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Rigsbee v. City and County of Honolulu

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

February 28, 2019

CLIFFORD MCARTHUR RIGSBEE, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Clifford Meredith Rigsbee, deceased, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO AMEND DEFENDANT'S AMENDED ANSWER (ECF No. 129)

          HELEN GILLMOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a maritime action relating to the death of Clifford Meredith Rigsbee following an accident on June 14, 2016.

         The decedent was engaged in rescue watercraft training as part of his duties as a firefighter with the Honolulu Fire Department. During the ocean training, the decedent suffered blunt force injury to his head and neck. He died two days later as a result of his injuries.

         On October 23, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint.

         On December 18, 2017, Defendant filed its Answer.

         On May 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed the First Amended Complaint.

         On May 31, 2018, Defendant filed its Answer to First Amended Complaint.

         On June 4, 2018, Defendant filed its Amended Answer to the

         First Amended Complaint.

         More than eight months later and five weeks before trial, on February 6, 2019, Defendant filed a Motion seeking to amend its Amended Answer.

         Defendant seeks to amend its answer to allow it to assert an affirmative defense pursuant to the Exoneration and Limitation of Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. §§ 30501-30512. Defendant claims that pursuant to this affirmative defense its limitation on liability is capped at the value of the rescue watercraft at issue in this case.

         Defendant's Motion for Leave to Amend Defendant's Amended Answer (ECF No. 129) is DENIED.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On October 23, 2017, Plaintiff Clifford McArthur Rigsbee, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Clifford Meredith Rigsbee, deceased, filed a Complaint. (ECF No. 1).

         On December 18, 2017, Defendant filed its Answer. (ECF No. 21).

         On December 21, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a Rule 16 Scheduling Order. (ECF No. 23).

         On January 29, 2018, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE DEFENDANT'S SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE (FOR ASSUMPTION OF RISK) (ECF No. 27).

         On February 8, 2018, the Parties signed a STIPULATION TO DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE THE SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE OF DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S ANSWER TO COMPLAINT, FILED ON DECEMBER 18, 2017. (ECF No. 30).

         On February 14, 2018, the Court signed the Stipulation and Order agreed to by the Parties. (Id.)

         On May 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed the FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT. (ECF No. 36).

         On May 31, 2018, Defendant filed DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT. (ECF No. 37).

         On June 4, 2018, Defendant filed DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S AMENDED ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT. (ECF No. 38).

         On July 18, 2018, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DISPOSITIVE RULINGS UNDER FED. R. CIV. P. 16 AND 56(a) REGARDING AVAILABILITY OF HEDONIC DAMAGES and a Concise Statement of Facts in Support. (ECF Nos. 48 and 49).

         On the same date, Plaintiff filed PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DISPOSITIVE RULINGS UNDER FED. R. CIV. P. 16 AND 56(a) REGARDING THE ESTATE'S SURVIVAL-CLAIM FOR FUTURE LOST EARNINGS and a Concise Statement of Facts in Support. (ECF Nos. 50 and 51).

         On August 7, 2018, Defendant filed DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S STATEMENT OF NO POSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DISPOSITIVE RULINGS UNDER FED. R. CIV. P. 16 AND 56(a) REGARDING THE ESTATE'S SURVIVAL-CLAIM FOR FUTURE LOST EARNINGS. (ECF No. 57) (emphasis added).

         On the same date, Defendant filed DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S STATEMENT OF NO POSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DISPOSITIVE RULINGS UNDER FED. R. CIV. P. 16 AND 56(a) REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF HEDONIC DAMAGES. (ECF No. 58) (emphasis added).

         On September 18, 2018, the Magistrate Judge issued a STIPULATION EXTENDING EXPERT DISCLOSURES AND DISCOVERY DEADLINES. (ECF No. 77).

         On September 27, 2018, Defendant filed DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND PRETRIAL DEADLINES. (ECF No. 80).

         On October 2, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Continue. (ECF No. 89).

         On October 15, 2018, the Court held a hearing. The Court GRANTED DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND PRETRIAL DEADLINES. (ECF No. 101).

         On October 16, 2018, the Court issued an ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DISPOSITIVE RULINGS UNDER FED. R. CIV. P. 16 AND 56(a) REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF HEDONIC DAMAGES AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DISPOSITIVE RULINGS UNDER FED. R.CIV. P. AND 56(a) REGARDING THE ESTATE'S SURVIVAL-CLAIM FOR FUTURE LOST EARNINGS. (ECF No. 99).

         On November 2, 2018, Defendant filed DEFENDANT CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU'S MOTION TO CONTINUE EXPERT DISCLOSURE DEADLINE. (ECF No. 102).

         On November 26, 2018, the Court held a hearing and it denied Defendant's Motion to Continue Expert Disclosure Deadline. (ECF No. 112). The Court extended the discovery ...


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