United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
JAMIE ROGERS, ET AL.
PROGRESSIVE DIRECT INSURANCE CO., ET AL.
KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
the court is a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [doc. 20]
filed pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure by Jamie Rogers and Cara Rogers (collectively,
“plaintiffs”). Defendants oppose the motion. Doc.
action arises from a two-car motor vehicle accident that
occurred on the afternoon of March 6, 2016, in Calcasieu
Parish, Louisiana. See doc. 1, att. 1, pp. 3-7
(state court complaint). On that date, Ray Schwegler, a
professional truck driver who is the owner of Big Rig
Trucking, Inc., was traveling southbound on WPA Road while
hauling dirt to a work site in an eighteen-wheeler.
Id. at 3-4; doc. 20, att. 4, pp. 8, 18, 32-34
(Schwegler deposition). At the same time, Jamie Rogers was
traveling west on Highway 90. Doc. 20, att. 3, p. 12 (Rogers
testified that he approached a stop sign at the intersection
of WPA Road and Highway 90, came to a stop, and looked both
ways, intending to make a right turn in order to go west on
Highway 90. Doc. 20, att. 4, p. 55. He stated that when he
looked to his left, he saw Rogers' vehicle approaching
from an estimated distance of two to three telephone poles
away, and with Rogers flashing his lights. Id. at
55-59. Schwegler then began to make the turn, after which he
made impact with Rogers' vehicle, striking immediately
behind Rogers' passenger cab and causing the latter
vehicle to spin out into the road. Id.; see
doc. 20, att. 3, pp. 60-66 (accident report). In his
deposition Rogers denied ever seeing Schwegler's vehicle
“until he was right there on top of me, ” and
admitted he did not see whether Schwegler had stopped at the
stop sign. Doc. 20, att. 3, pp. 11, 16. He also stated that
he did not brake before impact was made. Id. at 16.
Finally, he recalled that traffic was light at the time of
the accident, and that the only vehicle he noticed traveling
west in front of him was “probably a couple of miles
ahead.” Id. at 12. As a result of the
accident, Schwegler received a citation for failure to yield.
See Id. at 61-62.
alleges that he suffered numerous and extensive injuries from
the accident. Doc. 1, att. 1, p. 5. His wife, Cara, alleges
that she has suffered a loss of consortium. Id. at
6. They maintain that the accident was a result, in relevant
part, of Schwegler's negligence. Id. at 5.
Accordingly, they filed suit against Schwegler, Big Rig
Trucking, Inc., and insurers Progressive Direct Insurance
Company and United Financial Casualty Company on October 14,
2016, in the Fourteenth Judicial District, Calcasieu Parish,
Louisiana. Id. at 3-7. Schwegler removed the matter
to this court on November 21, 2016, on the basis of federal
diversity jurisdiction, 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Doc. 1.
have now filed the instant Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment [doc. 20], alleging that there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact and that they are entitled to
judgment as a matter of law on the issue of Schwegler's
liability. Defendants oppose the motion. Doc. 23.
should grant a motion for summary judgment when it is shown
“that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553 (1986). The party moving
for summary judgment is initially responsible for
demonstrating the reasons justifying the motion for summary
judgment by identifying portions of pleadings and discovery
that show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact for
trial. Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954
(5th Cir. 1995). The court must deny the moving party's
motion for summary judgment if the movant fails to meet this
the movant makes this showing, the burden then shifts to the
non-moving party to set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510 (1986). The burden
requires more than mere allegations or denials of the adverse
party's pleadings. Instead, the nonmovant must submit
“significant probative evidence” in support of
his claim. State Farm Life Ins. Co. v. Gutterman,
896 F.2d 116, 118 (5th Cir. 1990). If the evidence is merely
colorable or is not significantly probative, summary judgment
may be granted. Anderson, 106 S.Ct. at 2511.
may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence
in ruling on a motion for summary judgment. Reeves v.
Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 120 S.Ct. 2097, 2110
(2000). The court is also required to draw all inferences
based on underlying facts in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Clift v. Clift, 210 F.3d 268, 270
(5th Cir. 2000). There is no genuine issue of material fact
if, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the