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Yax v. Caesars Operating Co., Inc.

United States District Court, District of Nevada

December 18, 2014

ERIC YAX, Plaintiff,
v.
CAESARS OPERATING COMPANY, INC., HARRAHS LAS VEGAS, et al., Defendants.

ORDER

Kent J. Dawson United States District Judge

Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion to Amend Complaint (#10), to which Defendants responded (#16) and the time has long expired for Plaintiff to reply. Also before the Court is Defendants’ Motion for Partial Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Complaint (#8). Plaintiff responded (#9) and Defendants replied (#14).

I. Motion to Amend

Plaintiff seeks to amend his complaint to replace ROE 1 with “Caesars Operating Company, Inc. Agent for Harrah’s Las Vegas, ” as a defendant in this matter. Plaintiff has already named Caesars Operating Company, Inc., Harrahs Las Vegas as a defendant. Defendant Harrah’s Las Vegas, LLC asserts that it is the only proper defendant, and that Plaintiff has incorrectly identified it.

A. Legal Standard

Plaintiff moves to amend under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) which states that “[t]he court should freely give leave when justice so requires.” Typically, amendment is permitted “unless amendment would cause prejudice to the opposing party, is sought in bad faith, is futile, or creates undue delay.” Yakama Indian Nation v. State of Wash. Dep't of Revenue, 176 F.3d 1241, 1246 (9th Cir. 1999) (internal quotation omitted).

B. Analysis

Defendants argue that Plaintiff’s motion is futile because some—but not all—of Plaintiff’s claims are subject to a meritorious motion to dismiss. Regardless of whether the motion to dismiss has merit, the existence of claims unaffected by the motion to dismiss eviscerates this argument. The amendment would clearly not be futile as to the remaining claims. Defendants also argue that amendment is improper under Rule 15(c)(1)(C). However, Rule 15(c) deals with the relation back of amendments. Whether the amendment relates back is not an issue currently before the Court, making Defendants’ argument irrelevant. At bottom, despite the Court’s misgivings that the amendment will ultimately be futile, the Court finds that justice requires that Plaintiff be given leave to amend.

II. Motion to Dismiss

Both of the parties represent to the Court that the only change in what is now the First Amended Complaint is the adding of a named defendant. Accordingly, as the substance of the complaint has not changed, the Court will consider Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (#8) as a motion to dismiss the First Amended Complaint.

A. Legal Standard

A court may dismiss a plaintiff’s complaint for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). A properly pled complaint must provide “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2); Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). While Rule 8 does not require detailed factual allegations, it demands more than “labels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations omitted). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Thus, “[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter to ‘state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.’” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation omitted).

In Iqbal, the Supreme Court clarified the two-step approach district courts are to apply when considering motions to dismiss. First, a district court must accept as true all well-pled factual allegations in the complaint; however, legal conclusions or mere recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported only by conclusory statements, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Id. at 678. Second, a district court must consider whether the factual allegations in the complaint allege a plausible claim for relief. Id. at 679. A claim is facially plausible when the plaintiff’s complaint alleges facts that allow the court to draw a reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the alleged misconduct. Id. at 678. Further, where the complaint does not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has “alleged—but it has not show[n]—that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, when the claims in a complaint have not crossed the line from conceivable to plausible, the complaint must be ...


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