Abraham Ghorbanian v. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America et al
ORDER granting Plaintiff's 77 Motion to Amend Complaint and File a Second Amended Complaint; Plaintiff shall file with the Court his Second Amended Complaint, as proposed at Dkt. # 77 -1, Ex. C, no later than three (3) business days from the date of this Order. Counsel is directed to e-file their Amended Complaint. Signed by Judge Ricardo S Martinez. (SWT)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
ABRAHAM GHORBANIAN, D.D.S.,
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S
MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
GUARDIAN LIFE INSURANCE
COMPANY OF AMERICA, et al.,
Case No. C14-1396 RSM
THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend his Complaint
to add a claim against Defendants pursuant to the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”) based
on a February 27, 2015, denial of disability benefits. Dkt. #77. Defendants oppose the motion,
arguing that Plaintiff has unduly delayed amending his Complaint and has proposed an
amendment that is futile. Dkt. #88.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) governs the amendment of pleadings. Under
Rule 15(a)(2), leave to amend should be freely given “when justice so requires.” Fed. R. Civ.
P. 15(a)(2). The Ninth Circuit has held that leave to amend should be granted with “extreme
liberality.” DCD Programs, LTD. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183, 186 (9th Cir. 1987). The Court
must consider whether the proposed amendment (1) would be futile, (2) is the product of undue
delay, (3) would prejudice the non-moving party, and (4) was brought in bad faith. Id. (stating
all four factors). The opposing party bears the burden of showing prejudice, id. at 187, which
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is the most important factor in whether to grant a motion for leave to amend. Eminence
Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1052 (9th Cir. 2003) (presumption in favor of
granting leave exists absent prejudice or a strong showing of any of the remaining factors).
Having reviewed Plaintiff’s motion and reply in support thereof, and the opposition
thereto, the Court will allow Plaintiff’s filing of a Second Amended Complaint. For the
reasons set forth by Plaintiff, the Court agrees that Plaintiff has not unduly delayed in the filing
of his proposed IFCA claim, which is based on a separate denial of benefits than previously
examined by the Court. Further, the Court finds that Defendants have failed to demonstrate
prejudice in allowing this amendment. Finally, the Court cannot conclude at this stage of the
litigation that the proposed amendments would be futile. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion to
Amend (Dkt. #77) is GRANTED.
Plaintiff shall file with the Court his Second Amended Complaint, as proposed at Dkt.
#77-1, Ex. C, no later than three (3) business days from the date of this Order.
DATED this 13th day of April 2017.
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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