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APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO [Hon. Jos� Antonio Fust�, U.S. District Judge]

Plaintiffs-appellants *fn1 Faustina D�vila-Alvarez, Ram�n Fern�ndez, Rosa Alvarez-Oquendo and Rafael Fern�ndez filed the tort action underlying this appeal in the Puerto Rico courts on November 7, 1995. It was removed to the federal district court for the District of Puerto Rico on November 25, 1997. On April 12, 1998, plaintiffs’ counsel, Jos� Antonio M�ndez Rodr�guez (Jos� M�ndez), died suddenly and unexpectedly. His brother and law partner, Roberto M�ndez Rodr�guez (Roberto M�ndez), assumed responsibility for the case. After receiving no response to discovery requests filed as early as February 1998, defendants moved for dismissal for lack of prosecution. The district court granted this motion and dismissed with prejudice on December 14, 1998. Plaintiffs, represented by new counsel, sought relief from judgment under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1) and 60(b)(6). The district court denied this request. D�vila Alvarez v. Escuela de Medicina Universidad Central del Caribe, Civ. No. 97-2793 (JAF) (D.P.R. Mar. 28, 2000). Finding that the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to grant relief, we affirm.

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