United States District Court, D. New Mexico
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS'
MOTION FOR EXTENSION [DOC. 55] AND PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO
AMEND THE SCHEDULING ORDER [DOC. 65]
STEPHAN M. VIDMAR UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on two motions. The first is
Plaintiffs' Motion for Extension Re: Expert Reports [Doc.
55], filed on August 31, 2018. Defendant Standard Nutrition
Company responded on September 14, 2018. [Doc. 56].
Plaintiffs replied on September 21, 2018. [Doc. 57]. Oral
argument was held on October 19, 2018. [Doc. 64] (Clerk's
Minutes for Oral Argument). The second motion is
Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend the Scheduling Order, filed
on October 22, 2018. [Doc. 65]. Defendant has not filed a
response, and none is needed. The Court has considered the
briefing, the oral argument, the relevant portions of the
record, and the relevant law. Being otherwise fully advised
in the premises, the Court will deny both motions.
breed rodeo and ranch horses in New Mexico. [Doc. 1-1] at 1,
3. Defendant Standard Nutrition (hereinafter
“Defendant”) delivered feed for the horses on
December 8, 2016. Id. at 5. Shortly thereafter, some
of Plaintiffs' horses fell ill. Id. at 5-6. By
December 10, 2016, two horses had died. Id.
Plaintiffs retained counsel a few days later. Id. at
19. Plaintiffs filed this action against Defendant nearly a
year later, on November 2, 2017. Id. at 7-14.
Plaintiffs allege that the feed was contaminated with
monensin, an antibiotic, and that the monensin poisoned
Plaintiffs' horses. Id. at 3-4, 6.
Answer was filed on December 27, 2017. [Doc. 5]. Defendant
denied that its feed caused the horses' injuries. [Doc.
5] at 2. Defendant denied causation again in the Joint Status
Report filed on March 9, 2018. [Doc. 17] at 2.
Court held a status conference on January 29, 2018, before
entering the Initial Scheduling Order. The Court specifically
told the parties that the purpose for the status conference
was to avoid opposed motions to extend the discovery
deadlines late in the discovery process. [Doc. 8] at 2
(Clerk's Minutes for Telephonic Status Conference). The
Court explained that the party moving to amend a scheduling
order must show good cause, and that the most important
factor in determining good cause is the moving party's
diligence. Id. In other words, was the moving party
unable to complete discovery within the time allowed, despite
diligent efforts to do so?
parties filed their Joint Status Report and Provisional
Discovery Plan [Doc. 17] on March 9, 2018. Plaintiffs listed
the following potential trial experts:
1. Appraiser Jeff Ellis, see above
2. A veterinary expert and/or treating veterinarian Ronald
Box, DVM, see above
3. The person or persons who read/interpreted the testing
results on the subject feed and/or 30(b)(6) designee(s) of
the testing center(s)
4. An expert with respect to the effects of monensin on
livestock and the standard of care with respect [to] monensin
in horse feed
5. An expert with respect to the standards of care applicable
to the manufacture, storage shipping and delivery of the
subject feed, including but not limited to
“carryover”, maintenance and cleaning of
equipment and facilities, ingredients used in the mill where
horse feed is made[.]
[Doc. 17] at 5.
Court held a Rule 16 Scheduling Conference on April 2, 2018.
At the beginning of that conference, Plaintiffs' counsel
advised the Court that he had not yet completed his initial
disclosures. [Doc. 19] (Clerk's Minutes for First
Telephonic Rule 16 Scheduling Conference). The Court
terminated the conference and rescheduled a second Rule 16
Scheduling Conference for May 1, 2018. At that conference the
Court set Plaintiffs' expert disclosure deadline for
August 29, 2018. [Doc. 25] at 2. The Court asked
Plaintiffs' counsel if he had any objection to that
deadline, and counsel had none. Recording of Rule 16
Scheduling Conference, May 1, 2018, Liberty-Picacho
Courtroom, at 8:47. The Court spoke at length regarding the
parties' obligations regarding disclosure of expert
witnesses. The ...