Peda v. Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc., No. C03-3010-MWB.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
Writing for the CourtBennett
Citation293 F.Supp.2d 973
PartiesKaren PEDA, Plaintiff, v. FORT DODGE ANIMAL HEALTH, INC., a Division of Wyeth Company; and Wyeth Company, a Delaware Corporation, Defendants.
Decision Date24 November 2003
Docket NumberNo. C03-3010-MWB.
293 F.Supp.2d 973
Karen PEDA, Plaintiff,
v.
FORT DODGE ANIMAL HEALTH, INC., a Division of Wyeth Company; and Wyeth Company, a Delaware Corporation, Defendants.
No. C03-3010-MWB.
United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division.
November 24, 2003.

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Stanley E. Munger, Munger, Reinschmidt & Denne, Sioux City, IA, for Plaintiff.

Deborah M. Tharnish, Davis Brown Koehn Shors & Roberts, Des Moines, IA, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND THE DEFENDANTS' CROSS-MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

BENNETT, Chief Judge.


 TABLE OF CONTENTS
                I. INTRODUCTION ..........................................976
                II. LEGAL DISCUSSION .....................................977
                 A. Standards For Summary Judgment ....................977
                 B. Statute of Limitations ............................979
                 1. Arguments of the parties .......................979
                 2. Is Peda's IWPCA claim time-barred? .............979
                 C. Preclusive Effect Of The Peda I Judgment ..........982
                 1. Res judicata ...................................982
                 a. Same parties or their privies ...............983
                 b. Same cause of action ........................984
                III. CONCLUSION ...........................................986
                
I. INTRODUCTION

On March 2, 2001, plaintiff Karen Peda ("Peda") filed a complaint with this court against defendants Fort Dodge Animal Health (FDAH), American Home Products Corporation ("AHP") and two individually named defendants which averred the following causes of action: (1) sexual discrimination in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. et seq. and the Iowa Civil Rights Act ("ICRA"), IOWA CODE CH. 216; and (2) age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 623 et seq. and the ICRA. On March 28, 2001, Peda filed a claim against FDAH and AHP under the Iowa Wage Payment Collection Act, IOWA CODE CH. 91A ("IWPCA") in the Iowa District Court for Polk County. The IWPCA claim was attached to the federal complaint in order to preclude multiple forum litigation, and was included in the plaintiff's "Second Amended and Substituted Complaint" filed on July 9, 2001. Defendants' Appendix in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment, Doc. No. 17, at 50 ("Def.s' App."). On May 1, 2002, the parties stipulated to the dismissal of Peda's age discrimination claims. On April 17, 2002, then-defendant AHP filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which plaintiff Peda timely resisted. On June 20, 2002, this court entered its "Memorandum Opinion and Order Regarding Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment," finding that Peda "failed to generate a jury question on her claims of sex discrimination under both Title VII and the ICRA." Peda v. Am. Home Prods. Corp., 214 F.Supp.2d 1007, 1022 (N.D.Iowa 2002) ("Peda I"). As all of the federal law claims had been disposed of, this court exercised its discretion under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3) and did not retain jurisdiction over the IWPCA claim, but rather, remanded it to state court.1 Id.

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On December 2, 2002, Peda filed suit in the Iowa District Court for Webster County against defendants Fort Dodge Animal Health ("FDAH") and Wyeth Corporation ("Wyeth") f/k/a AHP. In her complaint, Peda asserted a claim under the IWPCA for recovery of lost wages and an Iowa common law claim of wrongful termination in violation of public policy. On January 28, 2003, defendants FDAH and Wyeth filed an answer denying all of Peda's allegations, and asserting affirmative defenses. Defendants FDAH and Wyeth removed the case to this court on February 3, 2003, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), asserting diversity of citizenship, as Wyeth is a Delaware Corporation with its principal place of business in New Jersey.2 and Peda was domiciled in Iowa at the time of the events in question, and a resident of North Carolina at the time of the filing of the current action. (Doc. No. 1). Defendants additionally averred that diversity jurisdiction was appropriate as the amount in controversy is in excess of the $75,000 jurisdictionally required amount. On July 7, 2003, Peda filed a motion for partial summary judgment seeking a determination by the court that as a matter of law her IWPCA claim was properly within the statute of limitations, and as such was tolled under the Iowa `savings' statute, IOWA CODE § 614.10, and that her wrongful termination claim was not precluded by principles of res judicata. (Doc. No. 10-1). On July 30, 2003, defendants Wyeth and FDAH filed both a resistance to the plaintiff's partial motion for summary judgment, as well as a cross-motion for summary judgment asserting that the plaintiff's common law wrongful discharge claim was barred on principles of res judicata, and that the IWCA claim was barred as outside the statute of limitations when the case was originally filed on March 2, 2001. (Doc. Nos.13 & 14). On August 1, 2003, Peda filed a resistance to the defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment which incorporated all of the arguments she previously made for partial summary judgment as her grounds for resistance to the defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. No. 16).

In this matter plaintiff Peda is represented by Stanley E. Munger, Jay E. Denne, and Colby M. Lessmann of Munger, Reinschmidt & Denne, L.L.P. in Sioux City, Iowa. The defendants FDAH and Wyeth are represented by Deborah M. Tharnish of Davis, Brown, Koehn, Shors & Roberts, P.C., in Des Moines Iowa. A jury trial on this matter is set for August 23, 2004.

II. LEGAL DISCUSSION
A. Standards For Summary Judgment

This court has considered in some detail the standards applicable to motions for summary judgment pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 56 in a number of prior decisions. See, e.g., Swanson v. Van Otterloo, 993 F.Supp. 1224, 1230-31 (N.D.Iowa 1998);

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Dirks v. J.C. Robinson Seed Co., 980 F.Supp. 1303, 1305-07 (N.D.Iowa 1997); Laird v. Stilwill, 969 F.Supp. 1167, 1172-74 (N.D.Iowa 1997); Rural Water Sys. # 1 v. City of Sioux Ctr., 967 F.Supp. 1483, 1499-1501 (N.D.Iowa 1997), aff'd in pertinent part, 202 F.3d 1035 (8th Cir.2000), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 820, 121 S.Ct. 61, 148 L.Ed.2d 28 (2000); Tralon Corp. v. Cedarapids, Inc., 966 F.Supp. 812, 817-18 (N.D.Iowa 1997), aff'd, 205 F.3d 1347, 2000 WL 84400 (8th Cir.2000) (Table op.); Security State Bank v. Firstar Bank Milwaukee, N.A., 965 F.Supp. 1237, 1239-40 (N.D.Iowa 1997); Lockhart v. Cedar Rapids Community Sch. Dist., 963 F.Supp. 805 (N.D.Iowa 1997). Thus, the court will not consider those standards in detail here. Suffice it to say that Rule 56 itself provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

Rule 56. Summary Judgment

(a) For Claimant. A party seeking to recover upon a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim or to obtain a declaratory judgment may, at any time after the expiration of 20 days from the commencement of the action or after service of a motion for summary judgment by the adverse party, move with or without supporting affidavits for a summary judgment in the party's favor upon all or any part thereof.

(b) For Defending Party. A party against whom a claim ... is asserted ... may, at any time, move for summary judgment in the party's favor as to all or any part thereof.

(c) Motions and Proceedings Thereon. . . . The judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

FED. R. CIV. P. 56(a)-(c) (emphasis added). Applying these standards, the trial judge's function at the summary judgment stage of the proceedings is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but to determine whether there are genuine issues for trial. Quick v. Donaldson Co., 90 F.3d 1372, 1376-77 (8th Cir.1996); Johnson v. Enron Corp., 906 F.2d 1234, 1237 (8th Cir.1990). A dispute about a material fact is "genuine" only "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Herring v. Canada Life Assur. Co., 207 F.3d 1026, 1030 (8th Cir.2000) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986)); Hartnagel v. Norman, 953 F.2d 394 (8th Cir.1992) (citing Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986)). "`As to materiality ... [o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.'" Rouse v. Benson, 193 F.3d 936, 939 (8th Cir.1999) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505). If a party fails to make a sufficient showing of an essential element of a claim with respect to which that party has the burden of proof, then the opposing party is "entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); In re Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Implants Prod. Liab. Litig., 113 F.3d 1484, 1492 (8th Cir. 1997). In reviewing the record, the court must view all the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and give that party the benefit of all reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., 475 U.S. at 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348; Quick, 90 F.3d at 1377 (same). With these standards in mind, the court turns to consideration

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of the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment, and the defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment.

B. Statute of Limitations

Federal courts in diversity cases such as this case are required to apply the forum's choice of law rules in resolving conflicts of law questions. Klaxon Co. v. Stentor Elec. Mfg. Co., 313 U.S. 487, 496, 61 S.Ct. 1020, 85 L.Ed....

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4 practice notes
  • Cook v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc., No. C04-3063-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • 26 Enero 2005
    ...Jones, 877 F.2d 682, 684 (8th Cir.1989); Headley v. Bacon, 828 F.2d 1272, 1274 (8th Cir.1987); Peda v. Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc., 293 F.Supp.2d 973, 983 (N.D.Iowa 2003). "Furthermore, the party against whom res judicata is asserted must have had a full and fair opportunity to litigate ......
  • De Graffenried v. Smithway Motor Xpress, Inc., CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:14-CV-00009-SA-SAA
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Mississippi
    • 22 Diciembre 2014
    ...of limitation). Likewise, "Iowa law classifies statutes of limitation as procedural . . . ." Peda v. Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc., 293 F. Supp. 2d 973, 979 (N.D. Iowa 2003). Therefore, whether Tennessee, Iowa, or Mississippi has the most significant relationship to the litigation at bar, ......
  • Williams v. Security Nat. Bank, No. C03-4034-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • 26 Abril 2004
    ...and Counterclaims (docket no. 16). However, by order dated November 6, 2003, the court dismissed SNB's counterclaims. See Williams, 293 F.Supp.2d at 973. On January 29, 2004, SNB was granted leave to file a third-party complaint against John F. Pritchard, Jr. (docket no. 44), but SNB then v......
  • Ladd v. City of St. Louis, Case No. 4:10CV02219 AGF
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • 31 Marzo 2012
    ...both to parties and to 'those who stand in privity with the [party] in the prior suit.'" Peda v. Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc., 293 F. Supp. 2d 973, 983 (N.D. Iowa 2003). Where the relationship between the old and new defendants is so close that it borders on near identity, the parties are......
4 cases
  • Cook v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc., No. C04-3063-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • 26 Enero 2005
    ...Jones, 877 F.2d 682, 684 (8th Cir.1989); Headley v. Bacon, 828 F.2d 1272, 1274 (8th Cir.1987); Peda v. Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc., 293 F.Supp.2d 973, 983 (N.D.Iowa 2003). "Furthermore, the party against whom res judicata is asserted must have had a full and fair opportunity to litigate ......
  • De Graffenried v. Smithway Motor Xpress, Inc., CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:14-CV-00009-SA-SAA
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Mississippi
    • 22 Diciembre 2014
    ...of limitation). Likewise, "Iowa law classifies statutes of limitation as procedural . . . ." Peda v. Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc., 293 F. Supp. 2d 973, 979 (N.D. Iowa 2003). Therefore, whether Tennessee, Iowa, or Mississippi has the most significant relationship to the litigation at bar, ......
  • Williams v. Security Nat. Bank, No. C03-4034-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • 26 Abril 2004
    ...and Counterclaims (docket no. 16). However, by order dated November 6, 2003, the court dismissed SNB's counterclaims. See Williams, 293 F.Supp.2d at 973. On January 29, 2004, SNB was granted leave to file a third-party complaint against John F. Pritchard, Jr. (docket no. 44), but SNB then v......
  • Ladd v. City of St. Louis, Case No. 4:10CV02219 AGF
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
    • 31 Marzo 2012
    ...both to parties and to 'those who stand in privity with the [party] in the prior suit.'" Peda v. Fort Dodge Animal Health, Inc., 293 F. Supp. 2d 973, 983 (N.D. Iowa 2003). Where the relationship between the old and new defendants is so close that it borders on near identity, the parties are......

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