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Noethe v. Regional Health Network, Inc.
United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Western Division
July 11, 2019
JOSEPH NOETHE and CHRISTINA M. NOETHE, Natural Guardians and Next Friend of H.C.N., a minor, and as individuals and husband and wife, Plaintiffs,
REGIONAL HEALTH NETWORK, INC., d/b/a REGIONAL HEALTH SPEARFISH HOSPITAL, d/b/a REGIONAL HEALTH MEDICAL CLINIC, d/b/a SPEARFISH REGIONAL MEDICAL CLINIC, d/b/a QUEEN CITY REGIONAL MEDICAL CLINIC, d/b/a SPEARFISH REGIONAL HOSPITAL, a South Dakota corporation, REGIONAL HEALTH PHYSICIANS, INC., a South Dakota corporation, REBECCA L. KNUDSON, M.D., an individual, RAPID CITY REGIONAL HOSPITAL, INC., d/b/a REGIONAL HEALTH RAPID CITY HOSPITAL, d/b/a REGIONAL HEALTH MEDICAL CLINIC, a South Dakota corporation, STEVEN L. BENN, M.D., an individual, REGIONAL HEALTH INC., a South Dakota corporation, REGINA M. REYNOLDS, M.D., and CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL COLORADO HEALTH SYSTEM, a Colorado Corporation, Defendants.
JEFFREY L. VIKEN, CHIEF JUDGE
brought this medical negligence action on behalf of their
minor child, whom they allege was injured at birth by
defendants. (Docket 24). Defendants Regina Reynolds and
Children's Hospital Colorado Health Systems each moved to
dismiss the complaint against them for lack of personal
jurisdiction. (Dockets 40 & 46). Presently pending before
the court are these defendants' motions to stay discovery
until their motions to dismiss are resolved. (Dockets 42
& 48). In their motions, defendants each state plaintiffs
oppose the requested stays. Id. However, plaintiffs
did not file a written response to the motions as required by
local rule. D.S.D. Civ. LR 7.1(B). The court accordingly
considers the motions to stay discovery
stay of discovery is appropriate pending resolution of a
potentially dispositive motion where the motion appear[s] to
have substantial grounds or, stated another way, do[es] not
appear to be without foundation in law.” Johnson v.
New York Univ. Sch. of Educ., 205 F.R.D. 433, 434
(S.D.N.Y. 2002) (internal quotations and citations omitted);
see also Vivid Techs., Inc. v. Am. Sci. & Eng'g,
Inc., 200 F.3d 795, 803-04 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(b), (c); 26(b); 42(b)) (“When a
particular issue may be dispositive, the court may stay
discovery concerning other issues until the critical issue is
resolved.”); 8 Charles Alan Wright & Richard L.
Marcus, Federal Practice & Procedure §
2040, at 521 (2d ed. 1994)). “A stay of discovery
pending the determination of a dispositive motion is an
eminently logical means to prevent wasting the time and
effort of all concerned, and to make the most efficient use
of judicial resources.” Chavous v. D.C. Fin.
Responsibility & Mgmt. Assistance Auth., 201 F.R.D.
1, 2 (D.D.C. 2001) (internal quotation omitted).
defendants' motions to dismiss do not appear to be
clearly without foundation in law. If defendants' motions
are successful, the complaint against them will be dismissed.
Forcing them to undergo merits-related discovery at this
stage of the case is unnecessary.
that defendants Regina Reynolds' and Children's
Hospital Colorado Health Systems' motions to stay
discovery (Dockets 42 & 48) are granted. If the court
denies defendants' motions to dismiss, discovery shall
resume with an order setting discovery deadlines.
Plaintiffs also seem to assume
discovery is already stayed. In their responses to
defendants' motions to dismiss, plaintiffs assert the
motions should be denied because no discovery has yet taken
place. (Dockets 45 at p. 3 & 51 at p. 3).
The court would have permitted
plaintiffs to undertake discovery on the jurisdictional
issues presented in defendants' motions to dismiss.
See Steinbuch v. Cutler, 518 F.3d 580, 589 (8th Cir.
2008) (reversing dismissal of complaint for lack of personal
jurisdiction where district court refused to allow plaintiff
jurisdictional discovery). Plaintiffs never requested that
discovery-in fact, their responses to the motions to dismiss
appear to be premised in no small part on the lack of
discovery-and those motions are now fully briefed. Under
these circumstances, the court does not see a point in
permitting jurisdictional discovery. If plaintiffs wish ...