United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILLINOIS AND MACON COUNTY, ILLINOIS, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHER COUNTIES IN THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiffs,
TRINITY INDUSTRIES, INC., AND TRINITY HIGHWAY PRODUCTS, LLC, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
R. Herndon Judge.
before the Court is plaintiffs' request to appeal and
objections to the Magistrate's November 14, 2016,
Memorandum and Order pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 and Local
Rule 73.1 (Doc. 153). Specifically, plaintiff appeals
Magistrate Judge Williams Order denying plaintiffs'
motion to amend the complaint, citing untimeliness and undue
prejudice on defendants' behalf (Doc. 148). Plaintiffs
maintain that Magistrate Judge Williams erred in denying the
motion to amend as the written discovery is still occurring
and that this “case is still in its initial stages.
(Doc. 153, p. 2). Obviously, defendants oppose
plaintiffs' request to appeal and plaintiffs'
objections arguing that after two years of litigation
plaintiffs are attempting to file a brand new lawsuit
disguised as an amended complaint (Doc. 156). Based on the
following, the Court affirms Magistrate Judge Williams'
November 14, 2016 Memorandum and Order and denies
73.1(a) of the Southern District of Illinois provides:
(a) Appeal of Non-Dispostive Matters - 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A) Any party may appeal a Magistrate Judge's
order determining a motion or matter within 14 days after
issuance of a Magistrate Judge's order, unless a
different time is prescribed by the Magistrate Judge or a
District Judge. The party shall file with the Clerk of the
Court and serve on all parties a written request for an
appeal which shall specifically designate the order or part
of the order that the parties wish the Court to reconsider. A
District Judge shall reconsider the matter and shall set
aside any portion of the Magistrate Judge's order found
to be clearly erroneous or contrary to the law. A District
Judge may also reconsider sua sponte any matter determined by
a Magistrate Judge under this rule.
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(a), the Court may
modify or reverse a magistrate judge on a non-dispostive
issue upon a showing that the magistrate judge's decision
is “clearly erroneous or contrary to the law.”
Specifically, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(a) provides:
Nondispositive Matters. When a pretrial matter not
dispositive of a party's claim or defense is referred to
a magistrate judge to hear and decide, the magistrate judge
must promptly conduct the required proceedings, and when
appropriate, issue a written order stating the decision. A
party may serve and file objections to the order within 14
days after being served with a copy. A party may not assign
as error a defect in the order not timely objected to. The
district judge in the case must consider timely objections
and modify or set aside any part of the order that is clearly
erroneous or is contrary to the law.
finding is clearly erroneous when “the reviewing court
on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm
conviction that a mistake has been committed.”
Anderson v. City of Bessemer, 470 U.S. 564, 573
(1985)(quoting United States v. United States Gypsum
Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948); See also Weeks v.
Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd., 126 F.3d
926, 943 (7th Cir. 1997)(“The clear error standard
means that the district court can overturn the magistrate
judge's ruling only if the district court is left with
the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been
the Court finds that Judge Williams' ruling was neither
clearly erroneous nor contrary to law. Magistrate
Williams' November 14, 2016 Memorandum and Order is well
written and clearly sets out the reasons for his ruling.
After reviewing the scheduling orders and minute orders
throughout the record, the Court concludes, as Magistrate
Judge Williams' concluded, that the motion to amend is
untimely. The record reveals that the discovery and the
litigation is really at the tail end and that plaintiffs did
have this material for a significant period of time. Thus,
these new claims should have been raised much earlier by
plaintiffs. There is no reason for this Court to vacate Judge
Williams' Memorandum and Order.
unresolved is the defendants' motion for judgment on the
pleadings (Doc. 124). Defendants seek judgment on the
pleadings as to Counts I and II of plaintiffs' second
amended complaint and ask the Court to strike the punitive
damages claim in Count II (Doc. 124). Plaintiffs basically concede
the motion for judgment on the pleadings (Doc.
135). In light of the Court's ruling
supra and plaintiffs' concession, the Court
GRANTS the motion for judgment on the pleadings. The Court
DISMISSES with prejudice Counts I and II of the second
amended complaint and strikes the claim for punitive damages
contained in Count II of the second amended complaint.
the Court AFFIRMS Magistrate Judge Williams' November 14,
2016 Memorandum and Order (Doc. 148), DENIES plaintiffs'
request to appeal and objections to the Magistrate's
November 14, 2016 Memorandum and Order pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72 and Local Rule 73.1 (Doc. 153) and GRANTS
defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings (Doc.
124). The Court DISMISSES with prejudice Counts I and II of
the second amended complaint and STRIKES the claim for
punitive damages in Count II of the second amended complaint
(Doc. 85). The Court DIRECTS the Clerk of the Court to enter
judgment reflecting the same as to Counts I and II of the
second amended complaint at the close of the case. Count III,
unjust enrichment, and Count IV, injunctive relief, remain
pending in the second amended complaint.
 Count I of the second amended
complaint is for breach of implied warranties of
merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose and
Count II of the second amended complaint is for violations of