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Kane v. UPS Pension Plan Board of Trustees

United States District Court, Fourth Circuit

October 23, 2013

GREGORY KANE, Plaintiff,
v.
UPS PENSION PLAN BOARD OF TRUSTEES, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD D. BENNETT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Gregory Kane ("Plaintiff") brings this action for alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. ("ERISA").[1] Presently pending before this Court is Kane's Motion to Reinstate a Claim (ECF No. 38).[2] Specifically, Plaintiff seeks to reinstate Count II of his original Compliant, which alleged that Defendant UPS Pension Plan Board of Trustees ("Defendant") breached its fiduciary duties under § 404 of ERISA "by failing to administer the plan in a prudent manner in the interests of the Plan's participants; and by failing to administer the plan" consistent with the statutory mandates of ERISA § 404(a)(1)(D). See Pl.'s Compl. ¶ 42. UPS Pension Board opposes Plaintiff's Motion on the grounds that the motion is untimely; that there is no good cause to permit amendment at this stage of the proceeding; and that amendment would be futile under ERISA. See generally Def.'s Mem. Opp'n, ECF No. 42. The Court has reviewed the submissions by both parties and finds that no hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011). For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff Kane's Motion to Reinstate a Claim (ECF No. 38) is DENIED.

FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

For purpose of this Motion, this Court accepts as true the facts alleged in the Plaintiffs' Complaint. See Aziz v. Alcolac, Inc., 658 F.3d 388, 390 (4th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff filed this action on December 23, 2011, asserting a claim for improper denial of benefits under ERISA § 502(a)(1)(B) ("Count I") and a claim for breach of fiduciary duty pursuant to ERISA § 502(a)(2) ("Count II"). On March 12, 2012, the parties stipulated to a voluntary dismissal of Count II without prejudice. See Stipulation of Dismissal, ECF No. 5 ("The parties stipulate that Plaintiff dismisses Count II without prejudice to reinstate the claim as if originally filed on December 23, 2011....").

This Court issued the original Scheduling Order (ECF No. 10) on March 14, 2012. Subsequently, this Court granted the parties' Joint Proposal to Modify the Scheduling Order (ECF No. 13) and moved the deadlines for amendment of pleadings and for requesting discovery to May 29, 2012.[3] See Modified Scheduling Order, ECF No. 14. Thereafter, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Limited Discovery (ECF No. 15), which this Court granted in part and denied in part on November 19, 2012. See Order, ECF No. 26. Discovery was to be completed by February 27, 2013. Id.

Then, in March 2013, this Court granted the parties' proposal to extend the deadline for dispositive motions to May 15, 2013 in order to "permit Plaintiff sufficient time to review the remaining documents and secure any remaining information related to the same." See Joint Status Report and Consent Request, ECF No. 27; Order, ECF No. 28. On May 8, 2013, Plaintiff moved for an additional extension, stating that four additional items had not been produced until April 29, 2013, and that time was too short to review the materials before the dispositive motion deadline due to various conflicts in the schedules of Plaintiff and Plaintiff's counsel. See Unopposed Req. of Pl. Extension Deadline, ECF No. 29. The Court granted this request and extended the dispositive motion deadline to June 14, 2013. See Order, ECF No. 30. Thereafter, this Court granted the parties' Joint Motion to Set Briefing Schedule (ECF No. 31), which established the following schedule for the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment:

Plaintiff's Motion - June 14, 2013
Defendant's Response and Cross-Motion - July 3, 2013
Plaintiff's Reply and Response to Cross-Motion - July 23, 2013
Defendant's Reply - August 9, 2013

In accordance with this schedule, Plaintiff filed his Motion for Summary Judgment on-time on June 14, 2013. Notably, Plaintiff claimed he was entitled to judgment on Count II, but he did not move to reinstate his claim. See Pl.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 33-1, at 21-25. On July 3, 2013, Defendant filed its timely Response and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 34-1), in which Defendant noted that Count II had been dismissed. On July 22-the day before the deadline-Plaintiff moved for a three day extension to file his Response. After this Court granted the extension (ECF No. 36), Plaintiff filed his Reply and Opposition (ECF No. 37) on July 27, 2013. Contemporaneously, Plaintiff filed the pending Motion to Reinstate a Claim (ECF No. 38).

STANDARD OF REVIEW

When a party seeks leave to amend a pleading after the deadline set in the court's scheduling order, the party must satisfy both the "good cause" standard of Rule 16(b)(4) and Rule 15(a)(2)'s standard for amending pleadings. See CBX Tech., Inc. v. GCC Tech., LLC, JKB-10-2112, 2012 WL 3038639, at *3 (D. Md. July 24, 2012); see also Nourison Rug Corp. v. Parvizian, 535 F.3d 295, 298-99 (4th Cir. 2008) ("[A]fter the deadlines provided by a scheduling order have passed, the good cause standard must be satisfied to justify leave to amend."); Odyssey Travel Center, Inc. v. RO Cruises, Inc., 262 F.Supp.2d 618, 631 (D. Md. 2003)("[O]nce the scheduling order's deadline for amendment of the pleadings has passed, a ...


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