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Anderson v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

April 12, 2018

CHESTER ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          LAW OFFICES OF STEVEN R. YOUNG, STEVEN R. YOUNG, WSBA No. 20754 Law Offices of Steven R. Young Attorney for Plaintiff

          ANNETTE L. HAYES United States Attorney

          DAVID R. EAST, WSBA #31481 Assistant United States Attorney United States Attorney's Office Attorneys for Defendant United States of America

          STIPULATED MOTION AND ORDER TO STAY DISCOVERY AND DISCOVERY MOTION DEADLINE PENDING RESOLUTION OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 12(H)(3), OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Thomas S. Zilly, United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         The parties in the above-entitled action, by and through their attorneys of record, hereby stipulate and agree that good cause exists to stay discovery and postpone the upcoming discovery motions filing deadline pending the Court's resolution of the government's Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3), or, in the Alternative, for Partial Summary Judgment (Motion to Dismiss). See Dkt. 40.

         The parties request a stay of discovery and postponement of the discovery motions filing deadline because the government's Motion to Dismiss is potentially dispositive of this action and they agree that the legal claims set forth in the motion can be resolved without additional discovery. The Motion to Dismiss is noted for April 27, 2018; the discovery motions filing deadline is April 19, 2018 and the discovery deadline is May 28, 2018. See Dkt. 31. Absent a stay of discovery, the parties anticipate that over the next two months, they will (1) depose several of Plaintiff's medical treatment providers (most of whom are located in Oregon), (2) depose each other's expert witnesses (including Plaintiff's prison expert, who is located in Louisiana), and (3) incur additional expert witness costs, including the government's Fed.R.Civ.P. 35 examination of Plaintiff. The parties agree that this particularly costly phase of discovery will likely have no bearing on the issues before the Court on the government's Motion to Dismiss, and, if the Court grants the government's motion, it would be superfluous. Accordingly, the parties submit that good cause supports a stay of discovery and postponement of the discovery motions filing deadline until the Court rules on the government's pending Motion to Dismiss.

         STATEMENT OF FACTS

         A. The Government's Motion to Dismiss

         The government's Motion to Dismiss seeks dismissal of Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint (TAC) pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3) due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) claims. See generally Dkt. 40. The government contends that even if the Court were to accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, he cannot meet his threshold burden of proving that the Court has subject matter jurisdiction over his claims, which, the government argues, are precluded by the Inmate Accident Compensation Act (IACA). See id. If the Court agrees with the government, Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3) mandates dismissal of Plaintiff's TAC.

         Alternatively, the Motion to Dismiss seeks partial dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on the discretionary function exception to the FTCA, and partial summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds. See generally Dkt. 40. If the Court grants the Motion to Dismiss on either of these bases, the parties agree that it will materially reduce the scope of this litigation and thus the scope of discovery.

         B. The Parties' Upcoming Discovery

         The parties have recently exchanged expert witness disclosures and will be moving forward shortly with expert and final fact witness depositions. The depositions will include several medical witnesses-up to five of whom are located in Portland, Oregon-and Plaintiff's prison expert, who resides in Louisiana. Additionally, Plaintiff has agreed to appear for a Fed.R.Civ.P. 35 physical examination with the government's expert podiatrist prior to the close of discovery. Thus, the parties anticipate that they will incur substantial, potentially unnecessary ...


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