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.

McDonald Apiary, LLC v. Starrh Bees, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nebraska

September 14, 2016

MCDONALD APIARY, LLC, a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, Plaintiff,
v.
STARRH BEES, INC., a California Corporation, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          John M. Gerrard, United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on McDonald Apiary, LLC's motion for leave to file a third amended complaint (filing 135). McDonald's motion will be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         McDonald filed its initial complaint on November 12, 2014, and filed an amended complaint on November 19. Filing 1; filing 6. On July 9, 2015, the Court entered its final progression schedule consistent with the parties' Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(f) report, setting an August 31 deadline for McDonald to move for leave to file an amended pleading. Filing 46. On August 31, McDonald filed an unopposed motion to file a second amended complaint. Filing 57. The motion was granted, see filing 58, and McDonald's operative Second Amended Complaint was filed September 1. Filing 59.

         The operative Second Amended Complaint contains ten claims: (1) Theft of Trade Secrets under Neb. Rev. Stat § 87-501 et seq.; (2) Trespass; (3) Breach of Contract; (4) Tortious Interference with Business Relationships and Expectancies; (5) Conversion; (6) Deceptive Trade Practices under Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 87-301-306; (7) Fraud; (8) Negligence; (9) Quantum Meruit; and (10) Unjust Enrichment. See filing 59 at 9-21. Although many of McDonald's claims center on a 2014 oral contract allegedly entered into by the parties, other claims-such as the trade secrets and deceptive trade practices claims-allege that the defendants purposefully stole beehive location data in order to advance their business and harm McDonald. See filing 59.

         Throughout the progression of this case, the parties moved for several deadline extensions, but never sought to amend the deadline for amending the pleadings or adding parties. Based on the case's current progression schedule, trial is set for October 24, 2016, and all other progression deadlines have passed.

         McDonald filed the current motion for leave to amend its complaint on June 30, 2016. Filing 135. In its proposed Third Amended Complaint, McDonald seeks to add new facts and allegations to several claims. McDonald argues that through the defendants' discovery responses in late March 2016, depositions of the defendants' employees, and by defendant Starrh Bees' placement of its hives for the 2016 season beginning in May 2016, it learned:

• Starrh was placing hives in such large numbers that they could serve no beekeeping purpose;
• Starrh was continuing to expand its placement of hives near and on the same land as McDonald's hives for the 2016 season; and
• "Starrh personnel were impersonating McDonald Apiary in order to deceive McDonald Apiary's landowners into allowing Starrh to place its hives on their lands."

Filing 155 at 8-9. McDonald argues it could not have possibly known by the August 2015 amendment deadline the extent of damage caused by Starrh's actions because the honey production season was not complete, it did not know its business partner would refuse to come back (allegedly due to Starrh's actions), it did not know the placement of all Starrh's hives during the 2015 season and at that time, and it did not know Starrh would continue its actions into the 2016 honey season.

         II. DISCUSSION

         1. Good Cause

         In general, courts are encouraged to allow amendments liberally. Shen v. Leo A. Daly Co., 222 F.3d 472, 478 (8th Cir. 2000). However, the initial question is whether McDonald should be permitted to amend its complaint outside the deadline provided by the scheduling order. "If a party files for leave to amend outside of the court's scheduling order, the party must show cause to modify the schedule." Sherman v. Winco Fireworks, Inc., 532 F.3d 709, 716 (8th Cir. 2008). The good cause requirement found in ...


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.