Name of Assigned Judge Amy J. St. Eve Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge
Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File a First Amended Consolidated Complaint . The Court granted Plaintiffs' first two proposed amendments without objection at the parties' April 6, 2011 status hearing. For the reasons below, the Court grants the third proposed amendment over Defendants' objections. Plaintiffs must file the First Amended Consolidated Complaint by no later than 4/22/11. Consistent with this Order, if Defendants must re-depose any of the named Plaintiffs for the limited purpose set forth herein, Plaintiffs bear the burden of those deposition costs.
O[ For further details see text below.] Notices mailed by Judicial staff.
Before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to File a First Amended Consolidated Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a). Plaintiffs seek to amend their Consolidated Complaint as follows: (1) to remove Edith Asidao as a proposed class representative; (2) to correct a scrivener's error in Paragraph 64 of the existing Consolidated Complaint; and (3) to modify the start-date of the proposed class period for the putative Illinois Wage Payment Collection Act ("IWPCA") claimants from October 2004 to August 17, 2002. The Court granted Plaintiffs' first two proposed amendments without objection at the parties' April 6, 2011 status hearing. For the reasons below, the Court grants the third proposed amendment over Defendants' objections.
On October 26, 2009, Plaintiffs Edith Asidao, Ronda Brady, and Fabienne Fify filed a complaint on behalf of themselves and other non-exempt hourly nurses employed by St. Mary and St. Elizabeth Medical Center, captioned Asidao v. St. Mary and St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Case No. 09 C 6731. The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Wayne A. Andersen. In sum and substance, the Asidao Plaintiffs brought claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. ("FLSA"), the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, 820 ILCS 105/1 et seq. ("IMWL"), the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, 820 ILCS 115/1 et seq. ("IWPCA"), and Illinois common law, seeking recovery for uncompensated work. Relevant to the present matter, the Asidao complaint defined the class period for the putative IWPCA claimants as dating "from October 2006 to the conclusion of this action."
The Asidao Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") on March 24, 2010. The FAC added five named plaintiffs and several new hospital defendants, and it expanded the proposed class period for the putative IWPCA claimants to October 2004. The Asidao Plaintiffs had apparently desired to expand the proposed class period for the putative IWPCA claimants to August 2002, but after consulting with opposing counsel, the Asidao Plaintiffs instead agreed to revise the class period to October 2004 in exchange for Defendants' agreement not to oppose the FAC filing. See R. 118-1 (3/19/2010, 3/21/2010 & 3/22/2010 email communications).
On June 25, 2010, the Court consolidated Asidao and Camilotes v. Resurrection Health Care Corporation et al., Case No. 10 C 366, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 42(a). See R. 55 (6/25/10 Order). Henceforth, the consolidated cases became Camilotes et al. v. Resurrection Health Care Corporation, Case No. 10 C 366. Id. Plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Class and Collective Action Complaint ("Consolidated Complaint") on July 12, 2010, bringing claims under the FLSA, the IMWL, the IWPCA, and Illinois common law, against Defendants Resurrection Health Care Corporation et al. ("Defendants"). Plaintiffs defined the class period for the putative IWPCA claimants as dating "from October 2004, to the conclusion of this action." Plaintiffs now seek leave to file a First Amended Consolidated Complaint ("FACC") which expands the class period for those putative claimants to August 17, 2002.
A plaintiff "may amend its pleading only with the opposing party's written consent or the court's leave." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2); see also Sides v. City of Champaign, 496 F.3d 820, 825 (7th Cir. 2007) (noting that courts should generally "use their discretion under Rule 15(a) to liberally grant permission to amend pleadings"). "Although leave to amend should be freely given, Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a), that does not mean it must always be given." Hukic v. Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 432 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Crest Hill Land Dev., LLC v. City of Joliet, 396 F.3d 801, 804 (7th Cir. 2005) (noting that despite the liberal nature of Rule 15(a), "leave to amend is not automatically granted"); Thompson v. Ill. Dep't of Prof'l Regulation, 300 F.3d 750, 759 (7th Cir. 2002). Indeed, district courts "'have broad discretion to deny leave to amend where there is undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, repeated failure to cure deficiencies, undue prejudice to the [non-moving party], or where the amendment would be futile.'" Hukic, 588 F.3d at 432 (quoting Arreola v. Godinez, 546 F.3d 788, 796 (7th Cir. 2008)). "Delay on its own is usually not reason enough for a court to deny a motion to amend." Soltys v. Costello, 520 F.3d 737, 743 (7th Cir. 2008). The longer the delay, however, "'the greater the presumption against granting leave to amend.'" Id. (quoting King v. Cooke, 26 F.3d 720, 723 (7th Cir. 1994)). Ultimately, "'[t]he decision to grant or deny a motion to file an amended pleading is a matter purely within the sound discretion of the district court.'" Id. (quoting Brunt v. Serv. Employees Int'l Union, 284 F.3d 715, 720 (7th Cir. 2002)); see also Larkin v. Galloway, 266 F.3d 718, 721 (7th Cir. 2001).
Defendants oppose Plaintiffs' motion to expand the IWPCA limitations period on three grounds. First, Defendants contend that Plaintiffs waived their right to expand the IWPCA limitations period to August 17, 2002 when the Asidao Plaintiffs agreed to limit it to October 2004 in connection with their FAC filing. Second, Defendants argue that they will be prejudiced if the Court permits Plaintiffs to expand their potential liability by two years. Third, Defendants ask the Court to deny Plaintiffs' motion on the grounds that Plaintiffs knew ...