United States District Court, S.D. Florida
MT. HAWLEY INSURANCE COMPANY, Plaintiff,
PORTA BELLA YACHT & TENNIS CLUB CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC. & MARIJA POSAVAC, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO AMEND ANSWER
AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
L. ROSENBERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Marija Posavac's
Motion to Amend Answer [DE 40] and Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment [DE 29]. Plaintiff responded to the Motion
to Amend Answer. The Motion for Summary Judgment is fully
briefed. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's
Motion to Amend Answer is denied and Plaintiff's Motion
for Summary Judgment is granted.
Posavac's Motion to Amend Answer
March 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed its Complaint in this case. In
the Complaint, Plaintiff alleged:
36. Posavac's injuries arose directly or indirectly from
the work performed by Kantrowitz.
37. Posavac's injuries arose directly or indirectly from
the work performed by Miami Carpet and Tile.
DE 1 at
8. On May 19, 2017, Defendant Posavac filed her answer. In
her answer, Posavac responded as follows:
at 4. On June 12, 2017, the amended pleadings deadline in
this case expired. Posavac did not move to amend her answer.
On November 17, 2017, discovery closed in this case. Posavac
did not move to amend her answer. On December 19, 2017,
Plaintiff filed the Motion for Summary Judgment presently
before the Court. That Motion substantially relied upon
Posavac's admissions quoted above. Notwithstanding
Plaintiff's reliance upon those admissions, Posavac did
not move to amend her answer. To the contrary, on January 16,
2018, Posavac filed her response to Plaintiff's Motion
for Summary Judgment and, in that response, Posavac
confirmed her admissions “for the
limited purpose of responding to Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment.” DE 36 at 2. Plaintiff then filed its
reply, on January 23, 2018, and Plaintiff again relied upon
January 26, 2018, two hundred and fifty-two days after she
filed her answer, Posavac moved to amend. Posavac moved to
retract the admissions quoted above on the grounds that she
“mistakenly admitted” the same. For the reasons
set forth below in the Court's decision on summary
judgment, Posavac's admissions are important enough that
Plaintiff has constructed much of its case on those
admissions. Posavac's admissions are not tangential or
peripheral issues. As a result, Plaintiff substantially
relied upon Posavac's admissions throughout the discovery
period and throughout the briefing of dispositive motions.
The Court is also unable to square Posavac's assertion
that she discovered her error “while preparing a
response to Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment” because Posavav confirmed her
admission in her response to the Motion for Summary
Judgment. Moreover, Posavac did not move to amend
her answer during the briefing of Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment. Only now, after discovery has closed, after
the dispositive motions period has run, after Plaintiff's
Motion for Summary Judgment has fully ripened for
adjudication, and with trial rapidly approaching does
Plaintiff request leave to amend her answer on an important
issue-an issue that Plaintiff has substantially relied upon,
to its potential prejudice, for two hundred and fifty-two
days. The Court concludes that Posavac has not shown good
cause to amend her answer at this late stage of the
proceedings, nor does the Court accept Posavac's
contention that she discovered her error while responding to
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. See Zucco
Partners, LLC v. Digimarc Corp., 552 F.3d, 981, 1007
(9th Cir. 2009) (noting that a court may deny leave to amend
“due to undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on
the part of the movant, . . . or undue prejudice to the
opposing party . . . .”). Posavac's Motion to Amend
Answer is denied.
Motion for Summary Judgment
Porta Bella operates a residential condominium association.
Defendant Marija Posavac sustained injuries while walking on
Porta Bella property. Porta Bella is an insured pursuant to a
contract for insurance between Porta Bella and Plaintiff.
Plaintiff filed the instant case to ascertain whether it must
indemnify and defend Porta Bella in its suit with Posavac.