United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
SOLOMON OLIVER, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
pending before the court is Westfield Insurance Company's
(“Westfield”) Motion for Leave to Intervene as a
New Party Defendant (“Motion”) pursuant to Rule
24(a), or alternatively Rule 24(b), of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 72.) Plaintiffs, Ahmed Al-Menhali
(“Al-Menhali”) and Taghrid Milki (collectively,
“Plaintiffs”), oppose Westfield's Motion.
(ECF No. 76.) Although Defendants Marriott International,
Inc. (“Marriott”); Inn on the River's Edge,
L.P. (“River's Edge”); and Fairfield Inn
& Suites Avon (“Fairfield Inn”)
(collectively, “Hotel Defendants”) requested, and
received, an extension of time to respond to Westfield's
Motion, (ECF No. 74), Hotel Defendants did not file a
response. Likewise, Defendants Alexis Silva
(“Silva”) and Laura Acton-Bell
(“Acton-Bell”) (collectively, “Employee
Defendants”) did not respond to Westfield's Motion.
For the following reasons, the court denies Westfield's
24, 2017, Plaintiffs filed this civil action against the
Employee and Hotel Defendants,  alleging state law claims related
to an incident which occurred at Fairfield Inn in Avon, Ohio,
on June 29, 2016, resulting in Al-Menhali's seizure by
police officers of the City of Avon.Following a case management
conference on August 16, 2017, the parties began discovery,
which continued throughout late 2017 and early 2018.
Defendants and Hotel Defendants filed separate motions for
summary judgment on June 15, 2018, (ECF Nos. 41, 42, 43),
which the court denied in part and granted in part on March
29, 2019. (See Order, ECF No. 67.) Following the
court's summary judgment order, several of
Plaintiffs' alleged claims against Employee Defendants
remained for trial: unlawful discrimination in violation of
Ohio Rev. Code § 4412 (Count 6); negligent infliction of
emotional distress (Count 9); negligence and/or gross
negligence (Count 12); and loss of consortium (Count 16).
(Id.) Several claims also remained against Hotel
Defendants: negligence and/or gross negligence (Count 12);
negligent training/supervision (Count 14); respondeat
superior (Count 15); and loss of consortium (Count 16).
court held a final pretrial conference on May 23, 2019, and
set an initial trial date for June 24, 2019. (Order, ECF Nos.
68, 73.) On May 20, 2019, just days before the conference and
about one month before trial was set to begin, Westfield
filed its Motion for Leave to Intervene as a New Party
Defendant pursuant to Rule 24(a), or alternatively Rule
24(b), of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (ECF No. 72.)
In its Motion, Westfield acknowledges that it “is
providing Defendants with a defense in this lawsuit, pursuant
to a reservation of rights, through a commercial insurance
policy issued to Inn on the River's Edge bearing Policy
No. CMM 7350470, which was in effect from January 1, 2016
through January 1, 2017, ” but Westfield asserts that
it “may have no duty to indemnify defendants with
regard to the claims asserted by Plaintiffs in the within
action” depending on the outcome at trial.
(Id. at 2.) Westfield argues that it must be allowed
to intervene “to protect its [insurance] coverage
defense.” (Id.) But Westfield does not seek
substantial involvement in the trial; it seeks only to submit
interrogatories to the jury. (Id.)
sought a one-week extension of time to respond to
Westfield's Motion, noting that Defendants' counsel
“cannot respond to the Motion to Intervene as he is
retained liability counsel, not coverage counsel. Marriott is
retaining separate coverage counsel.” (Def. Mot. at 1,
ECF No. 74.) Although the court granted the extension,
Defendants never filed a response to Westfield's Motion.
However, Plaintiffs did file a response opposing
Westfield's Motion and urging several grounds for denial,
including that the scope of Westfield's policy coverage
is clear, the question of coverage is unrelated to the issues
at stake in this case, and Westfield's Motion was
untimely and prejudicial. (Pl's Opp'n, ECF No. 76.)
before trial was scheduled to begin, and before the court
ruled on Westfield's Motion, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to
Continue the Trial Date due to Al-Menhali's poor health.
(ECF No. 82.) Al-Menhali's treating physician ordered
Al-Menhali, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, not to
travel “until his condition improves, ” and
recommended at least one month of rest and monitoring before
allowing Al-Menhali to travel internationally. (Id.
at 1.) The court granted Plaintiffs' Motion without
objection and set a new trial date for September 10, 2019.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Intervention as of Right Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.
24(a) entitles certain applicants to intervene in a lawsuit
as of right. The Rule requires courts to allow a party to
intervene if the party makes a timely motion and (1) a
federal statute gives the party an unconditional right to
intervene, or (2) the moving party “claims an interest
relating to the property or transaction that is the subject
of the action, and is so situated that disposing of the
action may as a practical matter impair or impede the
movant's ability to protect its interest, unless existing
parties adequately represent that interest.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a). There is no federal statute authorizing
Westfield to intervene as of right under Rule 24(a)(1).
Accordingly, Westfield's asserted right must arise, if at
all, under Rule 24(a)(2).
Sixth Circuit requires a movant to satisfy four elements to
establish a right to intervene under Rule 24(a): (1) the
motion to intervene was timely; (2) the movant has a
substantial legal interest in the subject matter of the case;
(3) the movant's ability to protect that interest may be
impaired in the absence of intervention; and (4) the parties
already before the court may not adequately represent the
movant's interest. Coal. to Defend Affirmative Action
v. Granholm, 501 F.3d 775, 779 (6th Cir. 2007). A
failure to meet any one of the four factors “will
require that the motion be denied.” Id. at 780
(quoting Grubbs v. Norris, 870 F.2d 343, 345 (6th
discussed below, the court finds that Westfield fails to meet
its burden to establish any of the first three factors.
Consequently, Westfield does not have a right to intervene
under Rule 24(a).