United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
Estate of Douglas Almond Wiggington brought this lawsuit
after Mr. Wiggington died following an encounter with the
police in which he was allegedly Tased. Pending before the
Court are two motions to dismiss for failure to prosecute.
One is filed by Defendant Axon Enterprise, Inc.
(“Axon”), the manufacturer of the Taser.
[Filing No. 50.] The other is filed collectively by
the City of Greenfield; its City Council; and the police
chief, Officer Dillon Silver, and Sergeant Rodney Vawter of
the Greenfield Police Department (collectively, the
“Greenfield Defendants”). [Filing
No. 51.] For the reasons described below, the Court
GRANTS Defendants' Motions and concludes
that the Estate's Complaint must be dismissed with
April 13, 2018, the Estate filed its Complaint in this Court,
alleging a variety of constitutional and state law claims
stemming from Mr. Wiggington's encounter with the police
in Greenfield, Indiana, which allegedly resulted in his death
from being Tased. [Filing No. 1.] On June 14, 2018,
the Magistrate Judge entered a Case Management Plan
(“CMP”) setting forth various deadlines
to facilitate the orderly development of this matter.
[Filing No. 30.] Since that time, however, the
Estate has failed to comply with many of the CMP deadlines
and discovery obligations.
Case Management Plan Obligations
in this matter required the Estate to serve their initial
disclosures, preliminary witness and exhibit lists, and
settlement demand by their respective deadlines of August 13,
August 20, and September 13, 2018. [Filing No. 30 at
4.] The Estate failed to comply with these deadlines. On
October 2, 2018, the Magistrate Judge directed the Estate to
serve the untimely filings by October 12, 2018. [Filing
No. 44.] The Estate ultimately partially complied with
this extended deadline, as it served its initial disclosures
and witness and exhibit lists on October 12, 2018.
[Filing No. 45; Filing No. 46; Filing
No. 47.] The Estate failed, however, to serve its
settlement demand and statement of special damages.
Estate likewise failed to comply with its discovery
obligations throughout the pendency of this case. On June 22,
2018, the Greenfield Defendants served the Estate with
interrogatories and requests for production. [Filing No.
51-4 at 1.] Despite receiving an extension to September
7, 2018, the Estate failed to serve the required discovery
responses. [Filing No. 33.] A further email request
for discovery responses sent on September 23, 2018 likewise
went unanswered. [Filing No. 51-1.]
6, 2018, Axon served the Estate with interrogatories and
requests for production. [See Filing No. 38 at 2.]
On August 20, 2018, the Court denied the Estate's motion
to extend the response deadline because the motion to extend
was filed after the deadline had expired. [Filing No.
October 5, 2018, following a status conference with the
parties, the Magistrate Judge directed the Estate to
“promptly confer with defense counsel regarding
responses to outstanding discovery responses.”
[Filing No. 44.] Despite numerous follow-up emails
from both the Greenfield Defendants and Axon requesting that
the Estate comply with its discovery obligations, [see
Filing No. 50-2; Filing No. 50-2; Filing
No. 51-1; Filing No. 51-2; Filing No.
51-3; Filing No. 51-4], the Estate failed to
respond to either party's discovery requests. Defendants
were unable to schedule depositions of the Estate's
witnesses without responses to the discovery requests.
[See Filing No. 51-3 at 1; Filing No. 50-2 at
Motions to Dismiss
November 30, 2018, Axon filed its Motion for Dismissal,
[Filing No. 50], and on December 11, 2018, the
Greenfield Defendants filed a similar Motion for Dismissal
joining in Axon's Motion, [Filing No. 51]. Under
Local Rule 7-1(c)(3), the Estate had 14 days to respond. S.D.
Ind. 7-1(c)(3)(A). The Estate failed to respond by the