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Myers v. Memorial Health System Marietta Memorial Hospital

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

June 3, 2019

LYNNETT MYERS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM MARIETTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, et al Defendants. LYNNETT MYERS & CAROL BUTLER, Plaintiffs,
v.
MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM MARIETTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, Defendant. KIM WECKBACHER, Plaintiff,
v.
MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM MARIETTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, Defendant. JOSH BOOTH, Plaintiff,
v.
MEMORIAL HEALTH SYSTEM MARIETTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, Defendant.

          Chelsey M. Vascura, Magistrate Judge

          OPINION & ORDER

          ALGENON L. MARBLEY, JUDGE

         I. Background

         These are four related cases before this Court: 15-2956, Myers et al. v. Marietta Hospital, et al., (“the class case”); 16-1187, Weckbacher v. Marietta Hospital (“Weckbacher”), 17-438, Myers & Butler v. Marietta Hospital (“Myers & Butler”); and 17-439, Booth v. Marietta Hospital (“Booth”). The class case is a collective action brought by nurses who are and were employed by Defendant hospital. The other three cases are brought by plaintiffs who are members of that collective action, alleging retaliation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FSLA”). These three cases are collectively referred to as “the retaliation cases.”

         This Court recently decided Motions for Summary Judgment in these cases. In the class case, this Court granted Plaintiffs' Motion to add Defendants Cantley and Young in their individual capacities, and denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that genuine disputes of material fact remain. (ECF Nos. 246, 247). In Myers & Butler, Weckbacher, and Booth, this Court denied Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment for the same reason. (Myers & Butler, ECF Nos. 30, 31; Weckbacher, ECF No. 29; Booth, ECF No. 23).

         This Court took notice that these four cases involve the same parties, and the material facts that remain in genuine dispute have substantial overlap across the four cases and involve largely the same set of events. Accordingly, this Court held a telephonic status conference on April 9, 2019 at 3:00 PM. The parties were asked to be prepared to discuss Fed.R.Civ.P. 42. The parties' positions are memorialized in a Joint Motion and Notice submitted by the parties. (The class case, ECF No. 249; Myers & Butler, ECF No. 33; Booth, ECF No. 25; Weckbacher, ECF No. 31).

         Plaintiffs support consolidating Myers & Butler, Weckbacher, and Booth - the retaliation cases - but not consolidating those three cases with the class case. Defendants do not support any consolidation of these matters.

         For the reasons below, this Court hereby orders consolidation of the retaliation cases - Myers & Butler, Weckbacher, and Booth - but does not consolidate these cases with the class case.

         II. Law & Analysis

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a), if actions before a court involve a common question of law or fact, the court has the discretion to:

1. join for hearing or trial any or all matters at issue in the actions;
2. consolidate the actions; or
3. issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or delay.

There need not be “complete identity of legal and factual issues posed in the cases which are the subject of the request.” J4 Promotions, Inc. v. Splash Dogs, LLC, 2010 WL 3063217, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 3, 2010). The underlying objective of consolidation “is to administer the court's business with expedition and economy while providing justice to the parties.” Advey v. Celotex Corp., 962 F.2d 1177, 1180 (6th Cir. 1992) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). The Court must take care “that consolidation does not result in unavoidable prejudice or unfair advantage.” Cantrell v. GAF Corp., 999 F.2d 1007, 1011 (6th Cir. 1993). If the conservation of judicial resources achieved through consolidation “are slight, ...


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