United States District Court, D. Delaware
DARREN DALE BECKER, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of DONALD DALE BECKER, Plaintiff,
CONTINENTAL MOTORS, INC., et al., Defendant.
HONORABLE LEONARD P. STARK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Magistrate Judge Burke issued a 13-page Report and
Recommendation ("Report") (D.I. 59), dated
September 21, 2017, recommending that the Court (i) grant
without prejudice Defendant Continental Motors Inc.'s
("Continental") motion to dismiss Counts IV, V, and
VI of Plaintiff Darren Dale Becker, individually and as
executor of the estate of Donald Dale Becker's
("Plaintiff) Complaint (D.I. 33) and (ii) permit
Plaintiff fourteen (14) days to file an amended complaint;
on October 5, 2017, Plaintiff objected to the Report
("Report Objections") (D.I. 60);
on October 19, 2017, Continental responded to Plaintiffs
Report Objections ("Report Response") (D.I. 63);
Magistrate Judge Burke issued an oral order
("Order") (see D.I. 75) on October 27,
2017, denying Plaintiffs motion to stay this action pending
resolution of a parallel suit in South Carolina state court
on November 13, 2017, Plaintiff objected to the Order
("Order Objections") (D.I. 77), specifically to
Judge Burke basing his decision on an abstention doctrine,
rather than the Court's inherent discretionary power to
on November 27, 2017, Continental and Defendant Engine
Components, Inc. (collectively, "Defendants")
responded to Plaintiffs Order Objections ("Order
Response") (D.I. 79);
the Court has reviewed the parties' objections and
responses to the Report de novo, see 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3); Brown v.
Astrue, 649 F.3d 193, 195 (3d Cir. 2011), and the
parties' objections and responses to the Order under the
"clearly erroneous and contrary to law" standard,
see 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(a); Haines v. Liggett Grp. Inc., 975 F.2d 81, 91
(3d Cir. 1992) ("[T]he phrase 'contrary to law'
indicates plenary review as to matters of law.");
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:
Plaintiffs Report Objections (D.I. 60) are
OVERRULED, Judge Burke's Report (D.I.
59) is ADOPTED, Continental's Rule
12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss (D.I. 33) is GRANTED
WITHOUT PREJUDICE, and Plaintiff is
GRANTED fourteen (14) days to file an
Plaintiff s Order Objections (D.I. 77) are
OVERRULED, Judge Burke's Order (D.I. 75)
is AFFIRMED, and Plaintiffs Motion for Stay
(D.I. 52) is DENIED.
Plaintiff objects to the Report's finding that Plaintiff
did not adequately plead proximate causation. (.See D.I. 60
at 1) Plaintiff contends that the Report misapplied the
pleading standard, arguing that the Complaint adequately
pleads "how defects in the engine resulting [in] power
loss caused the underlying accident, " whether South
Carolina or Delaware law is applied. (See Id. at
Evaluating a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) requires the Court to accept as true all
material allegations of the complaint. See Spruill v.
Gillis, 372 F.3d 218, 223 (3d Cir. 2004). The Court may
grant a motion to dismiss only if, after "accepting all
well-pleaded allegations in the complaint as true, and
viewing them in the light most favorable to plaintiff,
plaintiff is not entitled to relief." Maio v. Aetna,
Inc., 221 F.3d 472, 482 (3d Cir. 2000) (quotation marks
omitted). However, to survive a motion to dismiss,
"[t]he complaint must state enough facts to raise a
reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence of
[each] necessary element" of the plaintiffs claim.
Wither son v. New Media Tech. Charter Sch. Inc., 522
F.3d 315, 321 (3d Cir. 2008) (quotation marks omitted).
Under South Carolina law,  establishing proximate cause requires a
plaintiff to prove causation in fact (or "but for"
causation) and legal cause. See McKnight v. S.C.
Dep'tof Corr.,684 S.E.2d 566, 569 (S.C.
Ct. App. 2009). Under Delaware law, a plaintiff must
"prove that but for the tortious conduct of the
defendant, the injury which the plaintiff has suffered would
not have ...