United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JEFFREY J. HELMICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
seek leave to file a Third Amended Complaint, adding
additional factual allegations against two of the Defendants,
Damiron Transportation Services, Inc., and Mitchell R.
Larson. (Doc. No. 104; Doc. No. 105). Damiron and Larson have
filed a brief in opposition. (Doc. No. 106). Plaintiffs filed
a brief in reply. (Doc. No. 107). For the reasons stated
below, Plaintiffs' motions are granted.
provides a party may amend its pleadings once as a matter of
course within 21 days of serving the pleading or, if a
responsive pleading is required, 21 days after service of a
responsive pleading. Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 15(a)(1). “In
all other cases, a party may amend its pleading only with the
opposing party's written consent or the court's
leave. The court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 15(a)(2). “In the
absence of any apparent or declared reason - such as undue
delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on the part of the
movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments
previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by
virtue of allowance of the amendment, futility of amendment,
etc. - the leave sought should, as the rules require, be
‘freely given.'” Foman v. Davis, 371
U.S. 178, 182 (1962); see also Head v. Jellico Hous.
Auth., 870 F.2d 1117, 1123 (6th Cir. 1989).
“Notice and substantial prejudice to the opposing party
are critical factors in determining whether an amendment
should be granted.” Hageman v. Signal L. P. Gas,
Inc., 486 F.2d 479, 484 (6th Cir. 1973).
March 12, 2014, Plaintiffs were involved in a significant
traffic accident in Sandusky County, Ohio, while traveling
eastbound on the Ohio Turnpike. The accident occurred during
a snowstorm and ultimately involved over 100 vehicles.
Plaintiffs now seek to amend their complaint to add factual
allegations concerning the after-effects of a traumatic brain
injury Mary Kelsey suffered during the accident.
and Larson argue I should deny Plaintiffs' motions
because the proposed amendments do not meet each of the
elements to toll the statute of limitations under Ohio
Revised Code § 2305.16 for Mary Kelsey's claims, and
therefore the proposed amendments would be
futile.(Doc. No. 106 at 5).
proposed amendment is futile if the amendment could not
withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.” Rose
v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co., 203 F.3d 417, 420
(6th Cir. 2000). When ruling on a motion to dismiss, a court
construes the complaint in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff and accepts as true well-pleaded factual
allegations. Daily Servs., LLC v. Valentino, 756
F.3d 893, 896 (6th Cir. 2014) (citing Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 679 (2009)).
Sixth Circuit has repeatedly held a Rule 12(b)(6) motion
generally is an “inappropriate vehicle” to
dismiss a claim based upon a statute of limitations
affirmative defense. Lutz v. Chesapeake
Appalachia, L.L.C., 717 F.3d 459, 464 (6th Cir.
2013) (quoting Cataldo v. U.S. Steel Corp., 676 F.3d
542, 547 (6th Cir.2012)). Such motions are not successful
unless “the allegations in the complaint affirmatively
show that the claim is time-barred.” Id.
and Larson have not met that standard here. Rule 8 and Rule
12 require only that a plaintiff state a plausible claim for
relief. Plaintiffs allege Damiron and Larson negligently
caused injuries to Mary Kelsey, including a closed head
injury which necessitated “medical and mental health
treatment, both inpatient and outpatient . . . .” (Doc.
No. 104-1 at 56).
law tolls a relevant statute of limitations if, “at the
time the cause of action accrues, [the claimant is] of
unsound mind, ” or if the claimant “is confined
in an institution or hospital under a diagnosed condition or
disease which renders the person of unsound mind” after
the cause of action accrues. Ohio Rev. Code § 2305.16.
In some circumstances, a plaintiff may defeat a
defendant's motion for summary judgment based upon the
statute of limitations by identifying facts which tend to
show that the plaintiff became “of unsound mind . . .
simultaneously with the accrual of a cause of action.”
Almanza v. Kohlhorst, 619 N.E.2d 442, 443 (Ohio Ct.
allege the March 12 accident caused Mary Kelsey to be of
unsound mind and to require inpatient medical and mental
health care for her condition. Taking these allegations as
true, I conclude Plaintiffs ...