Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Lear Corp., No. 05 C 3449, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 10, 2010) (St. Eve, J.).
Judge St. Eve denied defendant Lear’s motion to amend its complaint adding new inequitable conduct defenses. While leave to amend is freely granted and delay alone is usually not enough to deny leave, Courts retain discretion to deny leave to amend. In this case, Lear waited until after fact discovery closed in this five-year-old case to seek leave to amend. And without explanation, Lear appeared in court three times and eight entries were added to the docket between the depositions in which Lear allegedly discovered the inequitable conduct and filing of its motion. Furthermore, Lear had been aware of the individuals accused of committing the inequitable conduct for several years. Finally, plaintiff Chamberlain Group would have been prejudiced by amendment at this late date because the expert reports the parties had already exchanged would have to have been revised or supplemented if Lear was allowed to amend.