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Zimmerman v. GJS Group, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 26, 2018

KEVIN ZIMMERMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
GJS GROUP, INC., Defendant.
v.
STATE OF NEVADA, ex rel. ADAM PAUL LAXALT, Attorney General, Defendant-Intervenor. And related cases.

          ORDER

          Gloria A. Navarro, United States District Judge

         Pending before the Court is Intervenor State of Nevada's (“Intervenor's”) Motion to Consolidate, (ECF No. 37).[1] Plaintiff Kevin Zimmerman (“Plaintiff”) filed a Response, (ECF No. 39), and Intervenor filed a Reply, (ECF No. 41). For the reasons discussed herein, Intervenor's Motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

         I. BACKGROUND

         These cases arise out of alleged violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., and a series of lawsuits filed by Plaintiff against various defendant-entities in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. On February 28, 2017, the Court issued an omnibus order transferring more than seventy of Plaintiff's cases to the undersigned and the Honorable Magistrate Judge George Foley. See Zimmerman v. Nevada CVS Pharmacy, LLC, No. 2:17-cv-00307-GMN-GWF (D. Nev. 2017) (Omnibus Transfer Order, ECF No. 5). The Court reasoned that the “allegations in each of these cases are nearly identical, ” and that “judicial economy will be served” by transferring all of the cases to a single District Court Judge and Magistrate Judge. (Id. 1:26-2:3).

         On August 8, 2017, Intervenor filed a motion to intervene as a limited-purpose defendant, (ECF No. 28), which Judge Foley subsequently granted on October 11, 2017. (ECF No. 35). On October 17, 2017, Intervenor filed the instant Motion to Consolidate, (ECF No. 37). According to Intervenor's Motion, Plaintiff filed approximately 275 complaints in the District of Nevada between the dates of January 31, 2017, and October 17, 2017. (Mot. to Consolidate 2:25). Intervenor further asserts that, as of October 2017, approximately eighty-nine cases were active. (Id. 2:25-3:2); (see App. A to Mot. to Consolidate, ECF No. 37-1).[2]

         Pursuant to this, Intervenor seeks consolidation of all of Plaintiff's cases for the limited purpose of determining “whether the complaints filed by this Plaintiff should be dismissed on the basis of common issues of law and fact, ” and “whether the Court should issue any sanctions or other remedial orders.” (Id. 1:26-2:2).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs motions to consolidate. It provides:

If actions before the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court may join for hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in the actions, consolidate the actions, or issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or delay.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a).

         When deciding whether to consolidate cases, the threshold question for the court to answer is whether the actions involve common questions of law or fact. See Id. District courts are given wide latitude in exercising their discretion to grant or deny consolidation. See In re Adams Apples, Inc., 829 F.2d 1484, 1487 (9th Cir. 1987). “Consolidation requires only a common question of law or fact; perfect identity between all claims in any two cases is not required, so long as there is some commonality of issues.” Firefighters, Local 1908 v. Cnty. of Clark, No. 2:12-cv-00615-MMD-VCF, 2012 WL 1986590, at *2 (D. Nev. June 1, 2012). If the court determines that common questions are present, it must then balance the savings of time and effort that consolidation will produce against any inconvenience, delay, confusion, or prejudice that may result. Huene v. United States, 743 F.2d 703, 704 (9th Cir. 1984). Finally, whether actions should be consolidated under Rule 42(a) is a matter committed to the trial court's discretion. Inv'rs Research Co. v. U.S. Dist. Ct. for the Cent. Dist. of Cal., 877 F.2d 777 (9th Cir. 1989).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Intervenor moves for consolidation on the basis that all the complaints in these actions are “substantially similar” and “contain common questions of law and fact.” (Mot. to Consolidate 11:9-15). Specifically, Intervenor seeks consolidation for the limited purpose of determining whether all cases should be dismissed “on the basis of threshold questions of law and fact common to all consolidated cases, including, but not limited to, Plaintiff's lack of standing, and Plaintiff's failure to state a cause of action.” (Id. 2:4-8).[3] Moreover, in its Reply, Intervenor states that it intends to assert a facial challenge to Plaintiff's standing based on common allegations and omissions in all of Plaintiff's complaints. (Reply 6:4-7, ECF No. 41).

         Plaintiff responds that “key facts in each of Plaintiff's cases are unique and specific to each location, which destroys the commonality of fact” alleged by Intervenor. (Resp. 3:23-25, ECF No. 39). Plaintiff asserts that his claims “arise from specific and distinct facts related to where he suffered discrimination, how he suffered, the way each unique defendant subjected him to unequal access, the identity of the responsible defendants, and the separate and specific date when the events occurred.” (Id. 8:22-9:1). Moreover, Plaintiff contends that the complaints allege “no less than 37 specific and unique ...


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