United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
D. ENGELHARDT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is a "Motion for Summary Judgment"
(Rec. Doc. 32), which was filed by Defendant, Kansa
Technology, L.L.C. ("Kansa") on the basis of lack
of causation. The motion is opposed (Rec. Doc. 33) by
Plaintiff, Shambria Smith ("Plaintiff). On the showing
made, IT IS ORDERED that Kansa's Motion
for Summary Judgment is DENIED.
product liability litigation, Plaintiff alleges that the
Kansa 480 Newspaper Inserter possesses a characteristic that
renders the product unreasonably dangerous and that such
characteristic proximately caused Plaintiffs injury. In its
Motion for Summary Judgment, Kansa claims that the Kansa
Inserter did not cause or contribute to the cause of
Plaintiffs accident and injury. (Rec. Doc. 32-1 at p. 3).
Rather, Kansa asserts that the testimony of two eyewitnesses,
Chyra Anderson and Samuel Demarco, as well as Plaintiffs own
testimony, establishes that Plaintiff was injured on the
conveyor belt, and not by the Kansa 480 Newspaper Inserter.
(See Id. at pp. 3-4). In opposition, Plaintiff cites
to her deposition testimony wherein she testified that her
injury was caused by the Kansa Inserter. (Rec. Doc.
33 at pp. 5, 10). Additionally, Plaintiff submits Kansa's
May 26, 2017 answers to interrogatories and expert Edward
Carrick's report in support of her argument that summary
judgment is improper because there is an issue of material
fact as to the cause of the accident. (See Id. at p.
Summary Judgment Standard
to Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
summary judgment shall be granted "if the movant shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of
law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "Materiality" is
determined by the substantive law's identification of
which facts are critical and which facts are irrelevant.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., Ml U.S. 242, 248,
106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). A fact is
material if it "might affect the outcome of the suit
under the governing law." Id.
dispositive issue is one on which the nonmoving party will
bear the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may
satisfy its summary judgment burden by merely pointing out
that the evidence in the record contains insufficient proof
concerning an essential element of the nonmoving party's
claim. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, Ml U.S. 317, 325, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2554, 91
L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); see also Lavespere v. Liberty Mut.
Ins. Co., 910 F.2d 167, 178 (5th Cir. 1990). Once the
moving party carries its burden pursuant to Rule 56(a), the
nonmoving party must "go beyond the pleadings and by
[his] own affidavits, or by the 'depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file,' designate
'specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.'" Celotex, 477U.S. at324, 106 S.Ct.
2553; see also Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348,
1356, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986); Auguster v. Vermillion
Parish School Bd., 249 F.3d 400, 402 (5th Cir. 2001).
evaluating a motion for summary judgment, the Court views the
evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party,
Gillis v. Louisiana, 294 F.3d 755, 758 (5th Cir.
2002), and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of that
party. Hunt v. Rapides Healthcare System, L.L.C.,
277 F.3d 757, 764 (2001). Factual controversies are to be
resolved in favor of the nonmoving party, "but only when
there is an actual controversy, that is, when both parties
have submitted evidence of contradictory facts."
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir.1994) (citations omitted).
the Court is to consider the full record in ruling on a
motion for summary judgment, Rule 56 does not obligate it to
search for evidence to support a party's opposition to
summary judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(3)
("court need consider only the cited materials");
Malacara v. Garber, 353 F.3d 393, 405 (5th Cir.
2003) ("When evidence exists in the summary judgment
record but the nonmovant fails even to refer to it in the
response to the motion for summary judgment, that evidence is
not properly before the district court."). Thus, the
nonmoving party should "identify specific evidence in
the record, and articulate" precisely how that evidence
supports his claims. Forsyth v. Barr, 19 F.3d 1527,
1537 (5th Cir. 1994), cert, denied, 513 U.S. 871,
Application of the Legal Standard
A. Liability Under The Louisiana Products Liability
Louisiana Products Liability Act ("LPLA")
establishes the exclusive theories of liability under
Louisiana law for recovering from manufacturers for injuries
caused by their products. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §
9:2800.52 (West 2018); see also Evans v. Ford Motor
Co., 484 F.3d 329, 334-35 (5th Cir. 2007). The LPLA
permits plaintiffs to recover for damages proximately caused
by products that are unreasonably dangerous within the
meaning of the Act. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 9:2800.54 (A)
(West 2018). To recover under the LPLA, the Plaintiff must be
able to prove the threshold issue of causation.
the evidence in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the
nonmoving party, the Court finds a genuine dispute of
material fact, rooted in credibility, concerning whether the
Kansa Inserter caused Plaintiffs alleged injury. However, the
Court notes that Plaintiffs testimony-which appears somewhat
conflicting itself-will likely require further ...