United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
Carlton W. Reeves, District Judge
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO AMEND
Carlton W. Reeves, United States District Judge
the Court is Dr. Seshadri Raju's motion for leave to file
a first amended complaint. Docket No. 89. The proposed
amendment adds a party, Medtronic Vascular, Inc.
(“Medtronic”), and six substantive claims. The
additional claims include: (1) civil RICO, (2) theft of trade
secrets, (3) tortious interference with contract, (4) civil
conspiracy, (5) unfair competition by misappropriation, and
(6) intrusion and unauthorized access to a computer network.
Also before the Court is Dr. Erin Murphy's motion to
strike Dr. Raju's surrebuttal. Docket No. 116. Dr. Murphy
contends that the proposed amendment should be denied for
failure to show good cause under Rule 16(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), improper joinder of a party
under Rule 20 of the FRCP, and futility.
reasons below, the motion to amend is denied without
prejudice, and the motion to strike is moot.
a scheduling order has been entered by the Court, the
decision to allow an amended complaint is controlled by
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b), rather than the often quoted Rule
15.” Alford v. Kuhlman Corp., No.
3:07-CV-756-HTW-LRA, 2010 WL 1257844, at *1 (S.D.Miss. March
26, 2010) (citing S &W Enters. v. Southtrust
Bank, 315 F.3d 533 (5th Cir. 2003)). Rule 16(b) provides
that a scheduling order cannot be modified without a showing
of good cause and the judge's consent. The Court
determines whether good cause is shown by considering:
“(1) the explanation for the failure to timely move for
leave to amend; (2) the importance of the amendment; (3)
potential prejudice in allowing the amendment; and (4) the
availability of a continuance to cure such prejudice.”
Id. (brackets omitted).
motion to amend deadline was October 16, 2017. Dr. Raju
asserts that he did not timely move to amend because he was
not aware of facts giving rise to the proposed additional
claims or Medtronic's participation until he received
discovery on June 27, 2018. He then moved to amend within a
month of receiving discovery, on July 18, 2018. The discovery
consists of emails that purportedly reveal, among other
things, a conspiracy to obtain Dr. Raju's trade secrets
and confidential information. Dr. Murphy argues that because
Dr. Raju did not seek this evidence until four months after
the motion to amend deadline, and did not ask for an
extension when the scheduling order was first amended, there
is no valid explanation for Dr. Raju's delay.
Furthermore, Dr. Murphy argues that Dr. Raju was aware of Dr.
Murphy's relationship with Medtronic at the time the
original Complaint was filed.
Murphy's argument is without merit. The purpose of the
motion to amend deadline is to require the plaintiff to
include any and all claims and parties that the plaintiff
knows or should know of at the time the Complaint is
filed. There is no requirement that the plaintiff ask
for discovery before the motion to amend deadline expires.
Even if he had, Dr. Raju would not have received the
discovery before the deadline as a protective order was in
Raju asserts that the basis of the proposed additional claims
were not known to him before discovery. As such, Dr. Raju has
put forth a valid explanation for the failure to timely move
Murphy states that she will be prejudiced as she will incur
additional expenses and in light of the inevitable litigation
resulting from the addition of a party. Those concerns,
however, yield to Raju's justifications for adding the
new party. Should the Court find that appropriate claims may
be brought against Medtronic, a new scheduling order will be
there is good cause to amend the complaint.