Performance Pulsation Control, Inc. v. Sigma Drilling Technologies, LLC et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER. Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint to Add Advance Rupture Disk Technology, Inc. (Dkt. #71) is hereby GRANTED. As such, Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint (Dkt. #73) is hereby deemed filed on January 23, 2018. Signed by District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III on 2/13/2018. (rpc, )
United States District Court
EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
PERFORMANCE PULSATION CONTROL,
SIGMA DRILLING TECHNOLOGIES,
LLC, INTREPID CONSULTING, LLC,
JUSTIN MANLEY, ALLISON MANLEY,
WILLIAM GARFIELD, and PAMELA
Civil Action No. 4:17-CV-00450
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Pending before the Court is Plaintiff Performance Pulsation Control, Inc.’s (“PPC”)
Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint to Add Advance Rupture Disk Technology, Inc. (“ARDT”)
(Dkt. #71). After reviewing the relevant pleadings and motion, the Court finds the motion should
This case involves PPC’s allegations that Justin Manley (“J. Manley”), a former employee,
formed a competing company, Sigma Drilling Technologies, LLC (“Sigma”), to market and sell
pulsation control products that he developed within the course of his employment with PPC.
Specifically, PPC claims that J. Manley misappropriated PPC’s trade secrets and confidential
information while acting as the Director of Sales and Marketing for PPC. As a result, PPC filed
suit seeking declaration that it is the owner of such intellectual property, as well as injunctive relief
and monetary damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation, and
On December 29, 2017, the Court issued an Order extending the deadline to add parties to
January 22, 2018 (Dkt. #60). On January 22, 2018, Plaintiff filed its Motion for Leave to add
ARDT as a defendant (Dkt. #71). On February 5, 2018, Sigma, Intrepid Consulting, LLC,
J. Manley, Allison Manley, William Garfield, and Pamela Goehring-Garfield (collectively
“Defendants”) filed their response (Dkt. #88).
Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a party may amend its
pleading once without seeking leave of court or the consent of the adverse party at any time before
a responsive pleading is served. FED. R. CIV. P. 15(a). After a responsive pleading is served, a
party “may amend only with the opposing party’s written consent or the court’s leave.” Id. Rule
15(a) instructs the court to “freely give leave when justice so requires.” Id. The rule “evinces a
bias in favor of granting leave to amend.” Jones v. Robinson Prop. Grp., L.P., 427 F.3d 987, 994
(5th Cir. 2005) (quoting Lyn-Lea Travel Corp. v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 283 F.3d 282, 286 (5th Cir.
2002)). But leave to amend “is not automatic.” Matagorda Ventures, Inc. v. Travelers Lloyds Ins.
Co., 203 F. Supp. 2d 704, 718 (S.D. Tex. 2000) (citing Dussouy v. Gulf Coast Inv. Corp., 660 F.2d
594, 598 (5th Cir. 1981)). Whether to allow amendment “lies within the sound discretion of the
district court.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 952 F.2d 841, 845–46 (5th Cir. 1992). A district court
reviewing a motion to amend pleadings under Rule 15(a) considers five factors: (1) undue delay;
(2) bad faith or dilatory motive; (3) repeated failure to cure deficiencies by previous amendments;
(4) undue prejudice to the opposing party; and (5) futility of amendment. Smith v. EMC, 393 F.3d
590, 595 (5th Cir. 2004) (citing Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962)).
Here, the only factor that Defendants contest is futility. Specifically, Defendants claim that
futility exists because PPC failed to plead a breach of contract claim that is plausible on its face.
Conversely, PPC contends it sufficiently pleaded a breach of contract claim against ARDT.
“It is within the district court’s discretion to deny a motion to amend if it is futile.” Stripling
v. Jordan Prod. Co., LLC, 234 F.3d 863, 872–73 (5th Cir. 2000). Futility exists when the amended
complaint “fail[s] to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.” Id. at 873; see also Mason
v. Fremont Inv. & Loan, 671 F. App’x 880, 883 (5th Cir. 2016). In determining futility, the Court
applies “the same standard of legal sufficiency as applie[d] under Rule 12(b)(6).” Id. As such,
the question “is whether in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and with every doubt resolved
in his behalf, the complaint states any valid claim for relief.” Stripling, 234 F.3d at 873 (quoting
Collins v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, 224 F.3d 496, 498 (5th Cir. 2000)).
After reviewing Plaintiff’s Second Amended Complaint (Dkt. #73), and taking such
allegations as true, the Court finds that PPC sufficiently pleaded a breach of contract claim against
It is therefore ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint to Add
Advance Rupture Disk Technology, Inc. (Dkt. #71) is hereby GRANTED. As such, Plaintiff’s
Second Amended Complaint (Dkt. #73) is hereby deemed filed on January 23, 2018.
SIGNED this 13th day of February, 2018.
AMOS L. MAZZANT
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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