Stewart v. West Virginia Employers' Mutual Insurance Company
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting defendant's 5 MOTION to Consolidate cases 2:09-cv-126 and 2:09-cv-127, directing that this civil action, 2:09-cv-126, is designated as the lead case; all further filings shall be captioned and docketed using the style and action number of that case. Signed by Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. on 3/23/2009. (cc: attys) (taq)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA AT CHARLESTON SALLY STEWART, Plaintiff v. WEST VIRGINIA EMPLOYERS' MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, a West Virginia corporation doing business as BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company and BrickStreet Administrative Services, Defendant _____________________________________ BETTY MCGHEE, Plaintiff v. WEST VIRGINIA EMPLOYERS' MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, a West Virginia corporation doing business as BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company and BrickStreet Administrative Services, Defendant MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Pending is the motion of West Virginia Employers' Mutual Insurance Company, d/b/a BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company and BrickStreet Administrative Services ("BrickStreet") to consolidate the above captioned actions, filed March 5, 2009. Civil Action No. 2:09-127 Civil Action No. 2:09-126
The plaintiffs have responded and assert that they do not object to the consolidation of the cases. Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the consolidation of civil cases, and provides as follows: (a) Consolidation. If actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may . . . consolidate the actions . . . . Fed. R. Civ. Proc. 42(a). Our court of appeals has accorded the
district courts broad discretion in ruling on motions to consolidate cases, recognizing the superiority of the trial court in determining how best to structure similar pieces of litigation. See A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckles Rederi v. Tidewater
Const. Co., 559 F.2d 928, 933 (4th Cir. 1977) ("District courts have broad discretion under Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a) to consolidate cases pending in the same district."). After having carefully reviewed the record, the court finds that both actions derive from a similar factual background and that issues surrounding liability and damages appear to be related so as to favor consolidation in order to fully and expeditiously resolve all claims in these actions. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that the defendant's motion to consolidate be, and it hereby is, granted. It is further
ORDERED that Stewart v. West Virginia Employers' Mutual Insurance Company, 2:09-cv-126, be, and it hereby is, designated as the lead case. All further filings shall be captioned and docketed
using the style and action number of that case. The Clerk is directed to forward copies of this written opinion and order to all counsel of record. DATED: March 23, 2009
John T. Copenhaver, Jr. United States District Judge
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