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Lesane v. Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

January 14, 2020

REZA (RAY) LESANE, Plaintiff,
v.
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES, INC.; MARK DUNKERLY, Defendants.

          ORDER AFFIRMING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S SECOND MOTION TO AMEND THE COMPLAINT AND FILE CROSS COUNTER-CLAIM AND JOIN NECESSARY THIRD PARTY DEFENDANT KAISER PERMANENTE MEDICAL INS. CO. INC.

          JILL A. OTAKE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Reza Lesane (“Plaintiff”) objects to Magistrate Judge Kenneth J. Mansfield's Order Denying Plaintiff's Second Motion to Amend the Complaint and File Cross Counter-Claim and Join Necessary Third Party Defendant Kaiser Permanente Medical Ins. Co. Inc. (“Order”).[1] ECF No. 121. This matter shall be decided without a hearing pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(d). For the reasons articulated below, the Court AFFIRMS Magistrate Judge Mansfield's Order.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff commenced this action on March 19, 2019 in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit, State of Hawai‘i. Defendant Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. (“Hawaiian”) removed this action on April 8, 2019.

         The Rule 16 Scheduling Order, filed on May 6, 2019, established October 4, 2019 as the deadline to join additional parties or to amend the pleadings. ECF No. 19 at ¶ 5.

         On August 15, 2019, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”). Hawaiian responded with an Answer and Counterclaim on August 28, 2019.

         On November 7, 2019, Plaintiff filed a Second Motion to Amend the Complaint and File Cross Counter-Claim and Join Necessary Third Party Defendant Kaiser Permanente Medical Ins. Co. Inc. ECF No. 65. Magistrate Judge Mansfield denied the motion for failure to comply with Local Rule 7.8's pre-filing conference requirement. ECF No. 78. Plaintiff refiled the motion on November 26, 2019. ECF No. 79.

         Following a hearing on the motion, Magistrate Judge Mansfield issued his Order on December 18, 2019. He concluded that Plaintiff failed to establish good cause pursuant to Rule 16(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) to reopen the deadline to add parties/amend the pleadings. ECF No. 111 at 3-4. He reasoned that Plaintiff was not diligent in seeking to amend the scheduling order because even accepting as true Plaintiff's contention that his proposed amendment is based on new information that Hawaiian asserts in its Counterclaim, Plaintiff had more than one month to request leave to file an amended complaint before October 4, 2019. Id. at 4.

         On January 1, 2020, Plaintiff filed his Objection challenging the entirety of Magistrate Judge Mansfield's analysis. ECF No. 121 at 1-2.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Parties may object to magistrate judge's pretrial orders. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a); Local Rule 74.1. “The district judge in the case must consider timely objections and modify or set aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a) (emphasis added); Doe v. Kamehameha Schs./Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate, 596 F.3d 1036, 1041 n.4 (9th Cir. 2010).

         The “clearly erroneous standard is significantly deferential, requiring a definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed before reversal is warranted.” Mathews v. Chevron Corp., 362 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th Cir. 2004) (citations and internal quotations omitted). “The reviewing court may not simply substitute its judgment for that of the deciding court.” Grimes v. City & Cty. of San Francisco, 951 F.2d 236, 241 (9th Cir. 1991) (citation omitted); see also Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc., 364 F.3d 1057, 1063 (9th Cir. 2004) (stating that a district court may not overturn a magistrate judge's pretrial order “simply because [it] might have weighed differently the various interests and equities”).

         ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff argues that he demonstrated good cause to amend his complaint because he was unaware of the basis for amendment until Hawaiian filed its Counterclaim on August 28, 2019. And only then could he submit discovery requests pertaining to Hawaiian's payment of medical insurance premiums to Kaiser, the responses to which he received on November 26, 2019. While Plaintiff concedes that he missed the deadline to ...


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