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Beeck v Aquaslide 'N' Dive Corp.

Beeck v Aquaslide 'N' Dive Corp.

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Published by crlstinaaa

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Published by: crlstinaaa on Apr 08, 2008
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09/27/2012

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Case: Beeck v Aquaslide 'N' Dive Corp.Procedural History: on appeal from the trial court's exercise of discretion onprocedural matters in a diversity personal injury actionFacts: Beeck gets injured on a waterslide, and sues the manufacturer, Aquaslideon product liability claims. Aquaslide's insurance company does an investigationand say that they were manufactured by Aquaslide. After the lawsuit is filed,Aquaslide answers, and in it they admit that they are the manufacturer of theslide. On the basis of the insurance company telling Aquaslide that it wastheirs, they say so in discovery. The President of the company later goes to lookat the slide and realizes that its not their slide, but the statute oflimitations has run out. Aquaslide wants to amend their answer to change theirresponse as to whether it was really their slide, but they're out of the 20-daywindow, so they have to throw themselves on the mercy of the court.Issue: Can Aquaslide still amend their answer to the complaint after the statuteof limitations has run out?Holding: Court issued new trial to decide if slide was manufactured by Aquaslide.Found that it was not.Reasoning: In Foman v Davis, court says - Leave to amend will be freely givenin the absence of any reason that leave shouldn’t be granted; courts mustn't allowdelay, bad faith, or prejudice. Aquaslide did not act in bad faith because theiranswer and interrogatory responses were based on the insurance company, and itshould have been safe to assume their investigation would be accurate. The courtsays that "blame should be shared equally" - the plaintiffs could have made thisdiscovery in the course of their own investigation… but then again, if theinsurance company couldn’t tell, how could the plaintiffs? The plaintiffs didn’treally do anything wrong, but theirs a good reason to grant leave to amend. Theplaintiffs says that there is prejudice though, because the statute of limitationshas run out - the plainitffs cannot now sue the true manufacturer for personalinjury. But the court says the plaintiff might have causes of action that can getaround the statute of limitations, so the prejudice isnt as great as the plaintiffsays.RULE:Rule 15: Amended and Supplemental Pleadings(a) Amendments.A party may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course at any timebefore a responsive pleading is served or, if the pleading is one to which noresponsive pleading is permitted and the action has not been placed upon the trialcalendar, the party may so amend it at any time within 20 days after it is served.Otherwise a party may amend the party's pleading only by leave of court or bywritten consent of the adverse party; and leave shall be freely given when justiceso requires. A party shall plead in response to an amended pleading within thetime remaining for response to the original pleading or within 10 days afterservice of the amended pleading, whichever period may be the longer, unless thecourt otherwise orders.NotesBeeck later sued Aquaslide on fraud - they reasonably relied on a false statementof fact causing Beeck damages. (app 307) Found that Aquaslide knew or should haveknown that other companies were copying Aquaslide's designs. They’ve had otherlawsuits based on copied slides. President didn’t look at the slide until rightbefore trial. If we had known this before this raises a Rule 11 problem. What is

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