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Cusack v. Bendpak, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Idaho

August 7, 2018

COREY CUSACK, individually, Plaintiff,
v.
BENDPAK, INC., a foreign corporation, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          DAVID C. NYE U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Bendpak, Inc.'s (“Bendpak”) Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. 66. Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented. Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and because the Court finds that the decisional process would not be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will decide the Motion without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc. Civ. R. 7.1(d)(2)(ii). For the reasons outlined below, the Court DENIES the Motion.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On March 15, 2017, the Court held oral argument on numerous pending Motions. Following the hearing, the Court issued a Memorandum Decision and Order. Dkt. 58. Relevant to the instant Motion to Dismiss are the Court's rulings regarding BendPak's Motion in Limine Re: Subsequent Remedial Measures and Cusack's Motion to Amend Complaint. The Court will briefly discuss each Motion and the Court's prior rulings on the same.

         In its Motion in Limine Re: Subsequent Remedial Measures, Bendpak petitioned the Court to preclude all evidence of subsequent remedial measures it made (specifically, BendPak's introduction of a secondary safety bracket) to the RJ-7 Rolling Jacks that are at issue in this case. The Court granted in part and denied in part this Motion based upon Idaho Code section 6-1406 and held that, “[c]onsistent with that statute, Cusack will not be allowed to introduce evidence of BendPak's adding of the secondary safety bracket for purposes of negligence, defect etc., but will be able to introduce it under a ‘failure to warn' theory.” Dkt. 58, at 9.

         In his Motion to Amend Complaint, Cusack requested that he be allowed to (1) add a claim for punitive damages, and (2) remove all Defendants except BendPak from the case caption and from the factual allegations of the Complaint. Ultimately, the Court denied without prejudice the portion of Cusack's Motion seeking to add a claim for punitive damages and granted his request to remove everyone except BendPak from the Complaint. Id. at 14-15. Cusack subsequently filed his Amended Complaint. Dkt. 60.

         Following the issuance of the Court's Decision-and Cusack filing his Amended Complaint-BendPak filed a Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 66) arguing that, in light of the Court's prior ruling, the Court must now dismiss certain of Cusack's claims as they fail to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Additionally, BendPak argues that several of the factual assertions in the Amended Complaint must be dismissed as they are contrary the law of the case.

         III. LEGAL STANDARD

         A motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim challenges the legal sufficiency of the claims stated in the complaint. Conservation Force v. Salazar, 646 F.3d 1240, 1242 (9th Cir. 2011). “A complaint generally must satisfy the notice pleading requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) to avoid dismissal under a Rule 12(b)(6) motion.” Id. (citing Porter v. Jones, 319 F.3d 483, 494 (9th Cir. 2003)). “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only ‘a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,' in order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, '” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).

         To sufficiently state a claim for relief and survive a 12(b)(6) motion, the pleading “does not need detailed factual allegations;” however, the “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Id. Mere “labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Id. Rather, there must be “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Id. at 570; see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).

         In light of Twombly and Iqbal, the Ninth Circuit summarized the governing standard as follows: “In sum, for a complaint to survive a motion to dismiss, the nonconclusory factual content, and reasonable inferences from that content, must be plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief.” Moss v. U.S. Secret Serv., 572 F.3d 962, 969 (9th Cir. 2009).

         In deciding whether to grant a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations in the pleading under attack. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 663. A court is not, however, “required to accept as true allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences.” Sprewell v. Golden State Warriors, 266 F.3d 979, 988 (9th Cir. 2001).

         IV. ...


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