United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Monroe Division
L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE.
G. JAMES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court are motions for partial summary judgment
[Doc. Nos. 181, 185, 196 & 208] 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 claims by R & L Properties of Oak Grove, LLC
(“Properties”) and R & L Builders Supply,
Inc. (“Builders Supply”) for “past and
future loss of revenues from the anticipated expansion of the
business operations [of Builders Supply.]” [Doc. No. 1,
following reasons, the motions for partial summary judgment
on past and future loss of revenues are GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART.
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
across the street from the Church Street Land. At the time of
the collision, Builders Supply sold hardware, lumber, and
other items necessary to build a home. Builders Supply
consists of the hardware store and three additional buildings
which provide storage for the inventory of doors, sheet rock,
treated lumber, and 2 x 4s. Sales at Builders Supply's
Andrews Lane location were not affected by the derailment
because its sales were significantly higher in April through
June 2016 than they were doing the same months in 2014 and
one year before the accident, Properties purchased the Church
Street Land for the purpose of expanding Builders
Supply's business operations. Builders Supply intended to
expand the business by constructing a new store location,
adding more storage, and offering new items for sale,
including septic tanks, culverts, and steps. However,
Builders Supply did not have a valid lease of the Church
Street Land, no financing had been obtained for the
expansion, and no construction had begun.
McLarrin (“McLarrin”), principal of Properties
and Builders Supply,  offered his opinion that Builders Supply
would have an increase in revenues after the expansion based
on his “guesswork.” [Doc. No. 181-4 Randle
McLarrin Depo., p. 160]. McLarrin assumed that business would
“double” at the new location and performed some
calculations on a scratch pad which he did not retain. [Doc.
No. 181-8 Builders Supply Corporate Depo., pp. 42-43].
Builders Supply did not retain an expert to estimate lost
revenues in connection with the delayed expansion.
to and at the time of the accident, Builders Supply was
storing used cross ties on the Church Street Land. There was
also topsoil discovered on the Church Street Land which
Properties sold through Builders Supply.
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
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.
9, 2017, the Court issued a Ruling and Judgment [Doc. Nos.
306 & 307] dismissing any claims by Properties and
Builders Supply for loss of lease payments relating to the
Builders Supply expansion.
instant motions, Union Pacific and its contractors, Prewett
and Hulcher, as well as the Taylor Entities move for summary
judgment on the claims asserted by Properties and Builders
Supply for lost profits from the anticipated expansion of
Builders Supply to the Church Street Land, as well as lost
profits from topsoil sales from the Church Street Land.
motions have been fully briefed, and the Court is prepared to
LAW AND ANALYSIS