United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
EAGLE WEST INSURANCE COMPANY, as subrogee of Cypress Place Condominium Owners' Association, Plaintiff,
WATTS REGULATOR CO. and AMTROL INC., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL AND
DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO CONTINUE TRIAL
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion to
compel (Dkt. No. 19) and Defendant's motion to continue
trial (Dkt. No. 23). Having thoroughly considered the
parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court
finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby GRANTS both
motions for the reasons explained herein.
approximately May 20, 2015, there was a leak at a condominium
complex owned by Cypress Place Condominium Owners'
Association. (Dkt. No. 1-1 at 3.) The leak originated from a
water expansion tank manufactured by Defendant Amtrol, Inc.
(Id.) Plaintiff Eagle West Insurance Company's
expert, Kent Engineering, produced a preliminary opinion
regarding the cause of the leak on December 21, 2015. (Dkt.
No. 24-1.) Kent Engineering attributed the leak to a rubber
bladder failing because of a faulty automatic control valve
(ACV) manufactured by Defendant Watts Regulator
Company. (Id. at 6.)
served discovery requests on Defendant on May 20, 2016, while
the case was in state court. (Dkt. No. 19 at 2; Dkt. No. 1).
Watts then removed the case to federal court. (Dkt. No. 1.)
Defendant did not respond to the initial discovery requests,
prompting Plaintiff to send a letter requesting responses on
June 28, 2016. (Dkt. No. 19 at 3.) Afterwards, Defendant and
Plaintiff exchanged correspondence regarding the appropriate
time to begin discovery because of the removal. (Dkt. No.
30-1 at 18.) Defendant first responded to the discovery
requests on September 13, 2016. (Dkt. No. 20-2.) On April 20,
2017, Plaintiff and Defendant agreed to extend discovery from
June 16, 2017, until July 7, 2017. (Dkt. No. 14.)
15, 2017, Plaintiff revised its theory as to what caused the
damage. (Dkt. No. 36-1.) Rather than blame Watts's ACV,
Plaintiff stated that Defendant negligently designed the
expansion tank so that an internal schraeder valve would
puncture the rubber bladder. (Id.) Then on June 20,
2017, Plaintiff and Watts stipulated to Watts's
dismissal. (Dkt. No. 16.) Subsequently, on June 21, 2017,
Kent Engineering supplied an updated report as to the
suspected cause of the failure, stating Defendant's
failure to coat the air side of the expansion tank led to
internal corrosion that caused the bladder to fail. (Dkt. No.
24-1 at 16.) Also on that day, Plaintiff took a Rule 30(b)(6)
deposition of Lynn A. Taylor, manager of Defendant's
legal and warranty administration, seeking information
regarding filed claims of expansion tank failures. (Dkt. No.
later provided Plaintiff with a report and opinion from its
fact and expert witness, Robert Manser, an engineer at
Amtrol, on July 7, 2017. (Dkt. No. 29 at 8.)
filed the present motion to compel discovery on July 5, 2017,
and also argues that Manser should be excluded as a witness
because he was not timely disclosed. (Dkt. No. 19.)
filed the current motion to continue soon after, on the final
day of the extended discovery. (Dkt. No. 23.) Trial is
currently scheduled for October 16, 2017. (Dkt. No. 29 at 8.)
Court has broad discretion to decide whether to compel
disclosure of discovery. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd
v. General Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir.
2002). “Parties may obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the
case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). When addressing
proportionality, the Court considers “the importance of
the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy,
the parties' relative access to relevant information, the
parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in
resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of
the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.”
the Court has broad discretion in granting modifications to
the schedule. “A schedule may be modified only for good
cause and with the judge's consent.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
16(b)(4). “The pretrial schedule may be modified if it
cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party
seeking the extension. If the party seeking the modification
was not diligent, the inquiry should end and the motion to
modify should not be granted.” Zivkovic v. S. Cal.
Edison Co., 302 F.3d 1080, 1087 (9th Cir. 2002)
(internal citations omitted). For example, in Escandon v.
Los Angeles, 584 F. App'x 517, 519 (9th Cir. 2014),
the district court did not abuse its discretion when it
denied a motion to continue because the moving party failed
to propound any discovery, compel discovery responses, and
file the motion before the expiration of discovery. Four
factors are used to analyze motions to modify the trial
schedule: (1) the diligence of the moving party; (2) the need
for continuance; (3) inconvenience for the Court and the
non-moving party; and (4) the harm caused by denial of a
continuance. United States v. 2.61 Acres of Land,
791 F.2d 666, 671 (9th Cir. 1985).