United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT AND
THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFF H20 ZONE, LLC'S MOTION TO AMEND
(ECF NO. 92) AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION
TO EXTEND DEADLINE FOR DEFENDANTS TO AMEND PLEADINGS (ECF NO.
EVELYN J. FURSE U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the Court are Defendant and Third-Party Plaintiff H20 Zone,
LLC's (“H20 Zone”) Motion to Amend (ECF No.
92) and Defendants Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. and Kawasaki
Heavy Industries, Ltd.'s (“Kawasaki
Defendants”) Motion to Extend Deadline for Defendants
to Amend Pleadings (“Motion to Extend”) (ECF No.
75). The Court held a hearing on both Motions on April 25,
2018. (ECF No. 116.) For the reasons addressed below, the
Court DENIES H20 Zone's Motion to Amend and GRANTS IN
PART the Kawasaki Defendants' Motion to Extend.
October 2, 2017, the Kawasaki Defendants moved to strike
Plaintiff Nicole Wells's allegation of admiralty
jurisdiction. (Mot. to Strike Allegations of Admiralty
Jurisdiction (“Mot. to Strike”), ECF No. 74.) A
few days later on October 4, 2017, the Kawasaki Defendants
filed their Motion to Extend, asking the Court to extend
their deadline to amend pleadings and add parties until
December 15, 2017. (Mot. to Extend, ECF No. 75 at 1.) The
Kawasaki Defendants noted in their Motion to Extend that
“the outcome of the Motion to Strike will affect
whether the pleadings need to be amended and additional
parties added to the case.” (Id.) The Motion
to Extend noted that the deadlines for the Defendants to
amend pleadings and add parties expired on October 5, 2017.
(Id.; see also Order on Mot. to Extend
Deadline for Defendants' to Am. Pleadings, ECF No. 58
(ordering “that the deadlines in the Scheduling Order
for Defendants to Amend Pleadings and Add Parties are
extended to October 5, 2017”).
January 1, 2018, H20 Zone filed its Motion to Amend. (ECF No.
75.) The Motion to Amend asks the Court to allow it to amend
its pleadings to assert claims for implied indemnity due to a
change in law in the Utah Supreme Court's opinion in
Bylsma v. R.C. Willey, 2017 UT 85. (Id.)
April 6, 2018, the Court heard argument on the Kawasaki
Defendants' Motion to Strike, (ECF No. 113), and on April
25, 2018, heard argument on the Kawasaki Defendants'
Motion to Extend and H20 Zone's Motion to Amend, among
other motions. (ECF No. 116.) On April 26, 2018, the Court
issued an order denying the Kawasaki Defendants' Motion
to Strike. (Order Denying Kawasaki Defs.' Mot. to Strike
Allegations of Admiralty Jurisdiction, ECF No. 117.) In that
decision, the Court found that “the federal district
court has admiralty jurisdiction.” (Id. at 3.)
On May 10, 2018, the Kawasaki Defendants filed an Objection
to this decision. (Obj. to Order Denying Mot. to Strike
Allegations of Admiralty Jurisdiction, ECF No. 124.) To date,
the District Judge has not yet ruled on this Objection.
the hearing on H20's Motion to Amend, counsel conceded
that its Motion is largely moot if maritime law applies. H20
Zone argued, however, that depending on the outcome of the
Kawasaki Defendants' Motion to Extend and whether they
added additional parties or claims, H20 Zone may still need
to amend its pleadings. The Kawasaki Defendants argued that
amendments may be necessary regardless of whether maritime or
state law applies in this case.
Court agrees that H20 Zone's Motion to Amend is moot but
believes that all Defendants would benefit from additional
time to amend their pleadings after the District Judge's
ruling on the Objection to the Motion to Strike, regardless
of whether he affirms the decision or not, either to plead as
needed under maritime law or comply with changes in state
law. Therefore, the Court will extend the date for the
Defendants to amend their pleadings or add parties after the
District Judge's ruling, as outlined below.
the Court's ruling on the Motion to Strike, the Court
finds that H20 Zone's Motion to Amend is moot and
therefore DENIES the Motion. The Court also GRANTS IN PART
the Kawasaki Defendants' Motion to Extend. The date to
which the Kawasaki Defendants asked the Court to extend the
deadlines to amend or add parties has already passed, and the
Court finds that setting a specific deadline at this time
would not be productive given the pending Objection to the
Order on the Motion to Strike. Therefore, the Court ORDERS
that H20 Zone and the Kawasaki Defendants shall have fourteen
(14) days to file amended pleadings and/or add parties based
on joint and several liability under maritime law or the Utah
indemnity changes pursuant to Bylsma after the
District Judge issues a decision on ...