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Debenedictis v. Delaware Authority for Regional Transit

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

April 7, 2014

LOISANN E. DEBENEDICTIS, as Administrator for the Estate of BESSIE MCKINNEY, Plaintiff,
v.
DELAWARE AUTHORITY FOR REGIONAL TRANSIT, Defendant.

Submitted: February 17, 2014

Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of Court to File an Amended Complaint DENIED.

The Honorable Andrea L. Rocanelli J.

Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint. Defendant filed a response in opposition requesting that Plaintiff's Motion be denied. The Court heard oral argument. Upon consideration of Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of Court to File an Amended Complaint, the Court makes the following findings:

1. Plaintiff Loisann E. Debenedictis is the administrator of the estate of Bessie McKinney ("Decedent"). Defendant is Delaware Authority for Regional Transit ("DART").

2. On October 25, 2011, Decedent was a passenger on a DART bus. Decedent fell while exiting the bus, suffered injuries and was admitted to the hospital.

3. Decedent remained hospitalized until her death on November 13, 2011.

4. Almost one (1) year later, on October 3, 2012, Plaintiff filed a civil complaint on behalf of Decedent's estate. Plaintiff's complaint alleged that Decedent's injuries were the direct and proximate result of DART's carelessness and negligence regarding DART's operation and maintenance of the bus. Plaintiff alleged that, as a direct and proximate result of DART's carelessness and negligence, Plaintiff is entitled to recover medical and other expenses that Plaintiff was required to expend for Decedent's care.

5. On December 11, 2012, the Court issued the first Case Scheduling Order. A deadline for motions to add or amend pleadings was established as January 18, 2013 and a discovery deadline of April 19, 103 was set. No trial date was established.

6. A Revised Case Scheduling Order was issued on June 10, 2013, at the parties' request. The revised order did not include any change to the deadline to add or amend pleadings, and that deadline had passed. The discovery and expert deadlines were extended. Still, no trial date was set.

7. At the parties' request the expert deadline was again extended by Order dated August 29, 2013. The revised order did not include any change to the deadline to add or amend pleadings.

8. At the parties' request the expert deadline was extended yet again by Order dated October 3, 2013.

9. The Court conducted a scheduling teleconference on November 5, 2013, at which time a trial date of September 15, 2014 was assigned. As requested by the parties, the Court adjusted several other deadlines when scheduling the trial date, including dates for expert reports and the discovery deadline. The parties did not request and the revised order did not include any change to the deadline to add or amend pleadings.

10.Thereafter, the parties once again requested adjustments to the expert and discovery deadlines and the Court entered an Order dated January 24, 2014 making the requested adjustments to the scheduling order. The parties' stipulation specifically ...


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