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Superior Services, Inc. v. Universal Warranty Corp.
United States District Court, D. Nebraska
August 22, 2016
SUPERIOR SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP. and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. ACI DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP.; MIC GENERAL INSURANCE CORP.; and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. M.S.E. DISTRIBUTING, INC., Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP. and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. THOMAS HANLON, d/b/a Dealer Direct, Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP., and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. AUTOMOTIVE DEVELOPMENT SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP., and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. EARL DANIELS, d/b/a Professional Dealer Services, Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP., and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. GAINES FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP., and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. INSURED DEALER SERVICES, INC., Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP., and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. VISION MARKETING GROUP & ASSOCIATES, INC., f/k/a Vision Marketing Group & Associates LLC, d/b/a Vision Marketing, Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP., and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants. AUTO CARE EXTENDED SERVICE CORPORATION, d/b/a Automotive Concepts, Plaintiff,
UNIVERSAL WARRANTY CORP., and ALLY INSURANCE HOLDINGS, INC., Defendants.
D. Thalken United States Magistrate Judge.
matter is before the court on the parties’ August 19,
2016, Stipulation to Consolidate Cases for Pretrial
Management and Discovery Only (filed in all ten cases). The
parties state there are common issues of fact and law raised
in these lawsuits. Generally, these ten lawsuits allege
claims for breach of contract and other claims based on
vehicle service and warranty contracts and other financial
services products purchased by motor vehicle dealers. The
parties also agree consolidation for pretrial management and
discovery will result in efficiencies for the parties and the
Rule of Civil Procedure 42 provides: “If actions before
the court involve a common question of law or fact, the court
may: (1) join for hearing or trial any or all matters at
issue in the actions; (2) consolidate the actions; or (3)
issue any other orders to avoid unnecessary cost or
delay.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 42. “Consolidation of
separate actions presenting a common issue of law or fact is
permitted under Rule 42 as a matter of convenience and
economy in judicial administration. The district court is
given broad discretion to decide whether consolidation would
be desirable and the decision inevitably is
contextual.” 9 Charles A. Wright & Arthur R.
Miller, Federal Practice & Procedure § 2383 (2d ed.
1994). Whether to grant a Rule 42(a) motion to consolidate is
within the sound discretion of the court. United States
Envtl. Prot. Agency v. Green Forest, 921 F.2d 1394,
1402-03 (8th Cir. 1990). The “court [must] weigh the
saving of time and effort that consolidation under Rule 42(a)
would produce against any inconvenience, delay, or expense
that it would cause . . . .” Wright & Miller,
supra, § 2383. “[D]istrict courts generally take a
favorable view of consolidation . . . .” Id.
Furthermore, “[a]ctions involving the same parties are
apt candidates for consolidation.” Id. §
2384. However, under Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(b), consolidation is
considered inappropriate “if it leads to inefficiency,
inconvenience, or unfair prejudice to a party.”
EEOC v. HBE Corp., 135 F.3d 543, 551 (8th Cir.
review of the cases, the court is convinced these actions
involve the same defendants and the same issues.
Additionally, the cases involve common questions of law and
fact. Due to the similarity in the cases, the parties will
likely present similar motions and arguments during
discovery. Consolidation during the discovery phase will
avoid duplicative parallel activities. Consolidation for
discovery will promote the goals of efficient use of judicial
resources without leading to inconvenience, delay, unfair
prejudice, or additional expense. Upon consideration,
IT IS ORDERED:
1. The parties’ August 19, 2016, Stipulation to
Consolidate Cases for Pretrial Management and Discovery Only
(Filing No. 49 in 8:15CV396, 8:15CV398, 8:15CV400, and
8:15CV402; Filing No. 48 in 8:15CV401; Filing No. 23 in
8:16CV346) is granted.
2. The ten above-captioned cases are consolidated for
purposes of discovery and pretrial management only.
3. Case No. 8:15CV396 continues to be designated as the
“Lead Case.” Case numbers 8:15CV398, 8:15CV400,
8:15CV401, and 8:15CV402 continue designated as “Member
Cases” and case numbers 8:16CV276, 8:16CV328,
8:16CV346, 8:16CV361, and 8:16CV362 are hereby designated as
“Member Cases.” 4. The court’s CM/ECF
System has the capacity for “spreading” text
among the consolidated cases. If properly docketed, the
documents filed in the Lead Case will automatically be filed
in all Member Cases. To this end, the parties are instructed
to file all further documents related to discovery (except
those described in paragraph 5) in the Lead Case, No.
8:15CV396, and to select the option “yes” in
response to the System’s question whether to spread the
5. The parties may not use the spread text feature to file
complaints, amended complaints, and answers; to pay filing
fees electronically using pay.gov; or to file items related
to service of process.
6. If a party believes an item in addition to those described
in paragraph 4 should not be filed in all the consolidated
cases, the party must move for permission to file the item in
one or more member cases. The motion must be filed in all the
consolidated cases using the spread text feature.
7. The August 12, 2016, Protective Order (Filing No 45 in
case 8:15CV396) will apply to the newly consolidated cases.
8. The deadlines and discovery limitations contained in the
June 20, 2016, Order for Initial Progression of Case (Filing
No. 40 in case 8:15CV396) shall apply equally ...