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Winland v. Harbor Freight Tools USA, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

May 19, 2017

JOYCE WINLAND, Plaintiffs,
v.
HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS USA, INC., Defendants.

          ORDER

         Presently before the court is a second motion to amend/correct complaint filed by plaintiff Robert Winland, special administrator for the Estate of Joyce Winland (“plaintiff”). (ECF No. 33).[1] No responses have been filed, and the period to do so has since passed.

         Also before the court is defendant Harbor Freight Tools USA, Inc.'s (“defendant”) motion for leave to file a third-party complaint. (ECF No. 34). Plaintiff filed a non-opposition response. (ECF No. 35).[2]

         I. Facts

         This is a premises liability action involving a slip and fall that took place at defendant's retail store on December 9, 2015, which resulted in a fractured hip. Joyce Winland tripped and fell while exiting the Harbor Freight retail store in Henderson, Nevada, fracturing her hip in the fall. (ECF No. 1-1).

         On April 7, 2016, Joyce Winland filed a complaint in state court alleging two causes of action: (1) negligence based on premises liability; and (2) negligent hiring, supervision, and failure to warn. (ECF No. 1-1). On May 2, 2016, defendant removed the action to federal court. (ECF No. 1).

         On November 3, 2016, counsel filed a notice of suggestion of death, stating that Joyce Winland (“decedent”) passed away unexpectedly during the pendency of the instant action on May 31, 2016. (ECF No. 18). The next day, on November 4, 2016, counsel filed a motion for substitution of parties, requesting the substitution of Robert Winland in place of Joyce Winland as plaintiff (ECF No. 19), which the court granted (ECF No. 20).

         On January 16, 2017, with leave of the court (ECF No. 27), plaintiff filed an amended complaint adding a claim for wrongful death. (ECF No. 28).

         In the instant motions, plaintiff requests leave to file a second amended complaint to add decedent's daughter and heir Christine Lada as a plaintiff (ECF No. 33), and defendant requests leave to file a third-party complaint against UniFirst Corporation (ECF No. 34). The court will address each as it sees fit.

         II. Legal Standards & Discussion

         As an initial matter, the parties' motions (ECF Nos. 33, 34) do not comply with Local Rule IC 2-2(a)(3)(A), which provides that “[e]xhibits and attachments must not be filed as part of the base document in the electronic filing system.” LR IC 2-2(a)(3)(A). Rather, “[t]hey must be attached as separate files[.]” LR IC 2-2(a)(3)(A).

         Accordingly, the parties shall ensure that future filings comply with the local and federal rules as future filings that fail to do so will be stricken. See, e.g., Ready Transp., Inc. v. AAR Mfg., Inc., 627 F.3d 402, 404 (9th Cir. 2010) (holding that district courts have inherent power to control their own dockets); see also LR IC 7-1 (“The court may strike documents that do not comply with these rules.”).

         A. Motion to Amend/Correct Complaint

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a) provides that “[t]he court should freely give leave [to amend] when justice so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). The United States Supreme Court has interpreted Rule 15(a) and confirmed the liberal standard district courts must apply when granting such leave. In Foman v. Davis, the Supreme Court explained:

In the absence of any apparent or declared reason-such as undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of the amendment, ...

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