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Park v. Zuffa, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

October 13, 2017

CAMERON PARK, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
ZUFFA, LLC, UFC HOLDINGS, LLC, NEULION, INC., and, DOES 1-100, inclusive, Defendants.

         Action Requested by October 10, 2017

          J. Colby Williams, Esq. Nevada Bar No. 5549 CAMPBELL & WILLIAMS Attorneys for Defendants ZUFFA, LLC and UFC Holdings, LLC


         Defendants Zuffa, LLC ("Zuffa") and UFC Holdings, LLC ("UFC, " and, collectively, "Defendants"), through their attorneys of record, respectfully request that this Court, for good cause, stay all proceedings in this case pending a decision by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ("JPML") on the motion, filed on October 3, 2017, under 28 U.S.C. § 1407, to centralize this and other similar lawsuits filed in federal district courts across the country (the "Actions") for coordinated pretrial proceedings. Specifically, Defendants request the following Order:

1. Defendants' time to answer, move or otherwise respond to Plaintiff s Complaint is hereby extended pending a ruling by the JPML. If the JPML coordinates or consolidates the Actions in this Court, or if it denies centralization, the parties shall contact the Court promptly after receipt of that Order to discuss an appropriate schedule for filing a consolidated or amended complaint, if applicable, and a response date to the operative complaint.
2. By submission of this motion, Defendants are not waiving and expressly reserve any defense, including for failure to state a claim.

         In the absence of a stay, Defendants are due to respond to the Complaint by October 10, 2017. Counsel for Plaintiff do not oppose the requested stay.



         This action is one of at least eight lawsuits (the "Actions")[1] pending in multiple United States District Courts across the country alleging violations of state consumer protection laws, among other claims, in connection with the streaming broadcast of the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor on August 26, 2017. Zuffa, doing business as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (or "UFC") is a defendant in five of the Actions, including this one and another case in this Court (in which the parties are seeking an identical order)-Riley v. Zuffa, LLC, No. 2:17-cv-2308-APG-GWF. In light of the substantial similarities in the allegations and claims in all of the Actions, defendants in the Actions, including Zuffa in a motion filed on October 3, 2017 have requested that the JPML centralize all the cases before a single judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 (the "MDL Motion").

         Given the strong likelihood that the Actions will be transferred by the JPML to a single court for pretrial purposes, judicial economy favors a stay and coordination of the Actions. All parties will be unnecessarily burdened if forced to litigate the case actively only to have it transferred and consolidated with other cases for further proceedings. In addition, any action by this Court prior to such transfer would be wasteful of the Court's judicial resources and would create the possibility of inconsistencies in the adjudication of the other Actions. Accordingly, this Court should grant the requested stay pending ruling on the MDL Motion.

         II. ARGUMENT

         Under the Multidistrict Litigation Act, "[w]hen civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact are pending in different districts, such actions may be transferred to any district for coordinated and consolidated pretrial proceedings." 28 U.S.C. § 1407(a). Although an action is not automatically stayed upon the filing of an MDL Motion, the Court may, in its discretion, grant a stay when it serves the interests of judicial economy and efficiency. It is well-established that a district court has the inherent power to stay proceedings in its own court. Pate v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., No. 2:12-CV-01168-MMD-CWH, 2012 WL 3532780, at *2-3 (D. Nev. Aug. 14, 2012), (citingLandis v. North American Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254-55 (1936) and granting motion to stay proceedings pending MDL transfer determination).

         In the specific context of a case awaiting potential transfer by the JPML, "a majority of courts have concluded that it is often appropriate to stay preliminary pretrial proceedings while a motion to consolidate and transfer is pending with the MDL Panel because of the judicial resources that are conserved." Rivers v. Walt Disney Co., 980 F.Supp. 1358, 1362 (CD. Cal. 1997); Esquivelv. BP Co. North Am., No. B-10-236, No. B-10-227, No. B-10-237, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110015, at *10 (S.D. Tex. Oct. 14, 2010) ("The JPML's guidance concerning the use of stay orders repeatedly stresses that '[a] stay of proceedings concerning questions common to all cases, such as class representation, may be appropriate to preserve the question for the transferee judge and avoid inconsistent rulings.'"). Indeed, case law is replete with decisions where district courts have stayed preliminary proceedings while awaiting decision from the JPML. See, e.g., Oregon, ex rel. Kroger v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 11-CV-86-AC, 2011 WL 1347069, at *7 (D. Or. Apr. 8, 2011) (granting stay pending transfer to the MDL when "the interest of judicial economy and consistency far outweigh any possible harm to Plaintiff resulting from a brief stay"); Vermurlen v. AmeriquestMortgage Co., No. 1:06-CV-828, 2007 WL 3104339, at *1 (W.D. Mich. Oct. 22, 2007) (granting stay pending transfer to MDL "in the interest of judicial economy and efficiency"); Bute v. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City, Inc., No. 05-0534-CV-W-FJG, 2005 WL 2218461, at *1 (W.D. Mo. 2005) (granting stay pending transfer to MDL "in order to avoid duplicative proceedings" where "defendants will be forced to simultaneously litigate the same issues" and the "potential prejudice to plaintiffs is minimal, especially considering that plaintiffs' counsel will be arguing substantially the same issues").

         "When considering a motion to stay proceedings pending a possible transfer to an MDL court, a district court may consider factors such as any potential prejudice to the non-moving party, hardship or inequity to the moving party if the proceedings are not stayed, and the interests of judicial economy and efficiency." Mangani v. Merck & Co., No. 2:06-CV-00914-KJD-PAL, 2006 WL 2707459, at *1 (D. Nev. Sept. 19, 2006) (citingRivers, 980 F.Supp. at 1360). In this case, consideration ...

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