United States District Court, District of Columbia
E. BOASBERG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
does not reward those who sleep on their rights.
Demonstrating why this maxim of equity exists, Plaintiff
Eugene Hudson requests to add a bevy of claims to his
Complaint nearly two years after he asserted almost identical
counts in another case - most of which were soon dismissed -
and months after he promised this Court and Defendant that he
would not take the route upon which he now embarks. This
slumber does not paint Plaintiff's newfound interest in
reviving his claims in a flattering light. If mere annoyance
were the only resulting harm, however, perhaps his lag could
be excused. Unfortunately, the intervening period saw the
death of a witness central to the newly added claims. And
although Hudson attempts to climb out of this hole by
constructing an explanation for his delay, he only digs
himself deeper. A glance at the record reveals that the
factual representations underlying his excuse fall far short
of the veracity and candor the Court expects of those
appearing before it. As a result, Hudson's delay and
accompanying conduct, coupled with prejudice to the defense,
have put to bed any chance of now expanding his Complaint.
The Court will, accordingly, deny the Motion.
the last couple of the years, this Court has published a
veritable tome of Opinions detailing Hudson's quarrel
with Defendant American Federation of Government Employees.
See, e.g., Hudson v. AFGE, 318 F.Supp.3d 7, 9-10
(D.D.C. 2018); Hudson v. AFGE, 308 F.Supp.3d 388,
391 (D.D.C. 2018); Hudson v. AFGE, 308 F.Supp.3d
121, 123-26 (D.D.C. 2018); Hudson v. AFGE, 281
F.Supp.3d 11, 12-13 (D.D.C. 2017); Hudson v. AFGE,
2017 WL 4325681, at *1 (D.D.C. Sept. 27, 2017). It has added
to this volume as recently as this month. See Hudson v.
AFGE, 2019 WL 3068295, at *1-2 (D.D.C. July 12, 2019).
Some aspects of the procedural histories of Plaintiff s
multiple cases nevertheless bear repeating here.
long-time AFGE official, Hudson rose up through the ranks to
become National-Secretary Treasurer in 2012, winning
reelection to another three-year term in 2015. See
Hudson, 318 F.Supp.3d at 9. Within AFGE - a national
labor organization with over 1000 affiliated local unions -
the position of NST lies near the top. The occupant is one of
three full-time national officers serving on the union's
governing body, along with the National President and
National Vice-President for Women and Fair Practices.
Id. Like many rises, however, Hudson's was also
followed by a fall. Following an internal charge that he had
run afoul of the AFGE constitution via improper campaign
activities, the union launched an investigation that resulted
in Plaintiffs removal from office in August 2017. See
Hudson, 308 F.Supp.3d at 124-25. Understandably
unhappy with this turn of events, Hudson turned to the
doing, he took a bifurcated approach. First, on September 12,
2017, he filed this suit asserting that his termination
violated rights and protections afforded by two labor-law
statutes. See ECF No. 1 (Compl.), ¶¶
56-98. This case has since gone through a slew of twists and
turns both in and out of the courtroom, the contours of which
need not be rehearsed. See, e.g., Hudson, 2019 WL
3068295, at *1-2; Hudson, 308 F.Supp.3d at 123-26.
More relevant is that Hudson filed an Amended Complaint on
February 13, 2018, which is currently the operative pleading.
He now seeks to amend this Complaint again in the present
than a month after logging his first suit, Hudson registered
another. In this alternate attempt to regain his prior
position, he again sued AFGE, this time alleging that his
tenure as NST was infected with race discrimination. See
Hudson, 308 F.Supp.3d at 392. Hudson's grievance
took the form of a four-count Complaint, submitted on October
10, 2017, alleging employment discrimination, retaliation, a
hostile work environment, and “pretextual
discrimination.” Id. The conduct at issue, he
asserted, began in 2012 and culminated with his termination
in 2017. Id. at 391-92. (Since the interaction of
these two cases is pivotal to the Motion at hand, the Court,
for clarity, will refer to the first (No. 17-1867) as
Hudson's “labor-law suit” and the second (No.
17-2094) as his “race-discrimination suit.”)
with two cases concerning the same termination, AFGE moved to
dismiss Hudson's later-filed Complaint. In an Opinion
issued on April 10, 2018, the Court agreed that much of his
race-discrimination case could not proceed. It found first
that Hudson had not set forth the type of severe or pervasive
conduct necessary to sustain his hostile-work-environment
claim under Title VII. Id. at 395-96. Further, it
noted that almost all the alleged conduct supporting the
other three counts rested on Plaintiffs termination. This
commonality with his labor-law suit created a problem. The
doctrine of claim-splitting bars a later-filed complaint if,
assuming the earlier filed suit were already final, the later
complaint would be precluded by res judicata. Id. at
394. The Court thus dismissed his remaining claims on this
ground, except for the portion of his discrimination count
that did “not relate to Plaintiffs termination, ”
which could proceed to discovery. Id. at 395.
detail here is worth noting. In his opposition to AFGE's
motion to dismiss, Plaintiff appeared to request permission
to amend his labor-law suit to include the
race-discrimination counts at issue as a means of avoiding
Defendant's claim-splitting challenge. The Court denied
this request without prejudice on April 10, 2018, noting that
Hudson had not followed the appropriate rules. “[I]f he
wishes to amend the [labor-law] complaint, ” the Court
admonished, “he must seek leave to do so in that case,
not here.” Id.
however, did not take up this invitation, instead proceeding
to discovery on only the claims he already pled here. In the
Rule 26(f) Report filed on July 31, 2018, Hudson stated that
he did not “currently anticipate any need . . . to
amend any pleadings.” ECF No. 54 at 2. Given this
representation, AFGE did not propose, and the Court did not
provide, any deadline for seeking amendment. Id.;
see also ECF No. 78 (Def Opp.) at 7.
spring, Plaintiff reversed course. Following a series of
procedural errors, he filed the operative Motion for Leave to
Amend his (already-once-amended) Complaint on May 8, 2019.
The Court will discuss the details of his proposed new
Complaint below. Suffice it to say for now, though, that it
is primarily a smorgasbord of his labor-law and
race-discrimination counts, including the dismissed counts.
For those keeping track, this request to add new counts comes
nearly a decade after the earliest conduct at issue, a little
under two years since his termination, 17 months after he
filed nearly identical counts in this Court, over a year
after this Court dismissed many of those counts, and eight
months after he told the Court and Defendant that he would
not seek to amend. Adding to this list, AFGE notes in its
Opposition that his Motion also comes several months after a
key player in his termination passed away. See Def.
Opp. at 4. To justify his delay, Hudson asserts that his
added counts rest “on newly discovered evidence.”
See ECF No. 76 (Pl. Mot.) at 1.
plaintiff may amend her complaint once as a matter of course
within 21 days of serving it or within 21 days of being
served a responsive pleading. See Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(a)(1)(B). Otherwise, she must seek consent from the
defendant or leave from the court. See Fed. R. Civ.
P. 15(a)(2). “The court should freely give leave when
justice so requires.” Id. In deciding whether
to grant leave to file an amended complaint, the court may
consider “undue delay, bad faith or dilatory motive on
the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies
by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the
opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, [or]
futility of amendment.” Foman v. Davis, 371
U.S. 178, 182 (1962). In this Circuit, “it is an abuse
of discretion to deny leave to amend unless there is
sufficient reason.” Firestone v. ...