United States District Court, D. Colorado
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Homesite Insurance
Company's (“Homesite”) Motion to Consolidate.
(Doc. # 30.) Defendant Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company
(“Jewelers”) joins Homesite in seeking
consolidation. Plaintiff Chen Li filed a Response (Doc. #
33), and Homesite filed a Reply (Doc. # 35). After reviewing
the parties' briefing, the pertinent record, and the
applicable law, the Court denies the Motion without prejudice
for the reasons that follow.
October 2017, an alleged theft occurred at Plaintiff's
home. (Doc. # 33 at 4.) Because the allegedly stolen property
was covered by two separate insurance policies-one for
scheduled jewelry and the other for unscheduled personal
property- Plaintiff filed two insurance claims, which formed
the basis of the cases at issue. In the instant case, number
18-cv-01704-CMA-KLM, Plaintiff asserts three claims for
relief against Jewelers, specifically: (1) breach of
contract; (2) bad faith breach of insurance contract; and (3)
unreasonable delay and denial of payment of covered benefits
pursuant to C.R.S. §§ 10-3-1115 and 10-3-1116.
(Doc. # 3.)
filed a separate action against Homesite-number
18-cv-02720-RM-STV. There, Plaintiff and Phuong Pham assert
the same three claims for relief. (18-02720, Doc. # 3.) Both
cases involve the same alleged theft in October 2017 and
insurance coverage for the damages due to the alleged theft.
determination whether to consolidate cases is governed by
Rule 42(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which
provides, in pertinent part:
When actions involving a common question of law or fact are
pending before the court, it may order a joint hearing or
trial of any or all the matters in issue in the actions; it
may order all the actions consolidated; and it may make such
orders concerning proceedings therein as may tend to avoid
unnecessary costs or delay.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a).
rule allows the Court “to decide how cases on its
docket are to be tried so that the business of the court may
be dispatched with expedition and economy while providing
justice to the parties.” Breaux v. Am. Family Mut.
Ins. Co., 220 F.R.D. 366, 367 (D. Colo. 2004) (quoting 9
Charles Alan Wright, et al., Fed. Prac. & Proc.
§ 2381 at 427 (2d ed. 1995)). The decision of whether to
consolidate cases is committed to this Court's sound
discretion. Adams v. Veolia Transp., No.
11-cv-02491-PAB-KMT, 2012 WL 171470, at *1 (D. Colo. Jan. 20,
2012) (citing Shump v. Balka, 574 F.2d 1341, 1344
(10th Cir. 1978)). In exercising its discretion, the Court
considers “whether judicial efficiency is best served
by consolidation.” Otter Prod., LLC v. Treefrog
Dev., Inc., No. 11-CV-02180-WJM-KMT, 2013 WL 490964, at
*1 (D. Colo. Feb. 7, 2013) (quoting C.T. v. Liberal
School Dist., 562 F.Supp.2d 1324, 1346 (D. Kan. 2008)).
“The [C]ourt generally weighs the saving of time and
effort that consolidation would produce against any
inconvenience, delay, or expense that consolidation would
both cases at issue share a common causal nexus and currently
involve the same claims for relief, the cases appear to be
factually unique otherwise. Each case is essentially a
contractual dispute, and each involves a distinct contract.
Moreover, the facts that will determine whether Plaintiff
prevails on a given claim are particularized to each
Defendant. Therefore, there is a significant risk of jury
confusion because a jury in a consolidated case might
conflate facts that are applicable to only one of the two
Defendants. The same reasoning applies to any affirmative
defenses that each Defendant may raise at trial because
evidence presented by one Defendant may prejudice
Plaintiff's claim with respect to the other Defendant.
on the foregoing reasons, the Court ORDERS that Defendant
Homesite Insurance Company's Motion to Consolidate ...