United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
VALERIE SAMPSON, on behalf of herself and on the behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
KNIGHT TRANSPORTATION, INC., Defendant.
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for
leave to amend her class action complaint (Dkt. No. 29).
Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and
the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument
unnecessary and hereby GRANTS the motion for the reasons
Valerie Sampson (“Sampson”), worked as a truck
driver for Defendant, Knight Transportation, Inc.,
(“Knight”) from May 2015 to January 2016. (Dkt.
No. 29 at 5.) During her employment, Sampson alleges Knight
did not comply with wage and hour laws that applied to its
employees residing in Washington. (Id.) On October
14, 2016, Sampson filed a class action lawsuit against Knight
on behalf of “[a]ll current and former driver employees
of Knight Transportation, Inc. who at any time from July 1,
2013 through the date of final disposition, worked as drivers
for the company while residing in the State of
Washington.” (Dkt. No. 5.)Sampson claims, among other
things, that Knight failed to pay its drivers minimum wage,
failed to pay for rest periods, made unlawful payroll
deductions and did not keep accurate time records for the
hours worked by its drivers. (Id. at 11.)
status conference on February 22, 2017, the Court ordered the
parties to provide a proposed schedule for class
certification briefing. (Dkt. No. 11.) The parties initially
agreed that briefing would be completed on September 8, 2017.
(Dkt. No. 12.) On June 29, 2017, the parties stipulated to an
extension of the class certification briefing deadline to
October 23, 2017. (Dkt. No. 21.) The Court has not set a
discovery cutoff date or a deadline for filing amended
August 2, 2017, Sampson conducted a deposition of
Knight's Chief Operations Officer, Kevin Quast
(“Quast”). (Dkt. No. 30 at 25.) During the
deposition, Quast stated that Knight employs and oversees
truck drivers who reside in Washington under three different
“business lines:” Knight Dry Van (“Dry
Van”); Knight Port Services (“Port
Services”); and Knight Refrigerated
(“Refrigerated”). (Dkt. No. 30 at
20-21.) Sampson worked for only the Dry Van
business. (Dkt. No. 33 at 9.)
stated that the different business lines are part of one
corporate structure that is headed by the same executive
officers. (Dkt. No. 30 at 25-26.) Beneath the corporate
executive level, the entities have different management
structures. (Id. at 29.) The businesses all share
the same payroll department and payroll processing system.
(Id. at 26-27.) Quast testified that the rate of pay
for drivers in the three businesses is essentially the same.
(Id. at 27.)
learning that Port Services and Refrigerated were separate
entities from Knight, each of which employed truck drivers
residing in Washington, Sampson's counsel interviewed
David Raymond (“Raymond”), a truck driver
formerly employed by Port Services and Refrigerated. (Dkt.
No. 29 at 8; Dkt. No. 30 at 7.) On August 18, 2017, Sampson
filed a motion asking the Court for leave to amend her
complaint in order to add Raymond as an additional class
representative as well as Refrigerated and Port Services as
defendants. (Dkt. No. 30 6-7.) In the proposed amended
complaint, Raymond alleges the same claims against
Refrigerated and Port Services as Sampson initially brought
against Knight (Id. at 11-14.) The Parties have
since stipulated to an extension of the class certification
briefing deadline to February 16, 2018. (Dkt. No. 31.)
Legal Standard for Motion to Amend
district court is afforded discretion to grant leave to amend
and “[t]he court should freely give leave when justice
so requires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2). The generosity in
granting leave to amend is “to be applied with extreme
liberality.” Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon,
Inc., 316 F.3d 1048, 1051-52 (9th Cir. 2003). Courts are
to consider five factors in granting leave to amend: (1) bad
faith, (2) undue delay, (3) prejudice to the opposing party,
(4) futility of amendment, and (5) whether the pleading has
previously been amended. See, e.g. United States v.
Corinthian Colleges, 655 F.3d 984, 995 (9th Cir. 2011).
If an untimely motion to amend would require modification of
a pretrial scheduling order, however, the stricter standards
of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16 (“Rule 16”)
require the moving party to demonstrate “good
cause.” Johnson v. Mammoth Recreations, 975
F.2d 604, 607-608 (9th Cir. 1992).
Sampson's Motion to Amend
initial matter, Sampson need not demonstrate good cause under
Rule 16 because her request to amend is timely. (Dkt. No.
12.) The Court set class certification briefing deadlines but
did not set a date by which amended pleadings had to be
filed. (Id.) Since her motion does not violate the
scheduling order, the Court need only consider the five
factors that apply to granting amendments under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 15 (“Rule 15').
amendment is appropriate under Rule 15's “when
justice so requires” standard. F. R. Civ. P. 15(a).
First, there is no suggestion in the record that Sampson
makes her amendment in bad faith, that Raymond's claims,
if added, would be futile, or that Sampson has previously
amended her ...