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White v. United States

United States District Court, Tenth Circuit

November 13, 2013

SHEILA WHITE, as administrator of the ESTATE OF EDMOND WHITE, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

CARLOS MURGUIA, District Judge.

This case arises out of the death of Edmond White, an inmate at the Leavenworth penitentiary who committed suicide while incarcerated. Mr. White's mother-plaintiff Sheila White-brought this wrongful death action as the Administrator of the Estate of Edmond White. According to plaintiff, the government was negligent in failing to treat Mr. White's mental illness and protect him from self-destructive behavior. Plaintiff seeks to hold defendant United States of America liable under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Plaintiff's efforts are complicated, however, by the unfortunate and untimely death of Ms. White during the pendency of this case. The matter is now before the court on three motions:

• Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 76);
• Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Prosecution and for Failure to Substitute a Representative of Plaintiff Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 25 (Doc. 88); and
• Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time, Stay Proceedings and for Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 17 and Other Relief (Doc. 93).

The court first takes up the motion to dismiss.

I. Factual Background

The following events are relevant to the court's decision in this case:

• October 5, 2010: Ms. White, Administrator of the Estate of Edmond White, brought this action. (Doc. 1.)
• July 18, 2011: Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. (Doc. 13.)
• December 15, 2011: Judge Humphreys entered an order to show cause why the case should not be dismissed against a number of defendants for failure to timely effect service. (Doc. 25 at 1.)
• December 27, 2011: Instead of showing cause, plaintiff moved to amend the complaint again to delete the causes of action against the unserved defendants (along with other, served defendants). (Doc. 26 at 4.)
• May 15, 2012: Defendant filed a motion to extend the time for initial settlement offers because defendant's counter-proposal was due, but plaintiff had missed the deadline for submitting an initial offer. (Doc. 45 at 3-4.)
• May 30, 2012: Defendant requested additional time to file a motion to compel initial disclosures (due May 31) because plaintiff's initial disclosures did not contain a ...

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