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ContinuumCare Pharmacy LLC v. Maples Health Care Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia

December 19, 2017

CONTINUUMCARE PHARMACY, LLC Plaintiff,
v.
MAPLES HEALTH CARE, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAVID A. FABER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This dispute centers on whether a nursing home facility, Maples Health Care, failed to pay for goods and services owed to ContinuumCare Pharmacy, and improperly terminated their contract by establishing a relationship with another pharmaceutical provider.

         ContinuumCare sued Maples on December 2, 2016. See Complaint. The scheduling order entered by the court set an April 13, 2017 deadline for the amendment of pleadings without a showing of good cause. ECF No. 19. On December 1, 2017, plaintiff filed the instant motion to file its First Amended Complaint. ECF No. 52. For good cause shown, plaintiff's motion to amend is GRANTED.

         I. SUBSTANCE OF THE AMENDMENT

         ContinuumCare's Amended Complaint provides the court with greater background into the thirteen-year contractual history between plaintiff and defendant. In its original Complaint, ContinuumCare only referenced an agreement made “[e]ffective November 1, 2014” (“2014 Agreement”). See Complaint at ¶ 7. The Amended Complaint depicts a relationship beginning in April 2004 (“2004 Agreement”). This agreement was supplanted by another agreement in September 2009 and later amended in 2013 (“2009 Agreement”). Finally, the parties entered into the 2014 Agreement. See Amended Complaint at ¶¶ 7-11. Plaintiff's amendment relies on no new legal theories and creates no new causes of action. See generally, id.

         ContinuumCare asserts that it originally did not find it necessary to include these earlier agreements because “the vast majority of the debt . . . stemmed from invoices issued after the 2014 Agreement became effective.” Plaintiff's Memorandum in Support of Motion to Amend at 4 (ECF No. 53) (emphasis added).

         Since the Complaint's filing, however, Maples has alleged that after the 2014 Agreement went into effect, it actually made payments in excess of the amount owed to ContinuumCare.

         Furthermore, Maples has affirmatively defended itself based on earlier agreements with ContinuumCare. Specifically, Maples claims in its:

         (1) Initial Disclosures: that the 2009 Agreement would be in support of its claims or defenses. See ECF No. 53-4 at ¶ 2(a).

         (2) Discovery Requests: requesting information from 2012 through the present, earlier than the 2014 Agreement. See ECF No. 53-5.

         (3) Mediation before Magistrate Judge Dwane L. Tinsley: Maples alleged that “it did not breach the 2014 Agreement . . . because it had in fact paid more than the amount of such invoices during the term of the 2014 Agreement, and [plaintiff's] Complaint failed to mention the 2009 Agreement.” ECF No. 53 at 5.

         ContinuumCare alleges that many of these payments, however, “were directed toward invoices issued prior to the effective date of the 2014 Agreement” and were owed under open invoices for goods and services provided by ContinuumCare during the 2004 and 2009 Agreements. ECF No. 53 at 3. As a result, ContinuumCare states that an expounded contractual history is necessary to overcome Maples' defenses and illustrate that Maples continues to owe ContinuumCare.

         Finally, ContinuumCare states that amending the complaint will halt Maples' present attempt to limit the scope of a deposition. In preparation for a (still pending) deposition of a Maples' corporate representative, defendant's counsel requested that plaintiff “agree to limit the scope of that deposition to matters that are relevant to the 2014 [A]greement.” See Parties' Email Correspondence (ECF No. 53-6). Plaintiff refused this limitation, stating that the action covers the parties' entire contractual relationship. Id. Maples responded by filing a (still pending) “Motion of Defendant to Limit Discovery, ” asking the court “to limit discovery in this action to matters that are relevant to the” 2014 Agreement. See ECF No. 50.

         II. ...


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