United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
WILLIAM R. CLAYTON, et al., Plaintiffs,
AIR & LIQUID SYSTEMS CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.
L. ROBART UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court are two motions: (1) Defendant Saberhagen Holdings,
Inc.'s (“Saberhagen”) motion for judgment on
the pleadings or, alternatively, for summary judgment (MJOP
(Dkt. # 39)); and (2) Plaintiffs William R. Clayton and Jill
D. Clayton's (collectively, “Plaintiffs”)
motion for relief from a deadline (MFR (Dkt. # 47)). The
court has considered the motions, the parties'
submissions in support of and in opposition to the motions,
the relevant portions of the record, and the applicable law.
Being fully advised,  the court GRANTS Saberhagen's motion
and DENIES as moot Plaintiffs' motion for the reasons set
allege that Mr. Clayton developed mesothelioma after exposure
to asbestos-containing products during his military
service. (See SAC (Dkt # 1-1) § III.)
Plaintiffs assert that various defendants-including
Saberhagen-“minted, manufactured, produced, and/or
placed into the stream of commerce” the
asbestos-containing products that caused Mr. Clayton's
disease or that Mr. Clayton was exposed to those products on
the defendants' premises. (Id.)
a Washington corporation, dissolved on August 22,
2013. (Thorson Decl. (Dkt. # 40) ¶ 2, Ex. A
(“Articles”).) Plaintiffs allege that the
dissolution is “legally invalid” because
Saberhagen “failed to furnish proper notice to known
creditors under Washington law.” (SAC § IV.) They
also contend that on January 2, 2015, Saberhagen's former
shareholders formed “a new Saberhagen
(“Saberhagen-Matson”). (MJOP Resp. at 3 (citing
1st Aliment Decl. (Dkt. # 48) ¶ 3, Ex. 3); see
also 2d Aliment Decl. (Dkt. # 54) ¶ 4.) Based on
those alleged facts, Plaintiffs contend that despite the
dissolution, they may nevertheless still recover against
Saberhagen. (See MJOP Resp. at 6.)
assert several theories of tort liability, including: product
liability, negligence, premises liability, conspiracy, and
strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities. (SAC
§ V.) They seek general and special damages for pain,
suffering, “loss of spousal relationship, ”
disability, medical expenses, and economic loss.
moves for judgment on the pleadings, or, in the alternative,
summary judgment. (See MJOP at 2.) Plaintiffs move
for an extension of time to respond to that motion
(see MFR), but because they noted their motion for
the same day as Saberhagen's (id. at 1 (noting
on July 13, 2018)), Plaintiffs nonetheless responded to
Saberhagen's motion (see MJOP Resp.). The court
now considers the motions.
threshold matter, the court decides whether to treat
Saberhagen's motion as one for judgment on the pleadings
or for summary judgment. (See MJOP at 8 (stating
that Saberhagen “believes the present motion is
appropriate for consideration under Rule 12(c), ” but
if the court treats it as a motion for summary judgment,
Saberhagen nevertheless prevails); MJOP Resp. at 6, 11
(citing Rule 12(c) and requesting a Rule 56(d) continuance to
conduct discovery).) “After the pleadings are
closed-but early enough not to delay trial-a party may move
for judgment on the pleadings.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). If
the court considers matters outside of the pleadings, the
motion becomes one for summary judgment. See
Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d). However, in ruling on a Rule
12(c) motion, the court may consider material properly
submitted as part of the complaint, documents incorporated
into a complaint by reference, and matters subject to
judicial notice. See Risos-Camposano v. Nev. Sys. of
Higher Educ., No. 3:14-cv-00181-RCJ-VPC, 2014 WL
5503128, at *3 (D. Nev. Oct. 29, 2014).
support of its motion, Saberhagen submits its articles of
dissolution, published notice of its dissolution, and several
court orders dismissing Saberhagen from similar
asbestos-related cases. (Articles; Thorson Decl. ¶ 3,
Ex. B (“Notice”); id. ¶¶ 5-12,
Exs. D-K.) Plaintiffs do not question the authenticity of
those documents (see MJOP Resp.), and so the court
may take judicial notice of them, see Fed. R. Evid.
201(b)(2); Crosby v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 42
F.Supp.3d 1343, 1345 (C.D. Cal. 2014) (citing Knievel v.
ESPN, 393 F.3d 1068, 1076 (9th Cir. 2005)) (stating that
a document was properly subject to judicial notice when no
one questioned the authenticity of the document). Thus, the
court takes judicial notice of the documents and considers
the motion under Rule 12(c). See Fed. R. Evid.
201(b)(2); Heliotrope Gen., Inc. v. Ford Motor Co.,
189 F.3d 971, 981 n.18 (9th Cir. 1999).
Rule 12(c) motion challenges the sufficiency of the
opposing party's pleadings, and the court applies the
standard for a motion under Rule 12(b)(6).
Chavez v. United States, 683 F.3d 1102, 1108-09 (9th Cir.
2012); see also Dworkin v. Hustler Magazine,
Inc., 867 F.2d 1188, 1192 (9th Cir. 1989) (stating that
“[t]he principal difference” between Rule 12(c)
and Rule 12(b)(6) motions “is the time of
filing”). Judgment on the pleadings is appropriate
when, even if all material facts in the pleading are true,
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Hal Roach Studios, Inc. v. Richard Feiner & Co.,
Inc., 896 F.2d 1542, 1550 (9th Cir. 1989).