United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
matter is before the Court on the motion of Plaintiff Abraham
Panyagor for leave to amend the complaint under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2), ECF No. 21. Panyagor tendered a
proposed amended complaint, ECF No. 21-1. Defendant Kindred
Nursing Centers Limited Partnership (“Kindred”)
responded, ECF No. 29. Panyagor replied, ECF No. 32. For the
reasons explained below, the Court will deny Panyagor's
motion for leave to amend the complaint.
Allegations in the Complaint
employed Panyagor as a certified nursing assistance. Compl.
¶ 9, ECF No. 1-1. In May or June of 2015, Panyagor
notified Kindred's management that his co-worker, Serena
James, was mistreating the company's residents.
Id. ¶ 12. Shortly thereafter, James began to
harass Panyagor, including by calling him names. Id.
¶ 13. Panyagor complained to Kindred's management
that James was harassing him. Id. ¶ 14. In
response, Kindred's management informed Panyagor that he
would no longer be assigned to work with James. Id.
2, 2015, Panyagor's physician requested that Panyagor be
placed on a leave of absence for rehabilitation related to
his herniated lumbar disc, which Panyagor asserts was a
request for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA),
29 U.S.C. § 2611, et. seq. Id. ¶
15. About a month later, Panyagor returned to work with
temporary light duty restrictions. Id. ¶ 16.
That day, Kindred advised him that his employment was
suspended pending an investigation into a claim by James that
he had violated the company's sexual harassment policy.
Id. ¶ 17. On August 7, 2015, Kindred terminated
Panyagor. Id. ¶ 18.
2016, Panyagor filed suit against Kindred in the Jefferson
County, Kentucky Circuit Court. Id. at 1. He asserts
that Kindred discriminated against him on the basis of a
disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990, as Amended (ADAAA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101,
et seq. (Count I). Id. ¶¶ 20-23.
Panyagor also alleges that Kindred discriminated against him
on the basis of his national origin in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42
U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a), et seq. (Count II)
Id. ¶¶ 24-27. Panyagor additionally claims
that Kindred terminated him and engaged in other retaliatory
conduct after he complained about the company's
employment practices, which is unlawful under Title VII
(Count III). Id. ¶¶ 28-31. Panyagor
further maintains that Kindred discriminated and retaliated
against him in violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act
(KCRA), Ky. Rev. Stat. § 344, et seq. (Count
IV). Id. ¶¶ 32-34. Panyagor asserts that
Kindred interfered with his rights under the FMLA (Count V).
Id. ¶¶ 35-42. Finally, he contends that
Kindred discriminated against him in violation of the FMLA
(Count VI). Id. ¶¶ 43-47. Panyagor seeks
an award of compensatory damages, liquidated damages, and
punitive damages. Id. at 9. He also seeks an award
of statutory interest, costs and fees, and other appropriate
relief. Id. at 10.
filed a notice of removal in this Court. Not. Removal 1, ECF
No. 1. As part of the scheduling order, the magistrate judge
ordered the parties to file any amended pleadings and joinder
of parties by November 18, 2016. Order 9/15/2016 1, ECF No.
11. The parties agree that on April 18, 2017, Panyagor sat
for a deposition. Mot. Amend 2, ECF No. 21; Resp. Opp. Mot.
Amend 2, ECF No. 29. According to Panyagor, he testified that
he had been subjected to retaliation because he complained
about James' treatment of Kindred patients. Mot. Amend 2,
ECF No. 21.
six months after the scheduling order deadline for filing
amended pleadings-in May 2017-Panyagor moved for leave to
amend the complaint under Rule 15(a)(2). Mot. Amend 1, ECF
No. 21. He seeks to add James as a defendant and to assert
(1) a claim for wrongful termination, (2) a claim under the
Kentucky Patient's Safety Act, Ky. Rev. Stat. §
216B.165, and (3) a claim for conspiracy to violate the KCRA.
Tendered Am. Compl. ¶¶ 44-60, ECF No. 21-1. He also
seeks to withdraw his claims arising under the
argues that the Court should grant him leave to amend the
complaint because the purpose of the amendments is proper,
the amendments would aid the Court in framing the relevant
issues, the amendments are not advanced to cause undue delay
or prejudice, the amendments would not require a continuance
of the trial, and Kindred would not suffer undue prejudice as
a result of the complaint being amended. Mot. Amend 2-3, ECF
No. 21. Panyagor further maintains that good cause exists to
grant him leave to amend the complaint because he has
developed new theories of liability that should be subject to
motion practice or to trial. Id. at 3. Kindred
argues in opposition that Panyagor has not met his burden to
affirmatively show good cause, his proposed amendment and
joinder of a new party would prejudice it, and his amendments
are futile. Resp. Opp. Mot. Amend 3, ECF No. 29.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permit a party to
“amend its pleading once as a matter of course”
if the amendment is filed “before being served with a
responsive pleading.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1). In
“all other cases[, ]” the party must receive the
“opposing party's written consent or the
court's leave.” ...