United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING AND ORDER
A. Bolden United States District Judge
Hughes (“Plaintiff”) filed this lawsuit in the
Superior Court of Connecticut for the Judicial District of
Ansonia and Milford, alleging injuries from a visit to a
Target store in Orange, Connecticut. Target Corporation
(“Defendant”), citing this Court's diversity
jurisdiction, removed the case to federal court. Defendant
now moves for leave to file a Third-Party Complaint and an
extension of time to complete discovery as a result.
reasons stated below, both motions are
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
is a Connecticut citizen. Notice of Removal ¶ 2, ECF No.
1. Defendant, Target Corporation, is a Minnesota Corporation
with its principal place of business in Minneapolis.
Id. Plaintiff filed the initial Complaint in this
matter in Superior Court on January 16, 2017. See
generally Comp., Notice of Removal, Ex. A, ECF No. 1.
alleges that, on the evening of February 26, 2015, she
slipped and fell “due to an excessively slippery
condition” on the floor of Defendant's store in
Orange, Connecticut. Compl. ¶ 7. As a result, she
allegedly suffered “sustained and painful
injuries” to her neck, wrist, and right ankle, and
continues to suffer from migraine headaches and pain
“necessitating injections.” Id. ¶
12. She also alleges that the fall was due to Defendant's
negligence in maintaining the floors of its store, and in
failing to warn her about a potentially dangerous condition.
Id. ¶ 10.
February 16, 2017, Defendant removed the case to this Court,
citing 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Notice of Removal ¶ 5. On
September 5, 2017, Defendant filed its Answer and raised
affirmative defenses, including that any harm to Plaintiff
was “caused by the intervening and superseding acts or
omissions of parties other than the defendant . . . .”
Id. at 6.
now moves for leave to file a Third-Party Complaint against
Diversey Inc. under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 14(a).
See Def. Mot, ECF No. 23. Defendant alleges that
Diversey is not a party to this action, but may be liable
because Defendant had contracted with Diversey to
“provide goods and services including the supplying of
wax chemicals for floor maintenance.” Def Mem. at 2. It
also argues that, under the terms of the contract, Diversey
is obligated to defend and indemnify Target. Id. at
5-6. Defendant Target attached the proposed Third-Party
Complaint to its motion, and Plaintiff has not opposed the
order to facilitate discovery related to the putative third
party, Defendant seeks an extension of time. See
Def. Mot. for Extension of Time, ECF No. 26. Defendant wishes
to extend all deadlines by six months, and Plaintiff consents
to the request. Id.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
14(a)(1) states that a defendant “may, as third-party
plaintiff, serve a summons and complaint on a nonparty who is
or may be liable to it for all or part of the claim against
it. But the third-party plaintiff must, by motion, obtain the
court's leave if it files the third-party complaint more
than 14 days after serving its original answer.” The
“traditional grounds for a third-party action are
indemnification, contribution, or subrogation.”
iBasis Glob., Inc. v. Diamond Phone Card, Inc., 278
F.R.D. 70, 74 (E.D.N.Y. 2011) (citing Int'l Paving
Sys. Inc. v. Van-Tulco, Inc., 866 F.Supp. 682, 687
(E.D.N.Y.1994); Telecom Intern. America, Ltd. v. AT &
T Corp., No. 96-CV-1366, 1999 WL 777954, at *4 (S.D.N.Y.
Sept. 30, 1999)). The threshold issue is whether the outcome
of the third-party claim is contingent on the outcome of the
main claim. Id.
deciding whether leave should be granted, courts will
consider factors including: “(a) whether the moving
party deliberately delayed or was derelict in filing the
motion; (b) whether impleading would unduly delay or
complicate the trial; (c) whether impleading would prejudice
the plaintiff or the third-party defendant; and (d) whether
the proposed third-party complaint states a claim upon which
relief can be granted.” Id. (quoting
Capitol Records, Inc. v. City Hall Records, Inc.,
No. 07-CV-6488, 2008 WL 2811481, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. July 18,
2008). The decision to grant leave is within the court's
discretion. Suckan v. Metro-N. R. Co., No.
3:11-cv-1070 CSH, 2011 WL 4841018, at *1 (D. Conn. Oct. 12,
moves for leave to file a Third-Party Complaint against
Diversey, because this company allegedly is responsible for
the cleaning of floors and the training of staff at this
Target store. Under the terms of the contract between
Defendant and Diversey, Diversey allegedly agreed to defend
and indemnify Target against lawsuits, such as the one
brought by Ms. Hughes here. Plaintiff has not opposed the
motion. Defendant also moves for an extension of
time in order to complete discovery related to the