United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
B. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
matter comes before the Court upon Plaintiff Patricia
Strulson's (“Strulson”) Motion for Extension
of Time for Discovery. [DN 30.] Defendant Chegg, Inc.
(“Chegg”) has responded. [DN 31.] This matter is
ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons,
Strulson's Motion is DENIED.
lawsuit, originally filed on November 11, 2015, alleges that
Chegg violated the Kentucky Civil Rights Act when it
terminated Strulson's employment there while she was
undergoing cancer treatment. [DN 1, at 7.] This Court issued
a Scheduling Order on December 29, 2016, wherein Strulson and
Chegg were to abide by, among others, the following
deadlines: no later than September 1, 2017 the parties were
to complete all discovery; no later than September 29, 2017
the parties were to file all dispositive motions. [DN 28.]
The trial date set for this matter is January 22, 2018.
[Id.] Strulson now seeks to extend the September 1
deadline for the completion of discovery for another month.
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4), “[a] schedule may be modified
only for good cause and with the judge's consent.”
The “good cause” standard in this context has
been construed as requiring an inquiry into “the moving
party's diligence in attempting to meet the case
management order's requirements.” Inge v. Rock
Financial Corp., 281 F.3d 613, 625 (6th Cir. 2002). An
additional “consideration is possible prejudice to the
party opposing the modification.” Id. As the
Sixth Circuit has noted, “while prejudice to the
defendant is not an express component of Rule 16, it is
nonetheless a ‘relevant consideration.'”
Leary v. Daeschner, 349 F.3d 888, 906 (6th Cir.
2003). Thus, “a court choosing to modify the schedule
upon a showing of good cause, may do so only ‘if it
cannot reasonably be met despite the diligence of the party
seeking the extension.” Id. (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16, 1983 advisory committee's notes).
present action, Strulson moves the Court to allow her another
month to complete discovery, due to the fact that depositions
taken in late August “resulted in much information
which was not previously known.” [DN 30, at 1.]
Strulson claims that “[t]his extra time will not delay
the proceedings or cause any prejudice” to Chegg, who
opposes this Motion. [See id.] The Court disagrees.
The “good cause” standard of Fed.R.Civ.P. 16
requires an examination of the following considerations: (1)
the movant's diligence in meeting the previously-set
schedule, and (2) any prejudice to the nonmovant that would
result from extending the discovery deadlines. Here, these
considerations weigh in favor of Chegg.
with respect to diligence, the scheduling order that
originally set the September 1, 2017 deadline for the
completion of discovery was issued on December 29, 2016,
approximately nine months ago. With this in mind, Strulson
did not conduct the depositions at issue here until August
23-24, 2017, and did not seek out Chegg to set dates for
these depositions until July. Further, Strulson's instant
motion seeking an extension for the discovery deadline was
not filed until August 31, 2017, the day before the deadline.
The Court is sensitive to the fact that this case is not the
only one on which counsel is currently working, but the
“diligence” factor weighs in favor of Chegg.
the Court finds that prejudice would result if it were to
move the discovery deadline back another month. Specifically,
a trial date has been set for January 22, 2018, one the Court
is hesitant to move because this case has been ongoing for
approximately two years. This conclusion is further bolstered
by the fact that, by the terms of the original scheduling
order, the deadline for filing dispositive motions is
September 29, 2017. To grant Strulson another month to
conduct discovery on the eve this deadline could drastically
alter this case's schedule. Should both sides be planning
on filing dispositive motions, the Court is certain that much
work has been put into these future filings and extending
discovery could create a domino effect in which large scale
changes must be made to these motions. This would warrant an
extension on the deadline for filing these motions, which
inevitably would lead to the necessary rescheduling of the
trial date. After reviewing the filings in this case and the
scheduling path on which it currently walks, the Court is
satisfied that this factor, too, weighs in favor of Chegg.
foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT
Strulson's Motion for Extension of Time for Discovery,
[DN 30], is DENIED.