Birch v. Polaris Industries, No. 15-4066 (10th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
Virl Birch died when the off-road vehicle in which he was riding flipped over and pinned him to the ground. His surviving family members sued Polaris Industries, the vehicle manufacturer, for strict products liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Polaris argued there was no evidence Birch’s vehicle was defective at the time of sale, and moved for summary judgment. Well after the deadlines for amending the pleadings and for discovery had passed, Birch’s survivors filed motions: (1) to add new theories to their complaint; and (2) for additional discovery. A magistrate judge denied both motions as untimely, and the district court affirmed the magistrate’s ruling. Based on the allegations in the unamended complaint, the district court then granted summary judgment to Polaris on all claims. The survivors appealed the district court’s denial of their two motions and the grant of summary judgment. But finding no reversible error in the district court's judgment, the Tenth Circuit affirmed.