United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Brent Brennenstuhl United States Magistrate Judge.
Henkel Corporation has moved the Court, pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 14(a), for leave to file a third party complaint
against Magna-Tech Manufacturing, LLC and Colorado Express
Services, Inc. d/b/a Express Services, Inc. (DN 83).
Plaintiff, Nathaniel Edward Maysey, has filed a response (DN
91), and Henkel has filed a reply (DN 95). For the reasons
set forth below, the motion is granted.
OF THE MOTION
filed a tort action in the Barren Circuit Court seeking to
hold Henkel and codefendant Nemak USA, Inc. liable for
injuries he suffered while working at a Magna-Tech
Manufacturing, LLC facility in Glasgow, Kentucky (DN 1-1
PageID # 10-28). Maysey claims he was directed to operate an
impregnation machine without a point of operation guard or
“safety lid” or safety light and that the machine
was not properly maintained (DN 1-1 PageID # 10-28). Henkel
subsequently removed the action to this Court (DN 1).
apparently hired Maysey as a temporary employee through his
employer, Express Services (Id.). Maysey has
asserted a worker's compensation claim against Express
Services (DN 83 PageID # 497 citing Kentucky Workers'
Compensation Claim No. 2016-81368). Express Services and
Magna-Tech are not parties to this action. Henkel seeks leave
to assert third-party claims against Express Services and
Magna-Tech for the purpose of obtaining an apportionment of
fault instruction for Maysey's injuries or, in the
alternative, to obtain a judgment of contribution and/or
indemnification against them in the full amount of any
judgment that may be rendered against Henkel and in favor of
Maysey or the Intervening Plaintiff, Sedgwick Claims
Management Services, Inc. (DN 83-1 Proposed Third-Party
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide as follows:
A defending party may, as third-party plaintiff, serve a
summons and complaint on a nonparty who is or may be liable
to it for all or part of the claim against it. But the
third-party plaintiff must, by motion, obtain the court's
leave if it files the third-party complaint more than 14 days
after serving its original answer.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 14(a)(1). "The decision of whether to
grant a motion for leave to implead is a matter committed to
the discretion of the district court, and the exercise of
discretion is essentially a process of balancing the
prejudices." The Sixth Circuit has stated that the
promptness of a motion for leave to implead a third-party is
"an urgent factor" guiding a court's exercise
of discretion. Gen. Elec. Co. v. Irvin, 274 F.2d
175, 178 (6th Cir.1960). Other factors include: (i) the
motion's timeliness; (ii) the likelihood of trial delay;
(iii) potential for complication of issues; and (iv)
prejudice to the original plaintiff. Botkin v. Tokio
Marine & Nichido Fire Ins. Co ., Ltd., 956
F.Supp.2d 795, 802 (E.D.Ky.2013). Maysey has not objected to
the motion on any of these grounds (DN 91 PageID # 611-13).
purpose of Rule 14 is to permit additional parties whose
rights may be affected by the decision in the original action
to be joined so as to expedite the final determination of the
rights and liabilities of all the interested parties in one
suit.” Am. Zurich Ins. Co. v. Cooper Tire
& Rubber Co., 512 F.3d 800, 805 (6th Cir. 2008)
(citations omitted). The Sixth Circuit has explained as
Third-party pleading is appropriate only when the third-party
defendant's liability to the third-party plaintiff is
dependent on the outcome of the main claim; one that merely
arises out of the same set of facts does not allow a
third-party defendant to be impleaded. A defendant attempting
to transfer the liability asserted against him by the
original plaintiff to the third-party defendant is therefore
the essential criterion of a third-party claim.
Correlatively, a defendant's claim against a third-party
defendant cannot simply be an independent or related claim,
but must be based upon the original plaintiff's claim
against the defendant.
Id. Thus, the underlying purpose of Rule 14 is
“‘to promote economy by avoiding the situation
where a defendant has been adjudicated liable and then must
bring a totally new action against a third party who may be
liable to him for all or part of the original plaintiff's
claim against him.'” Id. (quoting 6
Wright, Miller, Kane, Fed. Prac. & Proc.: Civ.2d §
1441 at 289-90 (2d ed.1990)).
Kentucky law indemnity, contribution, and apportionment are
three related but distinct concepts. Stanford v. United
States, 948 F.Supp.2d 729, 744 (E.D. Ky. 2013).
“Apportionment is the most modern of the three
doctrines, codified by the legislature in 1998.”
Id. (citing Ky. Rev. Stat. § 411.182,
Degener v. Hall Contracting Corp., 27 S.W.3d 775,
779 (Ky. 2000)). “[A]pportionment spreads the liability
for a plaintiff's claims among the tortfeasors based on
their relative fault.” Stanford, 948 F.Supp.2d
at 744 (citing Degener, 27 S.W.3d at 779). When a
potential tortfeasor is not named as a defendant in the
complaint, a ...