United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
FREDDIE BANKS, JR.
LOUISIANA MARINE OPERATORS, LLC
ORDER AND REASONS
S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is plaintiff's motion to continue
trial. For the following reasons, the Court
grants the motion.
case arises out of an accident on Defendant Louisiana Marine
Operators, LLC's vessel, the M/V MAXX B. Plaintiff Freddie
Banks, Jr. alleges that he was employed by defendant aboard
the M/V MAXX B when he suffered injuries after falling down
the stairs. On October 18, 2016, plaintiff filed a
seaman's complaint for damages against
defendant. Plaintiff alleges that defendant failed to
provide to provide a reasonably safe place to work and
engaged in other acts of negligence. Plaintiff seeks maintenance
and cure for his injuries, damages, attorneys' fees,
costs, punitive damages, and other relief.
Court entered a scheduling order in this case that
established a discovery deadline of July 11, 2017, and a
trial date of August 21, 2017.Plaintiff now moves to continue
trial because his medical condition is
uncertain. Plaintiff states that he recently sought
treatment from an orthopaedic surgeon, who advised plaintiff
that he may need surgery on his shoulder.
Rule of Civil Procedure 16(b) provides that “[a]
schedule may be modified only for good cause and with the
judge's consent.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b)(4). The
“good cause standard requires the party seeking relief
to show that the deadlines cannot reasonably be met despite
the diligence of the party needing the extension.”
S & W Enterprises, L.L.C. v. SouthTrust Bank
of Ala., NA, 315 F.3d 533, 535 (5th Cir. 2003)
(internal citations omitted). Whether to grant or deny a
continuance is within the sound discretion of the trial
court. United States v. Alix, 86 F.3d 429, 434 (5th
Cir. 1996). In deciding whether to grant a continuance, the
Court's “judgment range is exceedingly wide,
” for it “must consider not only the facts of the
particular case but also all of the demands on counsel's
time and the court's.” Streber v. Hunter,
221 F.3d 701, 736 (5th Cir. 2000) (internal citations
in this matter is currently scheduled for August 21,
2017.Neither party has previously requested a
continuance in this matter. Plaintiff argues that a
continuance is necessary because it is not possible to enter
into meaningful settlement negotiations given plaintiff's
uncertain medical condition. Defendant opposes a
continuance, but is willing to withdraw its opposition if the
expert deadline is not reset. Plaintiff states that he does
not plan to call a liability expert and does not request an
extension of the expert deadline.
Court finds that plaintiff's uncertain medical condition
constitutes good cause to justify the continuance of the
trial. See Jones v. Phil Guilbeau Offshore,
Inc., No. 13-5078, 2014 WL 4186784, at *1 (E.D. La. Aug.
22, 2014); Augman v. Seacor Marine, L.L.C., No.
07-1508, 2008 WL 8694786, at *3 (E.D. La. June 23, 2008).
Accordingly, the Court will grant plaintiffs motion. The
Court will not extend the deadline for expert reports.
foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS plaintiffs motion. IT IS
ORDERED that the pretrial conference and the trial are hereby
continued. A preliminary conference will be held by telephone
on Thursday, August 17, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. for the purpose
of scheduling a pre-trial conference and trial on the merits.
The Court will initiate the telephone conference call and
will be represented at the conference by its case manager.
FURTHER ORDERED that discovery is closed, except as to the
issue of plaintiffs medical condition and damages. The
deadline for ...