United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
E. STROM, Senior Judge United States District Court
matter is before the Court on a stipulation from Hartmann Hay
Company, LLC (“Hartmann Hay”), Kent Hartmann
(“Hartmann”), and Wilbur-Ellis Company, n/k/a
Wilbur-Ellis Company LLC (“Wilbur-Ellis”). The
parties seek to consolidate Hartmann Hay Co., LLC v.
Wilbur-Ellis Co., Case No. 8:16CV123 (“Hartmann
Hay Case”) and Wilbur-Ellis Co. v. Kent
Hartmann, 8:16CV125 (“Wilbur-Ellis Case”).
See Case No. 8:16CV123, Filing No. 27 and Case No.
8:16CV125, Filing No. 22. After review of the stipulation and
relevant law the Court finds as follows.
Hay initially filed the Hartmann Hay case in the District
Court of Hall County, Nebraska. See Case No.
8:16CV123, Filing No. 1-1. On March 23, 2016, Wilbur-Ellis
removed the Hartmann Hay Case to this Court (Case No.
8:16CV123, Filing No. 1). Also on March 23, 2016,
Wilbur-Ellis filed the Wilbur-Ellis case against Hartmann, a
member of Hartmann Hay, in this Court. See Case No.
8:16CV125, Filing No. 1.
the parties seek to consolidate the Hartmann Hay case and the
Wilbur-Ellis case with the Hartmann Hay case designated as
the lead case. The parties agree that the two cases share
common issues of law and fact making consolidation
appropriate under Fed.R.Civ.P. 42(a) (Case No. 8:16CV123,
Filing No. 27 at 2 and Case No. 8:16CV125, Filing No. 22 at
2). Second, the parties agree that “Hartmann Hay shall
be the lead Plaintiff in the Consolidated Case with the
initial burden of proof on its claims at trial.”
Id. Third, the parties agreed to and proposed
deadlines for the progression of the consolidated case
(Id. at 2-3). Finally, the parties agreed to and
proposed to amend the Rule 26(f) Report to include
“discussion of the elements of [defendant's] Tenth,
Eleven and Twelfth Affirmative Defenses that were
inadvertently omitted from the PDF when filed.”
Id. at 3-4.
Rule of Civil Procedure 42(a) allows for consolidation of
cases involving common issues of law or fact. Fed.R.Civ.P.
42(a). “The district court is given broad discretion to
decide whether consolidation would be desirable and the
decision inevitably is contextual.” Cisler v. Paul
A. Willsie Co., Case No. 8:09CV365, 2010 WL 3237222, at
*2 (D. Neb. Aug. 13, 2010).
review of the matter, the Court concludes that consolidation
of the Hartmann Hay Case and the Wilbur-Ellis case is
appropriate under Rule 42(a). Accordingly, these cases will
be consolidated with the Hartmann Hay case designated as the
lead case. In addition, Hartmann Hay will be designated as
the lead plaintiff in accordance with the joint stipulation.
November 21, 2016, following the filing of the stipulation,
the Court issued an order setting the schedule for the final
progression of this case. Therefore, the Court will not
readdress the proposed dates at this time. Finally, the Rule
26(f) Report will be deemed amended as provided.
Hartmann Hay case and the Wilbur-Ellis case are consolidated.
Hartmann Hay case is designated as the lead case with
Hartmann Hay ...