United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
RAYMOND M. VETTEL, JR., et al., Plaintiffs,
BASSETT TRUCKING LLC, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
R. CHERRY, MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for
Leave to Amend Complaint [DE 22], filed by Plaintiffs Raymond
M. Vettel, Jr., Joshua D. Vettel, Michael E. Tournor, and
Shari K. Vettel on March 1, 2018. Defendants filed a response
in opposition on March 6, 2018, and Plaintiffs filed a reply
on March 12, 2018.
filed their Complaint against Defendants Massett Trucking
LLC, Bassett Transportation Services Inc., and Mark A. Harmon
on September 15, 2017, alleging injuries resulting from a
motor vehicle accident involving two semi-trucks, one of
which was driven by Plaintiff Raymond M. Vettel, Jr. and in
which Plaintiff Joshua D. Vettel and Michael E. Tournor were
passengers, and the other of which was driven by Defendant
Mark A. Harmon, who was employed by one or both of the other
filed their Answer on October 4, 2017. On November 1, 2017,
the Court held a Rule 16(b) preliminary pretrial conference
and set the deadline for Plaintiffs to file motions for leave
to amend the pleadings for January 26, 2018, and the
discovery deadline for July 27, 2018.
instant motion, Plaintiffs seek leave of Court to amend their
complaint to withdraw Plaintiff Joshua Vettel's claim for
past, present, and future loss of income and loss of earning
capacity and to add a request for punitive damages and
language supporting that request.
indicate that, during the discovery process, Plaintiffs
counsel uncovered evidence that Defendant Harmon made
statements at the scene of the accident admitting that he and
his employer knew that Harmon was driving on very little
sleep and that he had significantly exceeded the number of
federally allowed driving hours before beginning the trip he
was on at the time of the accident.
initial matter, this case is governed by Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure 6(b) and 16 because the instant motion was
filed after the deadline for the amendment of pleadings.
See Alioto v. Town of Lisbon, 651 F.3d 715,
719-720 (7th Cir. 2011) (discussing the interplay between
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 15(a) and 16(b)). Rule
When an act may or must be done within a specified time, the
court may, for good cause, extend the time:
(A) with or without motion or notice if the court acts, or if
a request is made, before the original time or its extension
(B) on motion made after the time has expired if the party
failed to act because of excusable neglect.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(b)(1). Rule 16(b)(4) provides that
“[a] schedule may be modified only for good cause and
with the judge's consent.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4).
explain that they uncovered what they believe to be evidence
sufficient to support a request for punitive damages during
the course of discovery. Plaintiffs represent that, on
February 7 and 8, 2018, Defendants deposed Plaintiffs. At the
depositions, two of the Plaintiffs testified that Defendant
Harmon made specific statements at the scene of the accident
of knowingly driving over the permitted hours and with very
little sleep and that the same was known to the other
Defendants as well. Based on this information, ...