United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
AMENDED MEMORANDUM OPINION
HONORABLE SARA LIOI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on plaintiffs' motion to file
an amended complaint, instanter. (Doc. No. 21
[“Mot. Amend”].) The motion is unopposed. For the
reasons that follow, the motion is granted.
Denise and Donna Morataya originally brought this action in
state court against defendants Metro RTA and Corey Jones,
seeking damages for injuries sustained by Denise Morataya as
she disembarked a Metro RTA bus. (Doc. No. 1-1 (Complaint
[“Compl.”].) On May 31, 2017, defendants Metro
RTA and Corey Jones removed the action to federal court and
filed an answer to the complaint the same day. (Doc. No. 1
(Notice of Removal); Doc. No. 2 (Answer).) The original
complaint contained single claims for civil rights violations
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title III of the Americans
with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 1218-89, and loss of consortium, and two
Court conducted a case management conference on July 12,
2017, after which the Court issued a case management plan and
trial order that, among other things, identified July 31,
2017 as the deadline to add parties or amend the pleadings.
The parties proceeded to conduct discovery and, on August 2,
2017, the Court granted plaintiffs' unopposed motion to
extend the deadline for adding parties and/or amending
pleading to September 29, 2017.
September 29, 2017, plaintiffs filed the instant motion to
amend, and appended a copy of the proposed pleading thereto.
Defendants have failed to file a response to the motion, and
the time for registering an opposition has passed. By way of
amendment, plaintiffs seek to drop certain claims and add new
claims and new party defendants. Specifically, the amended
complaint purports to add as defendants various health care
facilities and professionals, seeking damages against them
for injuries resulting from the medical care Denise Morataya
received following her accident. As amended, the complaint
raises violations of Title II of the ADA and § 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794(a), and
state law claims for negligence, negligent medical care, and
loss of consortium.
responsive pleading is filed, the complaining party may amend
the pleadings only with the opposing party's written
consent or by leave of court. Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a). “The
court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Id. The decision whether to permit
the amendment is committed to the discretion of the trial
court. See Zenith Radio Corp. v. Hazeltine Research,
Inc., 401 U.S. 321, 330-32, 91 S.Ct. 795, 28 L.Ed.2d 77
(1971) (citation omitted); Estes v. Ky. Util., 636
F.2d 1131, 1133 (6th Cir. 1980). The trial court's
discretion, however, is “limited by Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)'s liberal policy of permitting amendments to ensure
the determination of claims on the merits.” Marks
v. Shell Oil Co., 830 F.2d 68, 69 (6th Cir. 1987)
to amend may be denied when it would result in undue delay,
prejudice to the opposing party, or repeated failure to cure
deficiencies in the complaint.” Phelps v.
McClellan, 30 F.3d 658, 662 (6th Cir. 1994) (citing
Forman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182, 83 S.Ct. 227, 9
L.Ed.2d 222 (1962); Duchon v. Cajon Co., 791 F.2d
43, 48 (6th Cir. 1986)). When a party has delayed in seeking
amendment, the court weighs the cause shown for the delay
against the resulting prejudice to the opposing party.
Head v. Timken Roller Bearing Co., 486 F.2d 870, 873
(6th Cir. 1973). “In determining what constitutes
prejudice, the court considers whether the assertion of the
new claim or defense would: require the opponent to expend
significant additional resources to conduct discovery and
prepare for trial; significantly delay the resolution of the
dispute; or prevent the plaintiff from bringing a timely
action in another jurisdiction.” Phelps, 30
F.3d at 662-63 (citation omitted). The longer the period of
unexplained delay, the less prejudice the adverse party will
be required to show to defeat the motion. Id. at 662
Court finds no evidence of significant prejudice to the
opposing parties, a likelihood of substantial delay in the
proceedings, or a repeated failure to cure deficiencies in
the pleadings. The first amended complaint and the motion to
amend were filed with almost three months left in discovery,
and there is no evidence to suggest that the new claims and
factual allegations will cause defendants to expend
significant additional expenses conducting discovery. While
some additional discovery and an adjustment of the dates and
deadlines may be necessary, the case is still in its early
stages, and the Court does not anticipate that the adjustment
to the dates in its trial schedule will be drastic. Finally,
the present motion represents plaintiffs' first request
to amend and they have not demonstrated a repeated failure to
cure deficiencies in the pleadings.
light of the mandate of Rule 15(a) that leave should be
“freely” given, the Court rules that
“justice so requires” that the motion to amend be
granted. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a). The Court,
therefore, grants plaintiffs' motion for leave to file an
amended complaint by November 27, 2017.
IS SO ORDERED.
 The addition of new parties is
governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 21, which provides, in relevant
part: “On motion or on its own, the court may at any
time, on just terms, add or drop a party.”
 As part of their motion to amend,
plaintiffs also sought leave for an enlargement of time to
file their affidavit of merit, instanter.
Additionally, on October 2, 2017, plaintiffs filed a motion
for leave to supplement their motion to amend complaint,
instanter, to append thereto an affidavit of merit. (Doc. No.
22.) Plaintiffs' requests to file an affidavit of merit
is granted, and plaintiffs shall have ...