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Hammer v. Lee Memorial Health System

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

August 5, 2019

BRIANNA HAMMER, Plaintiff,
v.
LEE MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM and JEOVANNI HECHAVARRIA, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          MAC R. MCCOY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Pending before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of Court to Supplement and Amend Third Amended Complaint, filed on July 18, 2019, (Doc. 54), and Defendant Lee Health's Response to Plaintiff's Motion to Amend the Complaint, filed on August 1, 2019, (Doc. 55). These matters are fully briefed and ripe of the Court's consideration.

         In short, Plaintiff seeks leave to file a Fourth Amended Complaint because:

Plaintiff now wishes to amend the Complaint solely for the purpose of detailing additional facts which [sic] have been uncovered during the discovery phase of this case. Specifically, the Plaintiff wishes to include in Count I (Claim against Lee Memorial Health System Violation of 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983) the fact that within the five (5) years prior to the Plaintiff's sexual assault, other patients were sexually assaulted by the Defendant's employees and no action was taken to prevent future sexual assaults, the sexual assaults were not fully investigated, and [sic] the Defendant failed to adequately train and/or supervise it employees to prevent future sexual assaults, and the prior failures to properly train, supervise, and respond to sexual assaults perpetrated by the Defendant's employees were a deliberate indifference to the rights and safety of female patients.
The Plaintiff would also like to amend Count IV (Negligent Security) to include the uncovered facts the sexual assault against the Plaintiff was foreseeable because in the five (5) years prior to March 2015, there were numerous sexual assault [sic] which [sic] were perpetrated by the Defendant's employees and that that the Defendant failed to take appropriate actions after prior sexual assault [sic] to prevent future assaults on patients.

(Doc. 54 at 2-3). Plaintiff attaches a copy of the proposed Fourth Amended Complaint as Exhibit A to the motion sub judice. (See Doc. 54-1).

         Lee Health opposes any amendment, arguing that the proposed pleading amendment is untimely, that Plaintiff fails to address the proper legal standards under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15 and 16, and that the proposed amendment would “vastly broaden the scope of [Plaintiff's] § 1983 and negligent supervision claims against Defendant.” (Doc. 55 at 1-2).

         For the reasons below, the Undersigned respectfully recommends that Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of Court to Supplement and Amend Third Amended Complaint (Doc. 54) be DENIED.

         BACKGROUND

         A brief review of the relevant procedural history of this case is instructive. Plaintiff initiated this action in Florida state court on or about April 12, 2018. (Doc. 1 at 1; Doc. 1-1 at ECF pp. 19-32). Plaintiff amended the state-court complaint on April 17, 2018 and again on April 24, 2018. (Doc. 1 at 1; Doc. 1-1; Doc. 2). Defendant removed this action to this Court on or about May 17, 2018. (Doc. 1). At the time of removal, Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint was the operative pleading. (See Doc. 2).

         On August 3, 2018, the presiding United States District Judge entered an Opinion and Order granting Defendant Lee Memorial Health System's partial motion to dismiss as to certain counts of the Second Amended Complaint. (See Doc. 24 at 11). The District Judge's Opinion and Order required Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. (Id. at 12). On August 25, 2018, Plaintiff filed the Third Amended Complaint, which has remained the operative pleading in this case since its filing nearly a year ago. (Doc. 25).

         Defendant Lee Memorial Health System filed its Answer and Affirmative Defenses on November 7, 2018. (Doc. 32). In the meantime, the Court entered a Case Management and Scheduling Order on August 17, 2018. (Doc. 26). The Case Management and Scheduling Order adopted the parties' stipulated deadline of October 15, 2018 for filing motions to add parties or to amend the pleadings. (See Doc. 23 at 1; Doc. 26 at 1). No party ever sought to modify or to extend that deadline after it was set by the Court.

         Other deadlines were, however, modified or extended over the course of this case after the October 15 deadline lapsed. In response to a joint motion by the parties, the Court entered an Amended Case Management and Scheduling Order on February 25, 2019 that reset all deadlines relating to discovery, the dispositive motion deadline, the date of the final pretrial conference, and the date of the trial term. (Doc. 35). The Court again subsequently modified certain discovery-related deadlines on unopposed motions filed by either Plaintiff or Defendant. (See Docs. 42-43, 48-49). The net effect of these various scheduling orders is that: (1) the parties stipulated to an October 15, 2018 deadline to file motions to add parties or to amend pleadings (Doc. 23 at 1) that the Court adopted (Doc. 26 at 1) and never extended; (2) expert discovery has now concluded (see Doc. 49); and (3) the discovery deadline is currently set to expire on September 3, 2019 and the parties' dispositive motions and any Daubert motions are due by October 3, 2019 (Doc. 35 at 1).

         Plaintiff filed the instant motion on July 18, 2019 (Doc. 54), which is approximately 9 months after the October 15, 2018 deadline specified in the original Case Management and Scheduling Order for filing motions to amend pleadings expired (see Doc. 26 at 1).

         LEGAL ...


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