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Ferencz v. Medlock

United States District Court, Third Circuit

November 5, 2013

SHANNON FERENCZ, Administratrix of the ESTATE OF CADE STEVENS, and SHANNON FERENCZ, individually, Plaintiff,
v.
LARRY MEDLOCK, et al., Defendants.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ECF Nos. 72

LISA PUPO LENIHAN, Chief Magistrate Judge.

I. RECOMMENDATION

For the reasons that follow, it is respectfully recommended that Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint (ECF No. 72) be denied.

II. REPORT

A. Procedural History

Plaintiff, Shannon Ferencz, is the Administratrix of the Estate of Cade Stevens ("Stevens"), deceased. She filed a complaint on September 7, 2011 that asserted violations of Stevens' Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights and state law claims of Wrongful Death and Survival. (ECF No. 1.) Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on November 24, 2011 and a Second Amended Complaint on February 29, 2012. (ECF Nos. 13 and 38.) Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b), the Court issued a Case Management Order on October 25, 2012. (ECF No. 54.) The Case Management Order set December 21, 2012 as the deadline for amendments to the pleadings. (ECF No. 54.) On September 26, 2013, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint and attached a proposed Third Amended Complaint. (ECF Nos. 72 & 72-1.)

B. Standard of Review

"The grant or denial of leave to amend is a matter committed to the sound discretion of the district court." Arab African Int'l Bank v. Epstein, 10 F.3d 168, 174 (3d Cir. 1993).

C. Factual Background

This matter concerns the suicide of Plaintiff's son, Stevens, which occurred while he was a pre-trial detainee at the Fayette County Prison on September 12, 2009. On October 25, 2012, the Court entered a Case Management Order. The Case Management Order established December 21, 2012 as the deadline for amendments to the pleadings and February 25, 2013 as the deadline for fact and liability expert discovery. The Court subsequently extended discovery deadlines several times. Most recently, on May 22, 2013, the Court ordered that discovery deadlines would be extended until June 28, 2013. On July 25, 2013, the Court ordered that Plaintiff's expert reports were due August 12, 2013, Defendants' expert reports were due September 3, 2013, and Motions for Summary Judgment were due September 30, 2013. The December 21, 2012 deadline for amendments to the pleadings has not changed.

Plaintiff moves the Court for leave to add to her complaint an allegation that "Defendant Correctional Officers Barry Simon and Geary O'Neil failed to promptly and timely administer CPR to Cade Stevens and [] that their failure to do so was the product of a failure to provide CPR training/adequate CPR training by the Warden of the Prison/Fayette County and Prime Care Medical, Inc." (ECF No. 72 at ¶ 8.)

Plaintiff argues that there was a substantial delay in the administration of CPR to Stevens and that the immediate administration of CPR to Stevens could have saved his life. (ECF No. 72 at ¶¶ 2-7.) Plaintiff's counsel discovered the alleged delay after viewing the video footage obtained in discovery. (ECF No. 72 at ¶ 8.) Plaintiff moves to amend because Plaintiff's counsel has "conduct[ed] legal research" and "discovered that the delay in administering CPR to Stevens can constitute deliberate indifference to a serious medical need." (ECF No. 72 at ¶ 6.) Plaintiff asserts that in February 2013 she made Defense counsel aware of the allegation of deliberate indifference to promptly administer CPR. (ECF No. 72 at ¶ 9.) Plaintiff argues that granting leave to amend the complaint would not prejudice the Defendants and that "[l]eave to amend should be freely granted in the interests of justice." (ECF No. 72 at ¶¶ 18-21.)

Defendants argue, inter alia, Plaintiff has no good cause for waiting nine months after the deadline to amend pleadings expired to file a Motion for Leave to Amend the Complaint. Defendants also argue amendment of the complaint would unfairly prejudice Defendants because discovery would have to be reopened to defend against ...


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