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Cherkaoui v. Pinel

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

January 11, 2017

FOUAD CHERKAOUI
v.
J.A. BENOIT PINEL, ARTISAN FREIGHT, LLC, INLAND LEASE & RENTAL, LLC AND PRIME PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE, INC.

         SECTION "S"(1)

          ORDER AND REASONS

          MARY ANN VIAL LEMMON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

          IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed by defendant, Prime Property & Casualty Insurance, Inc. (Doc. #41), is GRANTED, and the claim made against it by plaintiff, Fouad Cherkaoui, is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by defendant, Inland Lease & Rental, Inc. (Doc. #42), is GRANTED, and the claim made against it by plaintiff, Fouad Cherkaoui, is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         BACKGROUND

         This matter is before the court on a motion for partial summary judgment filed by defendant, Prime Property & Casualty Insurance, Inc. This matter is also before the court on a motion for summary judgment filed by defendant, Inland Lease and Rental, Inc.[1]

         Plaintiff, Fouad Cherkaoui, filed this action against defendants, J.A. Benoit Pinel, Artisan Freight, LLC, Inland, and Prime seeking damages for injuries that he allegedly sustained in an automobile accident that occurred on May 16, 2015, on Interstate 10 in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Cherkaoui alleges that Pinel, who was employed by Artisan and driving a 2015 Kenilworth T680 truck, collided into the rear driver's side of Cherkaoui's vehicle, which caused Cherkaoui's vehicle to spin off of the roadway. Inland owned the 2015 Kenilworth T680, and leased it to PACCAR, which in turn leased it to Artisan, as a replacement vehicle for one that was earlier leased to Artisan by PACCAR Leasing Corp. Cherkaoui's claims include property damage, past and future lost wages, medical expense and loss of future earning capacity. Cherkaoui alleges diversity subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         Prime issued an automobile insurance policy to Artisan. Cherkaoui alleged that the 2015 Kenilworth T680 was covered under that policy. Inland filed a cross claim against Artisan and Prime alleging that the lease agreement required Artisan to purchase insurance to cover the leased vehicle, which included Inland as an additional insured, and to indemnify Inland for any claims made against it arising out of Artisan's operation of the leased vehicle. Inland alleged that Prime and Artisan owe Inland defense and indemnity as to Cherkaoui's claims.

         Prime filed a motion for partial summary judgment on Inland's cross claim arguing that it does not owe defense and indemnity to Inland because the 2015 Kenilworth T680 was not listed as a covered auto and is not an insured under the policy. The court granted Prime's motion and dismissed Inland's cross claim against Prime, finding that the 2015 Kenilworth T680 was not covered by the terms of the insurance policy. See Rec. Doc. #40.

         Thereafter, Prime filed the instant motion for partial summary judgment seeking dismissal of Cherkaoui's claim against it under Louisiana's Direct Action Statute arguing that Cherkaoui cannot maintain that claim because this court has already found that the 2015 Kenilworth T680 was not covered by the insurance policy. Cherkaoui agrees that this court has found that the vehicle was not covered by the Prime policy, but argues that his claim against Prime should not be dismissed because Prime may by liable to him under the MCS-90 endorsement.

         Inland argues that summary judgment should be granted on Cherkaoui's claim against it because it did not negligently entrust the vehicle to PACCAR. Cherkaoui argues that Inland is not entitled to summary judgment because there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding Inland's insurance coverage for the 2015 Kenilworth T680. Specifically, Cherkaoui seeks to discover whether Inland had an insurance policy that may have covered Artisan or included a MCS-90 endorsement.

         ANALYSIS

         I. Summary Judgment Standard

         Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the "court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Granting a motion for summary judgment is proper if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions on file, and affidavits filed in support of the motion demonstrate that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2509-10 (1986). The court must find "[a] factual dispute . . . [to be] 'genuine' if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party . . . [and a] fact . . . [to be] ...


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