United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Eastern Division
ORDER GRANTING VOLUNTEER EXPRESS'S MOTION TO
THOMAS ANDERSON CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is a Motion to Intervene filed by Volunteer
Express, Inc. (ECF No. 39) on May 9, 2019. The original
Complaint alleges that on February 16, 2018, Plaintiff Tony
Edmonds was driving a tractor-trailer owned by Volunteer
Express when another tractor-trailer owned by Defendant Yonas
H. Ghebreyesus and driven by Defendant Abraham Berhe struck
his vehicle. Compl. ¶¶ 10, 12. Volunteer Express
now seeks leave of court to intervene in this matter under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24. According to Volunteer
Express, Mr. Edmonds has filed a workers' compensation
claim, seeking benefits for his injuries arising out of the
collision. Volunteer Express has already paid $34, 000 in
benefits on Edmonds's behalf and will be liable for
additional benefits as they accrue. Volunteer Express also
holds a claim for damages to its tractor-trailer sustained in
the accident. Based on these interests, Volunteer Express
argues that the Court should allow it to intervene in these
proceedings. Volunteer Express has prepared a proposed
intervenor complaint and attached its pleading to the Motion
to Intervene. No. other party to the action has responded to
the Motion to Intervene, and the time to do so under the
Local Rules has now passed.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(b), district courts have
the discretion to permit a party to intervene by
“timely motion” and where the party “has a
claim or defense that shares with the main action a common
question of law or fact.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b)(1)(B). The
Rule requires a court to “consider whether the
intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication
of the original parties' rights.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
24(b)(3). “So long as the motion for intervention is
timely and there is at least one common question of law or
fact, the balancing of undue delay, prejudice to the original
parties, and any other relevant factors” is a matter
left to the discretion of the court. League of Women
Voters of Mich. v. Johnson, 902 F.3d 572, 577 (6th Cir.
2018) (quoting Mich. State AFL-CIO v. Miller, 103
F.3d 1240, 1248 (6th Cir. 1997)).
Court finds good cause to allow Volunteer Express to
intervene. Timeliness is a threshold issue for a motion to
intervene under Rule 24. NAACP v. New York, 413 U.S.
345, 365 (1973) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 24). The Sixth Circuit
has articulated a five-factor test for courts to consider in
determining the timeliness of a motion to intervene: (1) the
point to which the suit has progressed; (2) the purpose for
which intervention is sought; (3) the length of time
preceding the application during which the proposed
intervenor knew or should have known of its interest in the
case; (4) the prejudice to the original parties due to the
proposed intervenor's failure to promptly intervene after
they knew or reasonably should have known of their interest
in the case; and (5) the existence of unusual circumstances
weighing in favor of or against intervention. Blount-Hill
v. Zelman, 636 F.3d 278, 283 (6th Cir. 2011) (quoting
Jansen v. Cincinnati, 904 F.2d 336, 340 (6th Cir.
Express's Motion easily qualifies as timely. Volunteer
Express has acted promptly to assert its interests in the
outcome of this action by filing its Motion only one week
after the entry of the initial scheduling order (ECF 36) and
six weeks prior to the deadline for amending pleadings and
joining parties (June 19, 2019). And because Volunteer
Express has made its request to intervene at an earlier stage
of the proceedings, the Court has no reason to find that
Volunteer should have acted sooner or that its failure to
take action has prejudiced the other parties. At this early
juncture, there is little or no risk that Volunteer
Express's intervention will require the other parties to
duplicate any step they have already completed in getting the
case ready for trial. Id. at 286. The Court finds,
therefore, that intervention will not delay the progress of
Volunteer Express has shown that intervention will serve its
important legal interests. Volunteer Express seeks to
intervene for the purpose of protecting its subrogation
interest in the Edmonds's possible recovery as well as to
assert its own claim for $105, 000 in property damage. These
interests qualify as the kind of important legal interests
intervention is designed to protect. Davis v. Lifetime
Capital, Inc., 560 Fed.Appx. 477, 491 (6th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Clarke v. Baptist Mem'l Healthcare
Corp., 427 Fed.Appx. 431, 436 (6th Cir. 2011));
Moore v. Indus. Maint. Serv. of Tenn., Inc., No.
11-2938-STA-tmp, 2012 WL 1100707, at *2 (W.D. Tenn. Apr. 2,
2012) (finding that an employer's subrogation rights to
recover workers' compensation benefits was an important
legal interest and justified intervention). And no party has
shown that this case implicates any unusual circumstance that
would make intervention particularly more or less
appropriate. Based on its consideration of all of these
factors, the Court concludes that Volunteer Express has
easily satisfied Rule 24's timeliness requirement.
all of the other factors for intervention are met in this
case. Volunteer Express's claims share at least one
common question of fact and law with the Edmonds's
claims. In fact, the proposed intervenor complaint has
adopted by incorporation all of the Edmonds' allegations
of negligence and vicarious liability against Defendants.
See Proposed Intervenor Compl. ¶ 3 (ECF No.
39-1). The Court has no indication that Volunteer
Express's intervention will prejudice the adjudication of
the other parties' rights. As Volunteer Express correctly
points out, the Court has subject matter jurisdiction in this
case based on the amount in controversy and the complete
diversity of citizenship among the parties. Volunteer Express
is a corporation organized under the laws of the state of
Tennessee and therefore has its citizenship in Tennessee just
like the Edmonds. Volunteer Express's intervention will
not impair the Court's subject matter jurisdiction. For
their part, neither Plaintiffs nor Defendants have responded
to the Motion to Intervene or objected in any way to show why
the Court should not allow Volunteer Express to intervene.
All of this tends to show that Volunteer Express's
presence in this suit will not prejudice any right of the
true that Volunteer Express and Mr. Edmonds may have some
identity of interest in the case. Identity of interest is
sometimes a “relevant criterion” under Rule 24(b)
and can weigh against permissive intervention of this sort.
Johnson, 902 F.3d at 579 (citations omitted).
Volunteer Express asserts a subrogation right over any award
of damages recovered by Mr. Edmonds. But in this case the
identity of interest between Volunteer Express and Mr.
Edmonds is not exact. Volunteer Express seeks to protect its
subrogation rights as far as Mr. Edmonds's possible
recovery and also to recover $105, 000 in damages to its own
property, claims that do not coincide entirely with the
claims asserted by Mr. Edmonds. Proposed Intervenor Compl.
¶¶ 4, 7. There exists then at least the potential
“for inadequate representation.” Grutter v.
Bollinger, 188 F.3d 394, 400 (6th Cir. 1999). So while
Volunteer Express and Mr. Edmonds may share some common
interests against Defendants, Volunteer Express has its own,
clearly distinguishable interests in the outcome of this
met the requirements of Rule 24(b) and without opposition
from any other party to the case, Volunteer Express's
Motion to Intervene will be GRANTED.
Volunteer Express has complied with Rule 24(c) and attached a
copy of its proposed intervenor complaint setting out its
claims for relief against Defendants Abraham Berhe, Yonas H.
Ghebreyesus, and Model Transport, LLC. For the sake of
clarity on the docket, Volunteer Express is directed to
re-file its proposed intervenor complaint as a new docket
IS SO ORDERED
 Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(c)
requires a party to serve a motion to intervene on the
parties in accordance with Rule 5. Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(c). Rule
5(b), in turn, authorizes several methods by which a party
can serve a paper on another party, including mailing and
sending the paper to a registered user through a court's
electronic-filing system. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
5(b)(2)(C) & (E). According to Volunteer Express's
certificate of service, counsel served a copy of the Motion