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Kurt West v. Bell Helicopter Textron

April 11, 2013

KURT WEST
v.
BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON, INC. ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joseph N. Laplante United States District Judge

PROCEDURAL ORDER

On March 18, 2013, the defendants filed a motion seeking to extend certain of the expert discovery and challenge deadlines, and the summary judgment deadline, in this case. Several hours later, the plaintiff filed a motion also seeking to extend those deadlines, but to different dates. Putting aside the fact that counsel for both sides filed these motions in violation of this court's procedure for resolving discovery disputes, set forth in the Order After Preliminary Pretrial Conference (document no. 52), at 2, neither of the motions shows, or attempts to show, good cause for extending the deadlines, as required by Rule 16(b)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.*fn1

While the motions discuss the need to test certain of the capacitors in the electronic control unit from the plaintiff's helicopter, they do not explain why, despite the fact that the parties recognized this need after testing the ECU in late August 2012, they waited until March 18, 2013 (after all of the expert discovery and challenge deadlines had already expired, and just three days before the summary judgment deadline) to seek to extend these deadlines. Indeed, the deadlines now in effect were set at the parties' request in August, when this court granted their joint motion for permission to test the ECU and extend the then-outstanding deadlines to accommodate the additional information the testing was expected to reveal. Order of Aug. 20, 2012 (granting document no. 124). The parties do not explain why, even with their subsequent discovery of the need to test the capacitors, the intervening six months have not proven sufficient for that task, nor why that did not become apparent to them until after nearly all of the relevant deadlines had already lapsed.*fn2

In the absence of any such explanation, the motions (document nos. 140, 141) fail to show good cause to extend the deadlines, and are denied. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 16(b)(4). This ruling does not foreclose the parties from jointly seeking to extend (or, more accurately, resuscitate) the deadlines to dates as to which they are able to agree.

The defendants' "motion to foreclose plaintiff from the offer of evidence regarding aggravation of a pre-existing condition" (document no. 143) is, as its title suggests, a motion in limine seeking to limit the plaintiff's damages claim at trial. It is therefore DENIED as premature, without prejudice to its refiling as a motion in limine by the applicable deadline prior to any trial in this matter.

Finally, Rolls Royce's motion to reconsider (document no. 137) this court's denial of Rolls Royce's motion for a protective order to preserve its confidentiality designations over certain documents it has produced is DENIED because it seeks reconsideration based on information Rolls Royce possessed at the time of its prior motion, but elected not to submit to the court.

SO ORDERED.

...


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