaan impacted the vehicle
operated by Randy Randolph; however, Defendants deny Plaintiffs allegations
against Abdirahmaan and RD Expedited, Inc. Defendants further aver that the
acts and omissions of Kimberly Butler caused or contributed to cause the accident
and injuries alleged by Plaintiff.
Jurisdiction and venue.
ISSUES IN DISPUTE:
Liability and damages.
The parties, with the exception of MGR
Express and Abdulnasir Abdirizak, made their initial disclosures on or before
December 1, 2016. Initial disclosures involving the parties in the 1012 case will be
due 30 days after the appearance by counsel for the respective Defendants in that
case. Any stay on discovery in the 1012 case is LIFTED.
DISCOVERY: The parties shall complete all written discovery and
depose all fact witnesses on or before March 14, 2018.
No contested motions
concerning discovery will be filed until the parties have conferred in good faith and
scheduled a telephone conference with the Magistrate Judge about the matter. In
scheduling the telephone conference the parties should confer with my courtroom
deputy to select a date that is available for all parties and one business day prior
to the telephone conference file a joint statement of the matter in dispute.
MOTIONS TO AMEND: The parties shall file all Motions to Amend
on or before January 31 2018.
DISCLOSURE OF EXPERTS: The respective Plaintiff shall identify
and disclose all expert witnesses and expert reports on or before March 21, 2018.
The respective Defendant shall identify and disclose all expert witnesses and
reports on or before April 20, 2018.
DEPOSITIONS OF EXPERT WITNESSES: The parties shall depose
all expert witnesses on or before May 21, 2018.
JOINT MEDIATION REPORT:
Although the parties have already
participated in private mediation before The Honorable Barry Howard, the parties
are encouraged to continue ADR efforts in this case and shall make at least one
additional effort at ADR on or before filing any dispositive motions in the matter.
The parties shall file all dispositive
motions on or before June 25, 2018. Responses to dispositive motions shall be filed
within 28 days after the filing of the motion. Optional replies, limited to five
pages, may be filed within 14 days after the filing of the response. Briefs shall not
exceed 25 pages. No motion for partial summary judgment shall be filed except
upon leave of Court.
Any party wishing to file such a motion shall first file a
separate motion that gives the justification for filing a partial summary judgment
motion in terms of overall economy of time and expense for the parties, counsel and
the Court. If dispositive motions are filed early, the response and reply dates are
moved up accordingly.
The parties anticipate reaching an
agreement on how to conduct electronic discovery. Administrative Order No. 174
therefore need not apply to this case. However, in the absence of an agreement, the
default standards of Administrative Order No. 174 will apply.
SUBSEQUENT CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE:
telephone conference to discuss modifications to the scheduling order or to the trial
date is set for 10:00 a.m., November 20, 2017. To participate in the
conference call, parties will call 877-873-8017 and enter Code 1958322# at
the scheduled time.
ESTIMATED TRIAL TIME:
After consulting with Judge Berg, the
pretrial conference and jury trial presently set in the 2271 case (Docket Entry 13) is
CANCELED. The Magistrate Judge recommends a new trial date for a jury trial
that is expected to take up to four days, be scheduled on or after November 6,
/s/ Joe B. Brown
Joe B. Brown
United States Magistrate Judge
The parties have advised that criminal charges were brought against the driver of the tractor
trailer. If a motion to stay proceedings in these cases because of the criminal charges will be filed, it
should be filed as soon as practicable and should address whether discovery not related to the
criminal case could continue regardless of the criminal charges.
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