The Dolsen Companies et al v. QBE Insurance Company et al

Filing 121

ORDER DENYING RULE 54(b) CERTIFICATION OF JUDGMENT. Plaintiffs Motion for Judgment on Ruling Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) ECF No. 71 is DENIED. Signed by Chief Judge Thomas O. Rice. (LLH, Courtroom Deputy)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON 6 7 THE DOLSEN COMPANIES, a Washington Corporation, et al., NO. 1:16-CV-3141-TOR 8 Plaintiffs, 9 ORDER DENYING RULE 54(b) CERTIFICATION OF JUDGMENT v. 10 11 12 BEDIVERE INSURANCE COMPANY, f/k/a ONEBEACON, et al., Defendants. 13 14 BEFORE THE COURT is Plaintiffs’ Motion for Judgment on Ruling 15 Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) (ECF No. 71). This matter was submitted for 16 consideration without oral argument. The Court has reviewed the record and files 17 herein, and is fully informed. 18 BACKGROUND 19 The Court previously granted Defendants Motions for Partial Summary 20 Judgment, holding Defendants did not have a duty to defend or indemnify ORDER DENYING RULE 54(b) CERTIFICATION OF JUDGMENT ~ 1 1 Plaintiffs in the underlying CARE litigation. ECF No. 70. Plaintiffs now move 2 for entry of a partial judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) to enable Plaintiffs 3 to immediately appeal the Court’s order. Plaintiffs further request that the Court 4 stay all remaining claims in this action pending Plaintiffs’ appeal. ECF No. 71. 5 Defendants oppose the Motion. ECF No. 75. 6 7 DISCUSSION Rule 54(b) allows courts to “direct entry of a final judgment as to one or 8 more, but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court expressly determines 9 that there is no just reason for delay.” “[I]n deciding whether there are no just 10 reasons to delay the appeal of individual final judgments [. . .], a district court must 11 take into account judicial administrative interests as well as the equities involved. 12 Consideration of the former is necessary to assure that application of the Rule 13 effectively ‘preserves the historic federal policy against piecemeal appeals.’” 14 Curtiss-Wright Corp. v. Gen. Elec. Co., 446 U.S. 1, 8 (1980) (citation omitted). 15 The district court evaluates “such factors as the interrelationship of the claims so as 16 to prevent piecemeal appeals in cases which should be reviewed only as single 17 units.” Id. at 10. “[O]nce such juridical concerns have been met, the discretionary 18 judgment of the district court should be given substantial deference, for that court 19 is ‘the one most likely to be familiar with the case and with any justifiable reasons 20 for delay.’” Id. (citation omitted). ORDER DENYING RULE 54(b) CERTIFICATION OF JUDGMENT ~ 2 1 Rule 54(b) has a proper place. The Rule was adopted “specifically to avoid 2 the possible injustice of delaying judgment on a distinctly separate claim pending 3 adjudication of the entire case. . . . The Rule thus aimed to augment, not diminish, 4 appeal opportunity.” Jewel v. Nat'l Sec. Agency, 810 F.3d 622, 628 (9th Cir. 2015) 5 (internal brackets omitted, citing Gelboim v. Bank of Am. Corp., 135 S.Ct. 897, 6 902–03(2015)). The Ninth Circuit first asks “whether the certified order is 7 sufficiently divisible from the other claims such that the “case would [not] 8 inevitably come back to this court on the same set of facts.” Id. (citation omitted). 9 The equitable analysis ordinarily “is left to the sound judicial discretion of the 10 district court to determine the ‘appropriate time’ when each final decision in a 11 multiple claims action is ready for appeal.” Id. (citation omitted). Finally, the 12 appeal must meet the “no just reason for delay” prong of Rule 54(b). Id. at 630. 13 An appeal should not be certified if interlocutory review is more likely to cause 14 additional delay than it is to ameliorate delay problems. 15 Here, while the insurance contract coverage issue is somewhat separable 16 from the IFCA, bad faith and CPA claims, all arise from the same sets of insurance 17 policies and share a common factual background. Plaintiffs’ somewhat parallel 18 claims should be analyzed on appeal as a single unit so as not to cause additional 19 delay. Certainly, the delay Plaintiffs seek is to stay all the underlying claims. That 20 would further compound delay, not ameliorate delay. Accordingly, both the legal ORDER DENYING RULE 54(b) CERTIFICATION OF JUDGMENT ~ 3 1 and equitable considerations weigh against piecemeal resolution of the claims 2 involved here. 3 ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 4 5 6 7 8 Plaintiffs’ Motion for Judgment on Ruling Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b) (ECF No. 71) is DENIED. The District Court Executive is directed to enter this Order and furnish copies to counsel. DATED February 9, 2018. 9 10 THOMAS O. RICE Chief United States District Judge 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 ORDER DENYING RULE 54(b) CERTIFICATION OF JUDGMENT ~ 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?