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M.A. v. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

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

December 9, 2019

M.A., et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
WYNDHAM HOTELS & RESORTS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          DEAVERS MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          OPINION & ORDER

          ALGENON L. MARBLEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on proposed Plaintiff-Intervenors', American Family Mutual Insurance Company (“American Family”) and Nationwide Property & Casualty Insurance Company and Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company (collectively, “Nationwide”), Motions to Intervene. (ECF Nos. 64, 65). For the following reasons, proposed Plaintiff-Intervenors' Motions are hereby DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, M.A., alleges she was trafficked for sex at several Days Inn by Wyndham, Comfort Inn, and Crowne Plaza locations in Columbus. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 51). Plaintiff seeks to hold these hotels liable under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (“TVPRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1595(a). M.A. alleges that the hotel Defendants knew or should have known her trafficking was happening on their properties. She points to behavior that she alleges hotel staff should have recognized as signs of her trafficking. M.A. alleges that these hotels and their parent companies did not take adequate measures to prevent human trafficking. On October 7, 2019, this Court issued an Opinion and Order denying Defendants' Motions to Dismiss. (ECF No. 136).

         In June 2019, American Family and Nationwide filed Motions to Intervene. American Family is the purported liability insurer for Defendants Krrish Lodging, LLC and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, Inc. (ECF No. 64 at 3). Nationwide is the insurer for Columbus Hospitality LLC, dba “Crowne Plaza Columbus - Downtown, an IHG Hotel” (“Columbus”) and InterContinental Hotels Corporation (“IHC”). (ECF No. 65 at 5). Both Movants argue they must be permitted to intervene as of right in order adequately to protect their interests. Alternatively, they argue the Court should exercise its discretion to grant permissive intervention.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         American Family and Nationwide both bring motions to intervene as of right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a), or, in the alternative, permissive intervention under Rule 24(b).

         Intervention as of right under Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)(2) requires a timely motion by a movant who:

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.

         Movants must establish all elements of the four-part test, requiring: (1) that the motion was filed timely; (2) that a substantial legal interest is involved; (3) that an interest will be impaired without intervention; and (4) inadequate representation by the current parties. Michigan State AFL-CIO v. Miller, 103 F.3d 1240, 1245 (6th Cir.1997) (citing Cuyahoga Valley Ry. Co. v. Tracy, 6 F.3d 389, 395 (6th Cir.1993)).

         Permissive intervention under Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b)(1) permits a court to exercise its discretion to allow intervention on a timely motion by a movant who “has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact.” If the motion is timely and there is at least one common question of law or fact, the Court consider whether intervention would cause undue delay or prejudice to the original parties, and any other relevant factors. J4 Promotions, Inc. v. Splash Dogs, LLC, No. 2:09-CV-136, 2010 WL 1839036, at *1 (S.D. Ohio May 3, 2010) (citing Miller, 103 F.3d at 1248).

         III. LAW & ANALYSIS

         A. ...


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