United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
TOMMY RHOADES, et al. Plaintiffs,
ANTHONY GROSSMAN, et al. Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
A. FITZWATER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
G. Hawkins (“Hawkins”) moves to intervene as of
right under Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)(2) in this personal injury
action by plaintiffs Tommy Rhoades and Sharon Rhoades
(collectively, “the Rhoades”) against defendants
Anthony Gossman (“Gossman”) and Southeastern
Freight Lines, Inc. (“Southeastern Freight”). For
the reasons that follow, the court grants Hawkins'
Rhoades's lawsuit arises from a motor vehicle accident.
Hawkins maintains that, while driving on SH 114, he witnessed
a hit-and-run accident; he pulled onto the shoulder of the
road to offer assistance to the driver of the vehicle that
had been hit; and, in the process, he was struck by the
vehicle Gossman was operating.
Rhoades filed this lawsuit seeking damages related to the
motor vehicle accident. Gossman and Southeastern Freight
removed the case to this court. Hawkins now moves to
intervene as a plaintiff, seeking recovery for his injuries
against Gossman and Southeastern Freight. Gossman and
Southeastern Freight oppose the motion.
is entitled to intervene as of right under Rule 24(a)(2) if
(1) the motion to intervene is timely, (2) the interest
asserted by the potential intervenor is related to the
action, (3) the interest may be impaired or impeded by the
action, and (4) the interest is not adequately represented by
the existing parties. See, e.g., In re Lease Oil
Antitrust Litig., 570 F.3d 244, 247 (5th Cir. 2009);
Sierra Club v. Espy, 18 F.3d 1202, 1204-05 (5th Cir.
1994) (citing New Orleans Pub. Serv., Inc. v. United Gas
Pipe Line Co., 732 F.2d 452, 463 (5th Cir. 1984) (en
and Southeastern Freight maintain that Hawkins' motion to
intervene is untimely. The court disagrees.
first element-timeliness-is determined by examining (1) the
length of time between the potential intervenor's
learning of his interest and his motion to intervene, (2) the
extent of prejudice to the existing parties from allowing
late intervention, (3) the extent of prejudice to the
potential intervenor if the motion is denied, and (4) any
unusual circumstances. See, e.g., Lease Oil Antitrust
Litig., 570 F.3d at 247-48.
Rhoades filed their state-court original petition on
September 27, 2017, and Hawkins filed the instant motion to
intervene on November 21, 2017. Assuming arguendo
that Hawkins learned of his interest in the Rhoades'
lawsuit on the day they filed their state-court petition,
fewer than two months elapsed before Hawkins filed his motion
to intervene. Additionally, Hawkins filed his motion to
intervene far in advance of the entry of judgment, a factor
that supports a finding of timeliness in the Fifth Circuit.
See Edwards v. City of Houston, 78 F.3d 983, 1001
(5th Cir. 1996) (collecting cases). And Gossman and
Southeastern Freight have not articulated a reason for why
they would be prejudiced by Hawkins' intervention.
Accordingly, the court finds that Hawkins' motion is
and Southeastern Freight next contend that Hawkins has no
interest in the transaction that is the subject of the
action. They maintain that Hawkins' interest is merely