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Reyes v. J.C. Penny Company, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

December 30, 2014

JEANA REYES, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
J. C. PENNY COMPANY, INC., et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

DOUGLAS E. ARPERT, Magistrate Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' motion to extend the discovery deadline for a period of 90 days and to adjourn the Final Pretrial Conference.[1] In support of their Motion, Plaintiffs have filed the Certification of Thomas F. Shebell, Esquire. See dkt. no. 14. Neither a Brief nor a Statement as to why no Brief is required was filed. See Local Civil Rule 7.1(d)(4).

In his Certification, Mr. Shebell simply states:

"Plaintiff has advised my office that she has returned to active treatment with a new facility, Seaview Orthopaedics, and this will require counsel to obtain her new records and provide same to defense counsel."

Further, Mr. Shebell states:

"Additionally, plaintiffs seek to retain an economic expert to address Ms. Reyes' wage loss claim. In light of this information, it will be necessary for counsel to obtain additional narrative reports related to her on going condition and to clarify the economic damages component."

Certification of Counsel at paras. 3-4. For these reasons, Plaintiffs seek to extend the existing discovery deadlines by 90 days.

Defendant J.C. Penny Corporation, Inc. has opposed Plaintiffs' Motion. See dkt. no. 15. In short, Defendant maintains:

"Plaintiffs have not established any excusable neglect for their failure to retain an economic expert prior to the deadline set forth in the Court's scheduling order, i.e., September 30, 2014, and for requesting an extension of the fact discovery period prior to its expiration on August 14, 2014."

Defendant's Brief in Opposition at page 1.

Specifically with respect to Plaintiffs' desire to engage an economic expert at this stage of the proceedings, Defendant maintains that Plaintiffs were aware of the extent of Ms. Reyes' wage loss claim when she answered Defendant's interrogatories in June 2014 and when she testified at her deposition on August 1, 2014. Likewise, Defendant maintains, Ms. Reyes testified in August about her intention to seek additional medical treatment. Ultimately, Defendant argues that Plaintiffs' Motion should not be granted because (1) it will suffer prejudice, (2) the resolution of this case will delayed, (3) the reason(s) for delay were within Plaintiffs' control, and (4) Plaintiffs have not established "excusable neglect" to justify the relief sought. The Court agrees and for the reasons that follow Plaintiffs' Motion is DENIED.

DISCUSSION:

Plaintiffs commenced this action in the Superior Court of New Jersey based on injuries Ms. Reyes alleged suffered as a result of a trip and fall accident that occurred at a J.C. Penny store on July 21, 2013. On October 4, 2013, Defendant removed Plaintiffs' action to this Court.

On December 19, 2013, following an initial scheduling conference, the Court entered a Scheduling Order that required, among other things, completion of fact discovery by June 17, 2014 and service of Plaintiffs' experts' ...


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