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Keisler v. Manorcare Health Services-Washington Township

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

March 4, 2019

MARY A. KEISLER and JOHN S. KEISLER, Plaintiffs,
v.
MANORCARE HEALTH SERVICES-WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, PORTFOLIO ONE, LLC, HCR HEALTHCARE, LLC, HEARTLAND, LLC, HCR MANORCARE, INC, LP CARLYLE PARTNERS, MANOR CARE, INC., OPERATIONS II HCR MANORCARE, ABC COMPANIES (1-10), DEF PARTNERSHIPS (1-10), JOHN DOE PHYSICIANS (1-10), JANE DOE NURSES (1-20), and JANE MOE TECHNICIANS, CNAs, and PARAMEDIC EMPLOYEES (1-20), Defendants.

          DAVID L. GORDON PHILLIP J. ANDERSON SHANE P. SIMON BUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC Attorney for Defendants.

          OPINION

          NOEL L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.

          This case concerns common law and statutory claims stemming from injuries sustained by Plaintiff Mary A. Keisler while at a nursing home operated by Defendants in Washington Township, New Jersey. Presently before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) (“Motion to Dismiss”). This Court will grant Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for the reasons stated below.

         BACKGROUND

         This Court takes its facts from Plaintiffs' complaint. Between February 17 and February 25, 2015, Plaintiff Mary Keisler was a patient at the nursing home operated by Defendants in Washington Township, New Jersey. Plaintiff John S. Keisler was her husband. At some point in February 2015, it appears Mary Keisler suffered injuries, which included a hip fracture, severe bruising, facial contusions, and lacerations.

         On December 1, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Gloucester County. The complaint alleged four counts against all Defendants for (1) negligence, (2) violations of N.J. Rev. Stat. § 30:13-1, et seq., (3) punitive damages, and (4) per quod. Defendants removed the case to this Court on March 9, 2017 on the basis of diversity.

         Discovery proceeded shortly thereafter. On November 21, 2017, Plaintiffs' counsel informed the Court via letter that Mary Keisler had passed away. (ECF No. 15.) The letter stated that John Keisler still wished to pursue the claims, but needed to set up Mrs. Keisler's estate first. (ECF No. 15.) Discovery deadlines were extended sixty days to accommodate Plaintiffs' schedule. (ECF No. 17.) On January 26, 2018, Plaintiffs' counsel informed the Court that he had not been able to get in contact with Mr. Keisler and had hired a private investigator to find his client. (ECF No. 18.) Discovery deadlines were again extended for another sixty days. (ECF No. 20.) Besides a status conference in March and July 2018, no further progress has been made in this case. As of the writing of this opinion, it appears Mr. Keisler has not been located nor has he responded to correspondence from his counsel.

         On August 10, 2018, Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss. No. response was filed by Plaintiffs. Accordingly, the Motion to Dismiss is ripe for adjudication.

         ANALYSIS

         A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

         This Court has jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         B. Rule 41(b) Standard

         Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b), the Court may dismiss an action when a plaintiff fails to prosecute his case or comply with the court rules or a court order. Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(b).

         Generally, when deciding whether to dismiss a case for a plaintiff's failure to prosecute, the Court must consider the six factors set forth in Poulis v. State Farm Fire and Casualty ...


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