United States District Court, D. Nevada
HOFFMAN, JR. UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is Defendant Brock Lesnar's motion to
stay discovery (ECF No. 75), filed on June 27, 2017.
Plaintiff Mark Hunt filed a response (ECF No. 85) on July 11,
2017, and Defendant filed a reply (ECF No. 90) on July 18,
2017. On June 28, 2017, Defendants Dana White and Zuffa, LLC
submitted a notice of joinder (ECF No. 77) to the motion to
is a competitor in “mixed martial arts”
(“MMA”) who participated in a number of
competitions sanctioned by Defendant Zuffa, LLC, operating
under the name Ultimate Fighting Championship
(“UFC”), against Defendants Brock Lesnar and
other unnamed defendants. Defendant Brock Lesnar moves to
stay discovery pending a decision on his motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's first amended complaint (ECF No. 68). In
support of a stay of discovery, Defendant argues that his
motion to dismiss, if granted, would dispose of all claims
against him, that the motion is likely to be granted, and
that no discovery is necessary for the Court to adjudicate
the motion. Plaintiff opposes a stay, arguing that Defendant
fails to show that the motion to dismiss will be granted and
dismiss all claims against Mr. Lesnar.
within the Court's broad discretion over discovery to
determine whether a stay of discovery is appropriate.
Little v. City of Seattle, 863 F.2d 681, 685 (9th
Cir. 1988). In determining whether to stay discovery pending
resolution of a dispositive motion, the party seeking the
stay “carries the heavy burden of making a
‘strong showing' why discovery should be
denied.” Turner Broad. Sys., Inc. v. Tracinda
Corp., 175 F.R.D. 554, 556 (D. Nev. 1997). In order to
determine if a stay is appropriate, the court considers
whether (1) the pending motion is potentially dispositive of
the entire case or at least dispositive of the issue on which
discovery is sought, and (2) the motion can be decided
without additional discovery. Ministerio Roca Solida v.
U.S. Dep't of Fish & Wildlife, 288 F.R.D. 500,
506 (D. Nev. 2013). Further, “a stay of discovery
should only be ordered if the court is convinced that a
plaintiff will be unable to state a claim for relief.”
Tradebay LLC V. eBay, Inc., 278 F.R.D. 597, 603 (D.
Nev. 2011). Courts considering stays in this district have
found that meeting this standard is not easily met (Kor
Media Grp., LLC v. Green, 294 F.R.D. 579, 583 (D. Nev.
2013)). The default assumption is that discovery should go
forward while a dispositive motion is pending. “Absent
extraordinary circumstances, litigation should not be delayed
simply because a non-frivolous motion has been filed.”
Id. (quoting Trzaska v. Int'l Game
Tech., 2011 WL 1233298, at *3 (D. Nev. Mar. 29, 2011)).
determine whether a stay of a potentially dispositive motion
is appropriate, courts in this district take a
“preliminary peek” at the motion. See
Tradebay, 278 F.R.D. 602-603. This inquiry is not meant
to prejudge the motion, but rather to determine whether a
stay would help the court to secure the “just, speedy,
and inexpensive determination” of the action as
required by Rule 1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Defendant's motion to dismiss seeks dismissal of each
claim from the first amended complaint, so the motion is
dispositive as to Mr. Lesnar. Further, Plaintiff does not
argue that any discovery is required in order for the Court
to adjudicate the motion to dismiss. Therefore, the only
question remaining is whether the Court is convinced that
Plaintiff will be unable to state a claim for relief for any
of the claims against Mr. Lesnar (Claims 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8,
response, Plaintiff has agreed to stay discovery of his RICO
claims (Claims 1 and 2) until after the pending motions to
dismiss have been resolved. The Court will therefore grant
the motion to stay discovery related to these claims. As to
the other claims against Mr. Lesnar, Defendant argues that
most of the complaint is unchanged from the previous version
that was dismissed by this Court, with leave to amend.
However, there are significant changes regarding
Plaintiff's contract claims and a new claim for battery.
In his claim for battery, Mr. Hunt acknowledges that he
consented to the risks inherent in MMA competitions, but he
argues that he did not consent to participate in a match
against a “doping fighter.” Mr. Hunt thus argues
that the physical contact he experienced during his MMA
competitions against Mr. Lesnar and the other unnamed
defendants constitutes battery. Defendant argues that Mr.
Hunt assumed such risk when he consented to the MMA
competitions, and that such risks are inherent to MMA.
Defendant's arguments may ultimately prevail. However,
the Court is not convinced from its “preliminary
peek” at the motion to dismiss that it will certainly
be granted for all claims.
THEREFORE ORDERED that Defendants' motion (ECF No. 75) to
stay discovery is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
Discovery related to Claims 1 and 2 of Plaintiff s first
amended complaint (ECF No. 64) is STAYED, pending the
Court's resolution of Defendant Brock Lesnar's motion
to dismiss (ECF No. 71). Discovery on all other claims may
FURTHER ORDERED that the parties must meet and confer and
file a stipulated discovery plan and proposed scheduling
order in accordance with Local Rule 26-1 ...