United States District Court, D. Arizona
Cody A. Andrews, Plaintiff,
Columbia Machine Incorporated, et al., Defendants.
Honorable John J. Tuchi, United States District Judge.
issue are three Motions to Dismiss (Docs. 48, 50, 56) filed
by Defendants CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company, Yavapai
Block Company, Inc., and Paradigm Management Services, LLC,
respectively. In this lawsuit, Plaintiff Cody A. Andrews
claims he was injured while working for Defendant Arizona
Labor Force Inc. at Yavapai Block's facility. He claims
that the machine he was working on, manufactured by Defendant
Columbia Machine Inc., was unsafe, causing his injuries.
CopperPoint provided workers' compensation coverage to
Arizona Labor Force, and Plaintiff alleges Paradigm assumed
at least part of CopperPoint's obligation to pay for
Plaintiff's medical treatment.
April 28, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Columbia
Machine in Arizona state court, raising claims of strict
product liability and negligence. (Doc. 1-1.) Columbia
Machine timely removed the action to this Court based on
diversity jurisdiction. (Doc. 1.)
January 12, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint to add
claims against four new named Defendants (“New
Defendants”)-including a claim of gross negligence
against Yavapai Block (Count 4) and a claim for declaratory
relief against Yavapai Block, CopperPoint, Paradigm, and
Arizona Labor Force (Count 7)-as well as two claims against
unknown defendants (Counts 5 and 6) and one claim Plaintiff
calls “Damages” (Count 8). (Doc. 36, FAC.)
Plaintiff alleged that the Court has supplemental
jurisdiction over the new claims, Counts 4 through 8, under
28 U.S.C. § 1367. (FAC ¶ 14.)
Block moved to dismiss the claim of gross negligence against
it (Count 4), to which Plaintiff never filed a Response,
entitling Yavapai Block to summary disposition of its motion
under LRCiv 7.2(i). The Court granted Plaintiff's
subsequent stipulation to dismiss Count 4. (Docs. 50, 82,
88.) To the extent Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief against
Yavapai Block in Count 7 of the Amended Complaint, it is
premised on Plaintiff's claim of gross negligence against
Yavapai Block, which Plaintiff has agreed to dismiss.
(See FAC ¶¶ 51-63.) Without Count 4,
Plaintiff has not stated any basis for Yavapai Block's
liability in this matter, and Plaintiff thus has no claim-for
damages or injunctive relief-against Yavapai Block.
Therefore, the Court will grant Yavapai Block's Motion to
Dismiss (Doc. 50) and dismiss Yavapai Block as Defendant in
has not even attempted to state a basis for the liability of
CopperPoint, Paradigm, or Arizona Labor Force in this matter.
In Count 7, Plaintiff makes the strange request that the
Court order Yavapai Block, CopperPoint, Paradigm, and Arizona
Labor Force to participate in this matter, even in the
absence of any claims against them. (FAC ¶¶ 51-63.)
The Court agrees with CopperPoint and Paradigm that the FAC
contains no operative allegations against the New Defendants,
that no actual case or controversy exists with regard to the
New Defendants, and thus that Plaintiff has no claim for
declaratory judgment against the New Defendants under the
Arizona statutes. See A.R.S. § 12-1831 et
seq.; Ariz. State Bd. of Dirs. v. Phoenix Union High
Sch. Dist., 424 P.2d 819, 823 (Ariz. 1967).
argues that the Arizona Supreme Court's decision in
Aitken v. Industrial Commission of Arizona, 904 P.2d
456 (Ariz. 1995), somehow compels this Court to require the
New Defendants' participation in this litigation. Neither
Aitken nor any of the other cases Plaintiff cites do
anything of the sort. Aitken provides that an
insurance carrier's lien may be reduced by the amount of
employer fault, but it does not require that, in an instance
such as this, the carriers and employers be compelled to
appear as Defendants in the absence of any claims against
them. See Id. Even if the Arizona Supreme Court is
considering the issue of the equitable apportionment of a
carrier's lien in a new context in reviewing Twin
City Fire Ins. Co. v. Leija, 403 P.3d 587 (Ariz.Ct.App.
2017), an Order compelling the carriers or employers to
appear as defendants in the plaintiff's third-party case
is not at issue. Plaintiff's argument that compelling the
New Defendants to appear would be in the interests of
judicial economy is simply not the same as raising a claim
against them, and in any event the Court disagrees that the
interests of judicial economy would be served by such an
Plaintiff fails to state a judiciable claim against the New
Defendants, the Court will dismiss Count 7 against all of the
New Defendants, including non-moving Defendant Arizona Labor
Force. See Shoop v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust,
465 Fed. App'x 646 (9th Cir. 2012).
its review of the Amended Complaint (see FAC ¶
64), the Court also notes that “Count Eight” is a
prayer for damages and not a separate claim. See,
e.g., Higton v. Quicken Loans, Inc., No.
2:10-cv-01320-JWS, 2011 WL 333357, at *4 (D. Ariz. Jan. 31,
2011). The Court thus strikes the heading “Count
Eight” from the Amended Complaint.
Plaintiff has failed to state a claim against the New
Defendants, the remaining claims in this matter are Counts 1
through 3 against Columbia Machine Inc. and Counts 5 and 6
against unnamed defendants.
THEREFORE ORDERED granting CopperPoint Mutual Insurance
Company's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 48) and dismissing all
of Plaintiff's claims against it.
FURTHER ORDERED granting Yavapai Block Company, Inc.'s
Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 50) and dismissing all of Plaintiff s
claims against it.
FURTHER ORDERED granting Paradigm Management Services
LLC's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 56) and dismissing all of
Plaintiff s claims against it.
FURTHER ORDERED dismissing all of Plaintiff s claims against
Arizona Labor Force, Inc. and striking the heading