United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER ON MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
S. Krieger United States District Court.
MATTER comes before the Court on the Plaintiff's
Motion for Leave to Amend His First Amended Complaint
(# 53), the Defendants' Response
(# 55), and the Plaintiff's Reply
(# 57). For the following reasons, the
motion is denied.
Allen Williams initiated this action on November 14, 2016.
Mr. Williams' claims are based on the allegation that he
was provided constitutionally inadequate treatment when he
suffered a warning strokes and a subsequent full stroke in
May 2015 at the Fremont Correctional Facility, where he is
incarcerated. In January 2017, he filed a First Amended
Complaint (# 15) asserting the following
causes of action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Eighth
Amendment: deliberate indifference to his warning strokes,
deliberate indifference to his full stroke, deliberate
indifference in the Defendants' entire course of conduct,
and three claims of conspiracy corresponding to the foregoing
deliberate-indifference claims. In addition, Mr. Williams
brought a claim for negligence under state law.
Scheduling Order (# 40) required the parties
to (1) amend pleadings by June 7, 2017, (2) complete
discovery by September 5, 2017, and (3) file dispositive
motions on or before September 5, 2017. Mr. Williams filed
the pending motion to amend on August 1, 2017. He seeks to
amend his First Amended Complaint to add as a defendant
Supplemental Health Care (SHC), the employer of some
defendants, with regard to the negligence claim, and dismiss
claims against Jonathan Hansen, Michael Snell, Jay Rocchi,
and Sherry Rogers as defendants.
two-step analysis is used to determine whether to allow
amendment to the pleadings after the passing of the deadline
established by the scheduling order. First, the Court
considers whether the movant has shown good cause under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) to seek modification of
the scheduling order. Second, the Court weighs whether
amendment should be allowed under Rule 15(a). See
Gorsuch, Ltd., B.C. v. Wells Fargo Nat'l Bank
Ass'n, 771 F.3d 1230, 1242 (10th Cir. 2014). Rule
16(b) provides that a scheduling order “may be modified
only for good cause and with the judge's consent.”
This standard requires the movant to show that the scheduling
order's deadlines cannot be met despite the movant's
diligent efforts. The burden may be satisfied, for example,
when the movant learns new information through discovery or
if the underlying law has changed. Gorsuch, 771 F.3d
at 1240. Rule 16(b) does not focus on the bad faith of the
movant or prejudice to the opposing party; rather, diligence
of the movant is the only consideration. Colo. Visionary
Acad. v. Medronic Inc., 194 F.R.D. 684, 687 (D. Colo.
motion, Mr. Williams asserts that his delay is excusable.
Specifically, he argues that he knew long ago that he wanted
to amend his complaint to add SHC, but because he also
suspected that Ms. Rogers' deposition could lead to
testimony confirming that she did not directly treat Mr.
Williams, he waited until after her deposition to combine the
two potential amendments rather than amending once to add SHC
and amending again to remove Ms. Rogers. Complicating this
strategy was Ms. Rogers' repeated delay of her
deposition, pushing this motion past the deadline to amend
Williams has failed to establish good cause here. While the
Court understands his approach and thought process, Mr.
Williams nevertheless made a tactical decision to combine
amendments rather than move for them as they became
cognizable. At a minimum, he could have moved the Court to
extend the deadline to amend pleadings, explaining the
circumstances as he does in this motion and stating that he
awaits Ms. Rogers' deposition. But he easily could have
moved to timely amend his complaint to add SHC without regard
to the removal of Ms. Rogers. Moreover, Mr. Williams did not
even need to amend his complaint to dismiss Ms. Rogers from
the suit - he can accomplish that by filing a notice of
voluntary dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
41(a)(1)(i). The Court therefore finds no good cause to
support amendment of the Scheduling Order or amendment of Mr.
Williams' First Amended Complaint. The Court will,