United States District Court, D. Minnesota
MCI Communications Services, Inc. and MCImetro Access Transmission Services LLC, Plaintiffs,
Maverick Cutting and Breaking LLC, Defendant.
J.S. Leventhal, Esq., Leventhal PLLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota,
B. Beauchamp, Esq., Cousineau, Van Bergen, McNee &
Malone, PA, Minnetonka, Minnesota, for Defendant.
E. RAU, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs MCI
Communications Services, Inc. and MCImetro Access
Transmission Services LLC's (collectively,
“MCI”) Motion to Amend Scheduling Order to File
Amended Complaint and Add a Party Based on Newly Discovered
Evidence (“Motion to Amend”) [Doc. No. 23]. This
matter has been referred for the resolution of pretrial
matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b) and District of
Minnesota Local Rule 72.1. For the reasons stated below, the
motion is denied.
April 14, 2015, Defendant Maverick Cutting and Breaking LLC
(“Maverick”) severed several fiber-optic cables
belonging to MCI as part of a construction project.
See (Compl.) [Doc. No. 1 ¶¶ 14, 16]. The
day after the incident, MCI representatives participated in a
meeting with Carl Bolander & Sons LLC
(“Bolander”), the subcontractor that hired
Maverick, and other entities. (Minutes, Ex. D, Attached to
Aff. of Rachel Beauchamp in Opp'n to Mot. to Amend) [Doc.
No. 30-1 at 10-13]; see also (Mem. in Supp. of Mot.
to Amend, “Mem. in Supp.”) [Doc. No. 25 at 2]
(stating that at the time of this incident, “Maverick
was working as a subcontractor for Bolander”). Maverick
did not participate in the meeting.
initiated this lawsuit alleging that Maverick is responsible
for the damage to its cables under the legal theories of
trespass, negligence, and statutory liability. (Compl.
¶¶ 12-26). Following a scheduling conference, the
Court issued the Pretrial Scheduling Order setting November
3, 2017, as the last day for the parties to file motions to
amend the pleadings to add claims or parties. [Doc. No. 16 at
the course of discovery in June 2017, MCI sought documents
including contracts relating to Maverick's work on the
construction project from the City of St. Paul (the
“City”), Kraemer North America, LLC
(“Kraemer”), and Bolander. (Proszek Decl.
¶¶ 5-6). When these three entities responded to the
requests during the months of June through August 2017, none
of them produced contracts. (Id. ¶¶ 8,
11-12). On March 22, 2018, however, Kraemer produced a
contract between itself and the City (the “Kraemer
Contract”) and a contract between itself and Bolander
(the “Bolander Contract”) during Kraemer's
corporate deposition. (Id. ¶ 15).
filed its Motion to Amend on April 26, 2018, arguing that the
recently produced contracts are new evidence that establish
good cause for it to move to amend its complaint nearly six
months after the deadline established in the Pretrial
Scheduling Order. See (Mem. in Supp.). Specifically,
MCI's proposed amended complaint adds Bolander as a
party, adds a claim for breach of contract against Maverick
and Bolander based on MCI's status as an intended
beneficiary of both the Kraemer and Bolander Contracts, and
adds a claim for negligence against Bolander. (Proposed Am.
Compl., Ex. 9, Attached to Proszek Decl.) [Doc. No. 26-9 at
1, 10-12]. The Court heard oral argument on June 13, 2018,
and the matter is now ripe for adjudication. (Minute Entry
Dated June 13, 2018) [Doc. No. 31].
Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b)(4) provides that a scheduling
order “may be modified only for good cause and with the
judge's consent.” Good cause is an exacting
standard that focuses on “the diligence with which the
moving party attempted to comply with the scheduling
order's deadlines and not on the prejudice to the
non-moving party.” Target Corp. v. LCH Pavement
Consultants, LLC, 960 F.Supp.2d 999, 1006 (D. Minn.
2013) (Keyes, Mag. J.) (citation omitted); see also
Morrison Enters., LLC v. Dravo Corp., 638 F.3d 594, 610
(8th Cir. 2011).
not established good cause. Scheduling orders “control
litigation by managing the timing, sequence, and closing of
pleadings, ” among other deadlines, as part of a
court's “obligation to ‘secure the just,
speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and
proceeding.'” Target Corp., 960 F.Supp.2d
at 1007 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 1). This Court in particular
makes an effort to issue a pretrial scheduling order that is
the same or substantially similar to the schedule the parties
propose because, at the time of the pretrial scheduling
conference, the parties-not the Court-know more about their
case and the time it will take to effectively ...