UNITED STATES EX REL JUAN v. Board of Regents of the University of California; et al., Defendants. (2020)
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
UNITED STATES EX REL. Diana JUAN, Relator, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Stephen HAUSER; et al., Defendants-Appellees, United States of America, Real-party-in-interest-Appellee, Board of Regents of the University of California; et al., Defendants.
Decided: May 26, 2020
Before: PAEZ and BEA, Circuit Judges, and JACK,* District Judge.
Dow Wakefield Patten, Esquire, Attorney, Smith Patten, Los Angeles, CA, for Plaintiff-Appellant Warrington Samuel Parker, III, Counsel, Randall Scott Luskey, Attorney, Elizabeth Moulton, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, Menlo Park, CA, for Defendants-Appellees
Plaintiff-Relator Diana Juan appeals the district court’s dismissal of her complaint under Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the district court’s denial of her motion to amend her complaint. We affirm.
1. Reviewing de novo, Gonzalez v. Planned Parenthood of L.A., 759 F.3d 1112, 1114 (9th Cir. 2014), we conclude the district court correctly dismissed Juan’s Second Amended Complaint (SAC), the operative complaint, because it failed to “state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b); see United States v. Healthcare Ins. Co., 848 F.3d 1161, 1180 (9th Cir. 2016) (explaining that a complaint must allege the “who, what, when, where, and how of the misconduct charged”). The principal deficiency here—and the basis upon which we affirm—is that Juan failed to allege how each defendant played a role in the alleged fraud. The district court correctly ruled that the SAC merely “lump[s]” together the defendants and fails to “inform each defendant separately of the allegations surrounding his alleged participation in the fraud.”
2. The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Juan’s motion for leave to amend her complaint. See Gonzalez, 759 F.3d at 1114. “Where the plaintiff previously has been granted leave to amend and has subsequently failed to add the requisite particularity in its claims, the district court’s discretion to deny leave to amend is particularly broad.” Loos v. Immersion Corp., 762 F.3d 880, 890–91 (9th Cir. 2014). The district court provided Juan with thorough instructions on how Juan could amend her complaint to meet Rule 9’s strictures. Juan’s SAC, however, was nearly identical to the First Amended Complaint and added nothing more than conclusory or generic allegations of fraud.
3. Lastly, the district court did not abuse its discretion in precluding Juan from further amending her claims to add the defendants it struck from the SAC. Juan had ample time to seek leave to add those defendants, but never filed a motion nor indicated any intention to do so. Juan also fails to explain on appeal what new facts she would have alleged. We therefore see no basis to reverse.
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