United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE
Sandra Kinsella, M.D. brought this action against Indiana
University Health Care Associates, Inc. d/b/a Indiana
University Health Physicians (“IU
Health”) alleging gender discrimination, illegal
retaliation, and wrongful discharge. [Filing No. 26 at
3-5.] The case was closed on December 4, 2017 by
agreement of the parties following a settlement. [Filing
No. 68.] The case was later reopened, and Dr. Kinsella
sought leave to amend her Complaint to add new defendants and
a claim for conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2).
[Filing No. 79.] Magistrate Judge Matthew P.
Brookman denied Dr. Kinsella's Motion for Leave to Amend
the Complaint, [Filing No. 106], and had the parties
file proposed case management plans, [Filing No.
103]. Judge Brookman adopted IU Health's proposed
case management plan and entered an Order on Second Amended
Case Management Plan. [Filing No. 112.] Dr. Kinsella
filed objections to Judge Brookman's Order on
Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint and his
Order on Second Amended Case Management Plan. [Filing No.
107; Filing No. 114.] For the reasons set forth
below, the Court OVERRULES both of Dr.
August 9, 2016, Dr. Kinsella filed this lawsuit in state
court against IU Health, and on August 24, 2016, IU Health
removed the action to this Court. [Filing No. 1.] On
December 22, 2016, Dr. Kinsella filed a Second Amended
Complaint, asserting the following claims: (1) Gender
Discrimination in Violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights
Act of 1964; (2) Retaliation; and, (3) Wrongful Termination.
[Filing No. 26 at 3-5.] However, in her Statement of
Claims filed on November 10, 2017, Dr. Kinsella only listed
her Title VII gender discrimination claim. [Filing No.
parties participated in a settlement conference on November
29, 2017 and they reached a resolution. [Filing No.
66.] The Settlement Agreement stated, in relevant part:
Dr. Kinsella may ask the Court to re-open the Action to allow
the Action to proceed if Drs. Allison, Hardacher, Johnson,
Kritzmire or Lathan do not receive a contract renewal during
the relevant period, or Dr. Kinsella receives evidence of
what she believes to be unlawful gender discrimination
against female [IU Health] anesthesiologists by Dr. Presson
on the [IU Health] Anesthesiology Division leaders.
[Filing No. 106 at 2.] Following settlement, the parties
jointly moved for this action to be administratively closed,
[Filing No. 67], which motion the Court granted on
December 4, 2017, [Filing No. 68].
March 9, 2019, Dr. Kinsella filed her Notice of Reopening
Case, [Filing No. 69], which IU Health opposed,
[Filing No. 70]. Judge Brookman held a Status
Conference with the parties on March 20, 2019 and ordered
that, “[t]o the extent [Dr. Kinsella's] Notice of
Reopening (Docket No. 69) could be construed as a motion, the
Court DENIES the motion without prejudice
and with leave to refile the motion requesting administrative
reopening. . . .” [Filing No. 75.]
Kinsella filed a Motion to Reopen Case on April 29, 2019,
[Filing No. 79], and an Amended Motion to Reopen
Case on May 20, 2017, [Filing No. 87], alleging that
she learned the five female anesthesiologists she previously
deposed in this case were retaliated against after they
testified in this action. [Filing No. 87 at 2.] The
case was reopened on July 19, 2019. [Filing No. 97.]
days later, Dr. Kinsella filed a Motion for Leave to File
Third Amended and Supplemental Complaint (“Motion
for Leave to Amend”), seeking to add additional
defendants- Robert G. Presson, M.D., Indiana University
Medical School, and Senthil Sadhasivam, M.D.- and a claim for
conspiracy under 42 U.S.C. § 1985(2). [Filing No.
99.] IU Health opposed the motion, [Filing No.
104], and Dr. Kinsella filed a Reply. [Filing No.
September 27, 2019, Judge Brookman denied Dr. Kinsella's
Motion for Leave to Amend, holding that Dr. Kinsella's
allegations in her proposed Third Amended Complaint “do
not support a claim of conspiracy as there is no coordination
between the two proposed defendants, ” and fail to
support the four elements of a conspiracy claim under 42
U.S.C. 1985(2). [Filing No. 106 at 5-6.]
Brookman further found that the “intra-corporate
immunity doctrine” barred any conspiracy claim because
the two proposed defendants are part of the same entity.
[Filing No. 106 at 6.] Although Dr. Kinsella argued
that the proposed defendants were employed by different
entities, Judge Brookman pointed to the affidavit of one of
the female anesthesiologists, Dr. Kritzmire, wherein she
stated that her “direct supervisor is Dr. Senthil
Sadhasivam, who then reports to Dr. Robert Presson of [IU
Health], ” [Filing No. 87-4 at 1], and
described “joint action by the two proposed
defendants to reprimand [her], ” [Filing No. 106 at
6 (emphasis in original).] Judge Brookman reasoned that,
“even accepting Dr. Kinsella's allegations of
discrimination and retaliation as true, the intra-corporate
immunity doctrine prevents managers of the same organization
from becoming conspirators.” [Filing No. 106 at
Judge Brookman found that, most significantly, an amendment
adding a new claim and new defendants would cause undue delay
and prejudice to IU Health and to the Court. [Filing No.
106 at 6.] Accordingly, Judge Brookman found that
although Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 15(a)(2)
provides that “[t]he Court should freely give leave
when justice so requires, ” the undue delay and
prejudice that would result from Dr. Kinsella's proposed
amendments were valid reasons to depart from the usual
freedom to amend provided in Rule 15(a)(2). [Filing No.
106 at 6-8 (citing Murphy v. White Hen Pantry
Co., 691 F.2d 350, 353 (7th Cir. 1982) (affirming
district court's denial of leave to amend because
amendment would “inject an entirely new theory of
liability into the lawsuit, . . . requir[ing] reopening
discovery and further delay[ing] the trial.”)).] Judge
Brookman reasoned that “though Dr. Kinsella was
diligent in filing the amended complaint after the Court
reopened the case, considerable delay to the litigation
process would likely stem from adding this new claim and
these new defendants.” [Filing No. 106 at 7.]
October 1, 2019, Dr. Kinsella filed her Objections to United
States Magistrate Judge Brookman's Order Denying Her
Motion for Leave to File Third Amended and Supplemental