United States District Court, D. Nevada
before the court is defendant Acrylic Tank Manufacturing of
Nevada's (“ATM”) motion to stay. (ECF No.
action arises from a 2007 contract between Steven Malcolm and
ATM. (ECF No. 1). ATM agreed to build and install a
state-of-the-art, three-story marine aquarium in
Malcolm's Scotland residence. Id. On November
30, 2015, the aquarium collapsed. Id. 25, 000
gallons of salt water and live fish spread across the
residence, causing damage to Malcolm's home and the
contents therein. Id.
assist with the aquarium, ATM retained Reynolds Polymer
Technology, Inc. (“Reynolds”), which is
incorporated and has its principal place of business in
Colorado. (ECF No. 22). Reynolds manufactured the acrylic
cylinder and shipped it from its factory in Grand Junction,
Colorado, directly to Scotland. Id. In or around
March 2010, ATM installed the aquarium in Scotland without
Reynolds' participation. (ECF Nos. 1, 22).
April 21, 2017, Malcolm filed this action, naming ATM and
Reynolds as defendants. (ECF No. 1). On May 17, 2017,
Reynolds filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction. (ECF No. 6). The court granted Reynolds'
motion on July 6, 2017. (ECF No. 22). Seven months later, on
November 27, 2017, Malcolm filed a complaint against Reynolds
in the United States District Court, District of Colorado.
See (ECF No. 127-1). ATM intervened in the Colorado
action on December 20, 2018. Id.
ATM moves to stay proceedings pending the outcome of the
Colorado litigation on the grounds that both cases involve
the same issues. (ECF No. 140).
power to stay proceedings is incidental to the inherent power
in every court to control the disposition of its cases in the
interests of efficiency and fairness to the court, counsel,
and litigants. Landis v. N. Am. Co., 299 U.S. 248,
254-55 (1936). “The exertion of this power calls for
the exercise of sound discretion.” CMAX, Inc. v.
Hall, 300 F.2d 265, 268 (9th Cir. 1962). Courts
appropriately exercise their discretion to stay a case when
the resolution of another legal proceeding will have a direct
impact on the issues before the court. See Mediterranean
Enters. v. Ssangyong Corp., 708 F.2d 1458 (9th Cir.
determining whether to stay a case, courts must weigh
“competing interests which will be affected by the
granting or refusal to grant a stay[.]” Lockyer v.
Mirant Corp., 398 F.3d 1098, 1110 (9th Cir. 2005)
(citing CMAX, 300 F.2d at 268). These competing
. . . the possible damage which may result from the granting
of a stay, the hardship or inequity which a party may suffer
in being required to go forward, and the orderly course of
justice measured in terms of the simplifying or complicating
of issues, proof, and questions of law which could be
expected to result from a stay.
Id. (citing CMAX, 300 F.2d at 268). The
movant bears the burden of establishing the need to stay the
case. Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681, 708 (1997).
action and the Colorado case involve the collapse of the
marine aquarium. The only significant difference between the
two proceedings is that the Colorado case involves all
parties, including Reynolds, and this action involves only
Malcolm and ATM. See (ECF No. 140). Thus, staying
this case is in the interest of judicial economy because the
Colorado case will likely resolve all or almost all issues in
this litigation. See Leyva v. Certified Grocers of Cal,
Ltd., 593 F.2d 857, 863-64 (9th Cir. 1979).
court also notes that denying ATM's motion would likely
cause the parties to needlessly incur costs litigating
substantively duplicate actions in multiple forums. Moving
forward with this action may also harm proceedings in
Colorado and eventually create inconsistent results. Lastly,
staying proceedings pending the outcome of the Colorado ...