Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

IN RE OMEPRAZOLE PATENT LITIGATION

June 1, 2004.

In re OMEPRAZOLE PATENT LITIGATION


The opinion of the court was delivered by: BARBARA JONES, District Judge

Opinion

Eon appeals Special Master Peterson's Order of April 26, 2004 ("Order"), which granted Astra's motion to withdraw and amend the default admissions under Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(b), and denied Eon's motion to deem its requests for admission conclusively established. For the reasons below, the Order is AFFIRMED.

BACKGROUND

  This opinion assumes familiarity with the factual circumstances leading up to the Order, but summarizes pertinent facts for convenience.

  Eon served Astra with its Fourth Set for Requests for Admission on October 14, 2003 ("Requests" or "RFAs"). Astra initially took the position that it was not required to file a response because the response would have been due after the close of discovery under the scheduling order then in place. However, when fact discovery was extended to December 15, Astra acknowledged its duty to submit responses.

  On March 4, 2004, Eon, having received no response to date, moved for an order holding all of its Requests conclusively established, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 36.*fn1 In opposition, Astra asserted that its failure to file responses was "inadvertent," urged the Court to permit withdrawal of the default admissions, and attached for the first time formal responses to Eon's Requests. (Ltr. from Astra to Special Master Peterson, dated Mar. 15, 2004).

  In the Order, the Special Master applied a two-prong test to decide whether to allow Astra to withdraw its default and amend its response. Specifically, he required the parties to show that, "(1) the presentation of the merits must be subserved by allowing the amendment, withdrawal or late response, and (2) the party that obtained the admission must not be prejudiced in its presentation of the case if the amendment, withdrawal, or late response is permitted."*fn2 Order at 2 (quoting 7-36 MOORE'S FEDERAL PRACTICE — CIVIL § 36.13 (Mathew Bender 2004)). Applying this test to the facts as he found them, the Special Master held that the merits would be subserved by not allowing Astra to amend, and that Eon did not demonstrate that it would suffer prejudice sufficient to deny Astra's motion to amend. Therefore, the Special Master held that Astra should be allowed to amend its default responses. Eon appealed.

  DISCUSSION

  a. Standard of Review

  The Court reviews those portions of the Special Master's Order that Eon appeals de novo, and "may adopt or affirm; modify; wholly or partly reject or reverse" the Order pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 53. See F.R.C.P. 53(g)(3)-(4).

  b. Eon's Appeal

  Eon argues that that the Order "was erroneously decided on the law and the facts." (Ltr. from Eon to the Hon. Barbara S. Jones, dated 4/28/04 ("4/28 Ltr."), at 1). Specifically, Eon asserts that the Second Circuit uses more stringent standards for allowing amendment of responses that were admitted by default than those used by the Special Master, which, Eon argues, used precedent from different circuits and standards that would apply to amendment of timely-made responses.

  The Court recognizes that there are cases in this circuit that have questioned whether the same standards should apply in analyzing a motion to amend admissions that were properly and timely filed, and a motion to amend admissions that were deemed admitted by default. See Weinberger v. Provident Life & Cas. Ins. Co., 1999 WL 225537, *1 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 19, 1999). However, none of these cases — and no cases that are binding upon this Court — go so far as to hold squarely that this standard does not apply in cases of default. See id. (declining to hold that the relief afforded by Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(b) is not available in cases of default); Baker v. Dorfman, 2000 WL 420551, *5-6 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 17, 2000) (same).

  In addition, there are several courts in this circuit that have applied the two-prong test to motions to amend responses admitted by default.*fn3 See, e.g., Securities and Exchange Comm'n v. Batterman, 2002 WL 31190171, *6 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2002); Securities and Exchange Comm'n v. Thrasher, 1996 WL 460148, *1 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.