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Justice v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division

July 30, 2018

ROBERT JUSTICE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CABOT OIL & GAS CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          THOMAS E. JOHNSTON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Defendant Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation's (“Cabot”) Motion to Dismiss Claims Asserted by Plaintiff James Grimes. (ECF No. 60.) For the reasons herein, the Court GRANTS the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff James Grimes (“Grimes”) is one of several Plaintiffs who filed a Complaint on April 13, 2017, against Cabot and other unnamed persons or entities. (ECF No. 1-2 at 7.) The dispute arises from Cabot's alleged failure to reasonably divert water from its natural course in a way that caused flooding and associated damage to Plaintiffs' properties located in Boone County, West Virginia. The Complaint was filed originally in the Circuit Court of Boone County, and Cabot removed the case to this Court on May 19, 2017, asserting diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 as the sole basis for this Court's subject matter jurisdiction. (ECF No. 1.) After Grimes' refusal to participate in the discovery process despite a court order compelling him to do so, Cabot filed the pending motion on July 2, 2018. (ECF No. 60.) No response was filed, and, thus, the motion is ripe for adjudication.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 provides the following:

         If a party . . . fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery, . . . the court where the action is pending may issue further just orders. They may include the following:

(i) directing that the matters embraced in the order or other designated facts be taken as established for purposes of the action, as the prevailing party claims;
(ii) prohibiting the disobedient party from supporting or opposing designated claims or defenses, or from introducing designated matters in evidence;
(iii) striking pleadings in whole or in part;
(iv) staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed;
(v) dismissing the action or proceeding in whole or in part;
(vi) rendering a default judgment against the disobedient party; or
(vii) treating as contempt of court the failure to obey any order except an order to submit to a physical or ...

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