United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
STAR FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. DBA ADVANCED ATM SERVICES
CARDTRONICS USA, INC.
ORDER AND REASONS
the court is “Defendant Cardtronics USA, Inc.'s
Motion for Summary Judgment” (Rec. Doc. 16),
Plaintiff's “Memorandum in Opposition to
Cardtronics' Motion for Summary Judgment” (Rec.
Doc. 19) and “Defendant Cardtronics USA, Inc.'s
Reply to Star Financial Services, Inc.'s Memorandum in
Opposition to Cardtronics' Motion for Summary
Judgment” (Rec. Doc. 27), IT IS ORDERED that
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
current controversy arose when Plaintiff Star Financial
Services filed a complaint against Defendant Cardtronics USA
Inc. (Rec. Doc. 1). The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant
breached their contract when it failed to correct inaccurate
account information for two ATM machines which resulted in
$250, 900 in funds to be erroneously credited to a third
party over a five month period (Rec. Doc. 1).
Star Financial Services, Inc. dba Advanced ATM Services and
Defendant ATM Deployer Services, LLC entered into a contract
(Rec. Docs. 16-2 and 19-11). Columbus Data Services is the
successor of ATM Deployer Services (Rec. Docs. 16-2 and
19-11). Columbus Data Services subsequently merged with
Cardtronics (Rec. Docs. 16-2 and 19-11). Defendant
Cardtronics can enforce the terms of the Agent Agreement
against Plaintiff because it is a successor in interest to
the Agent Agreement (Rec. Docs. 16-2 and 19-11).
Star Financial provides automated teller machine sales and
processing services in Maryland, District of Columbia, and
Virginia (Rec. Doc. 19 at 2). Plaintiff relied on a third
party to process the electronic transfers initiated at its
ATMs (Rec. Doc. 19 at 2). Plaintiff entered into an agreement
with the Defendant whereby the Defendant would arrange to
process the financial transactions that occurred at the
Plaintiff's ATM machines (Rec. Doc. 19 at 2).
FACTUAL AND LEGAL FINDINGS
judgment is proper if the pleadings, depositions,
interrogatory answers, and admissions, together with any
affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; see also
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986). A
genuine issue exists if the evidence would allow a reasonable
jury to return a verdict for the nonmovant. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Although
the Court must consider the evidence with all reasonable
inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
party, the nonmovant must produce specific facts to
demonstrate that a genuine issue exists for trial. Webb
v. Cardiothoracic Surgery Assocs. of N. Texas, 139 F.3d
532, 536 (5th Cir. 1998).
moving party bears the initial responsibility of informing
the district court of the basis for its motion.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. The movant must point to
“portions of ‘the pleadings, depositions, answers
to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
affidavits' which it believes demonstrate the absence of
a genuine issue of material fact.” Id. (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56). If and when the movant carries this burden,
the nonmovant must then go beyond the pleadings and use
affidavits, depositions, interrogatory responses, admissions,
or other evidence to establish a genuine issue.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).
the non-movant bears the burden of proof at trial, the movant
may merely point to an absence of evidence, thus shifting to
the non-movant the burden of demonstrating by competent
summary judgment proof that there is an issue of material
fact warranting trial. . . . Only when ‘there is
sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury
to return a verdict for that party' is a full trial on
the merits warranted.” Lindsey v. Sears Roebuck and
Co., 16 F.3d 616, 618 (5th Cir. 1994) (citations
omitted). Accordingly, conclusory rebuttals of the pleadings
are insufficient to avoid summary judgment. Travelers
Ins. Co. v. Liljeberg Enter., Inc., 7 F.3d 1203, 1207
(5th Cir. 1993).
Louisiana Contract Law
Louisiana law in order for the Plaintiff to successfully
establish a breach of contract a party must prove “(1)
the obligor's undertaking an obligation to perform, (2)
the obligor failed to perform the obligation (the breach),
and (3) the failure to perform resulted in damages to the
obligee.” Favrot v. Favrot, 68 So.3d 1099,
1108-1109 (La.App. 4 Cir. 2011). Defendant alleges that
Plaintiff cannot satisfy the first element of a breach of
contract claim because it did not contractually undertake any
of the obligations that the Plaintiff alleges the Defendant
failed to perform. The Plaintiff argues that the Defendant
was obligated to correct any inaccurate information regarding
the ATM terminals.
Plaintiff contends that because the Defendant did not correct
the inaccurate information, the Defendant is in breach of
their contract. The Defendant disagrees and references
section 4.2 of the Agent Agreement. The relevant portion
reads: “All settlements shall be effected through
automated clearing house transfers. It is the responsibility
of the agent to verify that all information
contained in a terminal set-up form, ACH authorization, or
any modification is correct and complete. ADS has no
responsibility to verify any such information” (Rec.
Doc. 1-1) (emphasis provided).
language of the contract is clear in that it states that the
Agent, the plaintiff, and not the Defendant has the
obligation to ensure that the terminal information is
correct. Under Louisiana contract law, “When the words
of a contract are clear and explicit and lead to not absurd
consequences, no further interpretation may be made in search
of the parties' intent.” La Civ. Code. Art. 2046.