United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Northern Division, Covington
JOHN P. ROTH, JR. PLAINTIFF
FORD MOTOR COMPANY DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM O. BERTELSMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on defendant's motion for
summary judgment (Doc. 36). As will be discussed below,
plaintiff has not filed a response to this motion.
and Procedural Background
detailed recitation of the procedural history of this case is
necessary to understand its current posture.
represented by counsel, filed this case on April 8, 2014,
alleging products liability claims arising out of an accident
that occurred while he was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer.
(Doc. 1). Specifically, plaintiff alleges defects in the seat
belt and air bag systems.
case came before the Court on its routine docket call on
September 10, 2014, after which the parties filed an Agreed
Litigation and Discovery Schedule. (Doc. 15). This plan set a
deadline of April 1, 2015, for plaintiff to disclose his
expert witnesses and provide their reports.
1, 2015, plaintiff moved for an extension of time to produce
his expert witness reports. (Doc. 18). The assigned United
States Magistrate Judge granted plaintiff's motion and
extended the expert witness report deadline to September 1,
2015. (Doc. 21).
October 30, 2015, plaintiff's counsel filed a motion to
withdraw based upon irreconcilable differences with
plaintiff. (Doc. 23). The Magistrate Judge held a hearing on
the motion on November 17, 2015, which was attended by
counsel as well as plaintiff. (Doc. 25). The Magistrate Judge
granted counsel's motion to withdraw, granted an
extension of the deadlines to give plaintiff a reasonable
time to find new counsel, and cautioned “Plaintiff that
the case will move forward upon the earlier of new counsel
entering an appearance or the expiration of the 60-day period
for Plaintiff to obtain new counsel.” (Id. at
January 19, 2016, plaintiff filed a notice that he had been
unable to obtain new counsel. (Doc. 26). The Magistrate Judge
set a telephonic conference for February 11, 2016, and
ordered that plaintiff participate. (Doc. 27). However,
plaintiff failed to participate in the call, so the
Magistrate Judge issued a show cause order setting a hearing
for February 25, 2016. (Doc. 28). Plaintiff attended the show
cause hearing and stated that he had not received the
Court's order setting the prior conference. (Doc. 29).
The Magistrate Judge found that plaintiff had shown cause,
and she gave him yet another thirty days to find new counsel.
March 30, 2016, the Magistrate Judge held another telephone
conference, at which time plaintiff informed the Court that
he believed he had retained attorney Marcus Carey to
represent him. (Doc. 30).
April 6, 2016, the Magistrate Judge held another telephone
conference. (Doc. 31). Attorney Carey entered his appearance
and indicated that, after reviewing the file, he believed
that he needed a further extension to find an additional
expert witness. Defense counsel stated their objection to any
such extension, and the Court directed the parties to brief
plaintiff moved to permit the late disclosure of expert
witnesses, noting that his representation of plaintiff was
contingent on that motion being granted, and that the two
expert witnesses previously identified by plaintiff were not
properly vetted or instructed. (Doc. 32). Defendant filed a
memorandum in opposition to the motion (Doc. 33), and
plaintiff did not file a reply.
March 31, 2017, the Magistrate Judge denied plaintiff's
motion to permit late disclosure of witnesses, noting that
plaintiff had been given numerous extensions and that he had
not been reasonably diligent in prosecuting his case. (Doc.
17, 2017, the Court ordered that summary judgment motions be
filed by June 16, 2017, with responses and replies to be