United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
S. VANCE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are cross motions for summary judgment filed by
Plaintiff Raymond Angelin and defendant The Insurance Company
of the State of Pennsylvania (ICSP). Because the Court finds
that Angelin's employer executed a valid waiver of
uninsured motorist coverage, ICSP's motion is granted and
Angelin's motion is denied. Accordingly, Angelin's
claims are dismissed with prejudice.
Raymond Angelin works for Cross Road Centers Transportation,
As part of his job, Angelin drives Cross Road's 2015
Volvo tractor trailer truck. Cross Road maintained an auto
insurance policy with defendant The Insurance Company of the
State of Pennsylvania (ICSP) for the period of March 1, 2015
to March 1, 2016.
alleges that he was injured on August 2, 2015 when an
uninsured or underinsured motorist sideswiped the Volvo
truck. According to Angelin, he was driving the
truck within the course and scope of his work for Cross Road
at the time of the accident. Angelin alleges that, under Cross
Road's auto insurance policy, ICSP is to liable Angelin
for the motorist's negligence. Angelin seeks compensation
for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain
sued ICSP in the 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish
of Jefferson. ICSP removed to this Court on October 13,
2016. The parties have filed dueling motions for
summary judgment on the issue of whether Cross Road's
auto insurance policy with ICSP includes uninsured motorist
judgment is warranted when “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.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986); Little v.
Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994).
When assessing whether a dispute as to any material fact
exists, the Court considers “all of the evidence in the
record but refrain[s] from making credibility determinations
or weighing the evidence.” Delta & Pine Land
Co. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 530 F.3d 395,
398-99 (5th Cir. 2008). All reasonable inferences are drawn
in favor of the nonmoving party, but “unsupported
allegations or affidavits setting forth ‘ultimate or
conclusory facts and conclusions of law' are insufficient
to either support or defeat a motion for summary
judgment.” Galindo v. Precision Am. Corp., 754
F.2d 1212, 1216 (5th Cir. 1985); see also Little, 37
F.3d at 1075. “No genuine dispute of fact exists if the
record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of
fact to find for the non-moving party.” EEOC v.
Simbaki, Ltd., 767 F.3d 475, 481 (5th Cir. 2014).
dispositive issue is one on which the moving party will bear
the burden of proof at trial, the moving party “must
come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a
directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at
trial.” Int'l Shortstop, Inc. v. Rally's,
Inc., 939 F.2d 1257, 1264-65 (5th Cir. 1991). The
nonmoving party can then defeat the motion by either
countering with evidence sufficient to demonstrate the
existence of a genuine dispute of material fact, or
“showing that the moving party's evidence is so
sheer that it may not persuade the reasonable fact-finder to
return a verdict in favor of the moving party.”
Id. at 1265.
dispositive issue is one on which the nonmoving party will
bear the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may
satisfy its burden by merely pointing out that the evidence
in the record is insufficient with respect to an essential
element of the nonmoving party's claim. See
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. The burden then shifts to the
nonmoving party, who must, by submitting or referring to
evidence, set out specific facts showing that a genuine issue
exists. See Id. at 324. The nonmovant may not rest
upon the pleadings, but must identify specific facts that
establish a genuine issue for trial. See, e.g., id.;
Little, 37 F.3d at 1075 (“Rule 56
mandates the entry of summary judgment, after
adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party
who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.” (quoting Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322)).
parties' dispute is a narrow one. Both sides agree that
Cross Roads, through its legal representative Robert Gadola,
executed an “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily
Injury Coverage Form.” Gadola initialed in the space
next to the sentence “I do not want UMBI
coverage” and signed and dated the bottom of the
page. Despite this clear evidence of intent to
waive uninsured motorist coverage, Angelin argues that the
waiver is ineffective because the waiver form does not state
the relevant policy number.
Louisiana Law, every automobile liability policy offers
implicit coverage for uninsured motorists, even if the
contract does not explicitly address the issue. Duncan v.
U.S.A.A. Ins. Co., 950 So.2d 544, 547 (La. 2006). A
motorist may waive uninsured motorist coverage, but the
waiver must be “clear and unmistakable” and
“the insurer ...