United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
the Court are Motions to Dismiss for
Failure to Join, in which Defendant, Red Frog
Events, LLC, ("Red Frog") seeks an order requiring
Plaintiffs to join Event Medical Staffing Solutions
("EMSS"), Daniel Lauber, and/or Marcus Edwards as
necessary parties, or if joinder is not feasible, to dismiss
Plaintiffs' claims. For the reasons that follow, the
motions are DENIED.
cases arise out of the collapse of a large wooden obstacle
called the "Diesel Dome" at the "Warrior
Dash" race on October 6, 2016. (Doc. 1 at ¶¶
7, 9, 17). Plaintiffs brought suit, alleging that Red Frog,
among others, is responsible for the obstacle's collapse
and their resulting personal injuries. (Id. at
Frog, the organizer of the event, entered into a construction
agreement with Peterson Builders Framing Contractors
("Peterson") to construct, oversee, maintain, and
remove the "Diesel Dome." (Doc. 16-1 at p. 2).
Peterson, in turn, hired North South Renovations
("NSR") to construct the "Diesel Dome."
(Id.). Marcus Edwards, the owner of NSR, purchased
the lumber used to construct the "Diesel Dome" and
led the team that actually built the structure.
(Id.). Daniel Lauber, who was either an employee or
an independent contractor of NSR, participated in the
construction of the "Diesel Dome." (Id.).
preparation for the "Warrior Dash, " Red Frog
contracted with EMSS to provide emergency services to any
individual who sustained injuries during the race.
(Id.). As part of the contract, EMSS allegedly had
the responsibility to provide sufficient staffing to
supervise the participants of the event. (Id.).
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(7) allows for the defense of
"failure to join a party under Rule 19." Rule 19,
in turn, "provides for the joinder of all parties whose
presence in a lawsuit is required for the fair and complete
resolution of the dispute at issue." HS Res., Inc.
v. Wingate, 327 F.3d 432, 438 (5th Cir. 2003) (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 19(a)). If a necessary party "cannot be
joined, the court must determine whether, in equity and good
conscience, the action should proceed among the existing
parties or should be dismissed." Fed.R.Civ.P. 19(b).
party claims a defense under Rule 12(b)(7), a court must
engage in a two-step analysis. Wingate, 327 F.3d at
439. First, a court must decide "under Rule 19(a)
whether a person should be joined to the lawsuit. If joinder
is warranted, then the person will be brought into the
lawsuit." Id. Second, if joinder of the person
would destroy a court's jurisdiction, a court must
"determine whether ... to press forward without the
person or to dismiss the litigation." Id.
threshold issue a court must answer is whether a person is
necessary to the action under Rule 19(a). Nat'l Cas.
Co. v. Gonzalez, 637 Fed.Appx. 812, 815 (5th Cir. 2016).
A person is necessary party if,
(A) in that person's absence, the court cannot accord
complete relief among existing parties; or
(B) that person claims an interest relating to the subject of
the action and is so situated that disposing of the action in
the person's absence may:
(i) as a practical matter impair or impede the person's
ability to protect the interest; or
(ii) leave an existing party subject to a substantial risk of
incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent