United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
JUDGE KAREN L. HAYES
G. JAMES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court are motions for partial summary judgment
[Doc. Nos. 189, 195, 199 & 207] filed by Prewett
Enterprises, Inc. (“Prewett”), Hulcher Services,
Inc. (“Hulcher”), College City Leasing, LLC
(“College City”), Daniel Shackleford
(“Shackleford”), Taylor Logistics, Inc.
(“Taylor Logistics), Taylor Truck Line, LLC
(“Taylor Truck”), Taylor Consolidated, Inc.
(“Taylor Consolidated”), and Union Pacific Railroad
Co. (“Union Pacific”). Prewett, Hulcher, the
Taylor Entities, and Union Pacific move the Court for summary
judgment on the loss of lease payments asserted by R & L
Properties of Oak Grove, LLC (“Properties”) and R
& L Builders Supply, Inc. (“Builders Supply”)
based on the expansion of the Builder Supply business.
following reasons, the motions for partial summary judgment
on the loss of lease payments are GRANTED.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
October 5, 2014, a collision occurred in Mer Rouge,
Louisiana, when a Union Pacific train collided with a 2013
Kenworth tractor with trailer and dolly (hereinafter
“tractor-trailer”) which had become lodged on the
highway/railway grade crossing when the driver, Daniel
Shackleford, attempted to cross. The tractor-trailer was
owned by College City and leased to Taylor Truck.
result of the collision, approximately 17 railroad cars and 2
locomotives left the railroad tracks, cargo spilled, and a
tank car leaked Argon onto surrounding property. Properties
owns the land located along Church Street in Mer
Rouge (“the Church Street Land”)
where at least some of the cars and other debris came to rest
after the collision. Builders Supply operates a building
supply and equipment facility on Andrews Lane in Mer Rouge.
January 14, 2015, Union Pacific brought the instant suit
against Shackleford, and the entities that otherwise owned,
leased, or had another interest in the tractor-trailer,
Taylor Truck, Taylor Logistics, Inc., and College
City. On November 4, 2015, a lawsuit filed by
Properties and Builders Supply was consolidated with this
one year before the accident, Properties purchased the Church
Street Land for the purpose of expanding Builders
Supply's business operations. Prior to and at the time of
the accident, Builders Supply was storing used cross ties on
the Church Street Land.
February 27, 2017, the Court issued a Ruling and Judgment
[Doc. Nos. 287 & 288], finding that there was no valid
lease of the Church Street Land from Properties to Builders
Supply and dismissing any claims asserted by Builders Supply
for damage to the Church Street Land. The Court allowed
Builders Supply to proceed with any claims for damages to
cross ties it had stored on the Church Street Land with
instant motions, Union Pacific and its contractors, Prewett
and Hulcher, as well as the Taylor Entities move for summary
judgment on the business claims asserted by Properties and
Builders Supply. The motions have been fully briefed, and the
Court is prepared to rule.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Standard of Review
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), “[a] party may
move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or
defense--or the part of each claim or defense--on which
summary judgment is sought. 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.” The moving party bears
the initial burden of informing the court of the basis for
its motion by identifying portions of the record which
highlight the absence of genuine issues of material fact.
Topalian v. Ehrmann, 954 F.2d 1125, 1132 (5th Cir.
1992); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1) (“A
party asserting that a fact cannot be . . . disputed must
support the assertion by . . . citing to particular parts of
materials in the record . . .). A fact is
“material” if proof of its existence or
nonexistence would affect the outcome of the lawsuit under