United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER & REASONS
M. AFRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is a motion for partial summary judgment filed by
defendant Reva Solutions, Inc. (“Reva”) regarding
the ability of plaintiff The Windward Group, LLC
(“Windward”) to recover damages for lost profits.
For the following reasons, the motion is denied.
2015, Windward entered into a contract with Murphy USA, Inc.
(“Murphy USA”) to provide support services for
Murphy's content management program. In connection with
its Murphy USA contract, Windward hired Reva as a
subcontractor to provide technical assistance.
to its agreement with Windward, Reva submitted invoices to
Windward for the work it performed. As the project
progressed, Murphy USA allegedly began to question the
amounts associated with several invoices submitted by Reva.
Murphy USA ultimately canceled its contract with Windward.
then brought the present lawsuit against Reva alleging breach
of contract, tortious interference with business relations,
negligence, detrimental reliance, and violations of the
Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (“LUTPA”).
Windward asserts that Reva overcharged for services it
performed and billed for work not actually performed on the
Murphy USA project, thereby leading Murphy USA to cancel its
contract with Windward.
contends that, as a result of Reva's conduct, it incurred
a variety of damages, including lost profits. Reva now moves
for partial summary judgment on the ground that recovery for
lost profits is precluded by the contract in place between
itself and Windward. Windward opposes the motion.
judgment is proper when, after reviewing the pleadings, the
discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any
affidavits, the court determines that there is no genuine
dispute of material fact. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56.
“[A] party seeking summary judgment always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the
record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The party seeking
summary judgment need not produce evidence negating the
existence of material fact, but need only point out the
absence of evidence supporting the other party's case.
Id.; Fontenot v. Upjohn Co., 780 F.2d 1190,
1195 (5th Cir. 1986).
the party seeking summary judgment carries its burden, the
nonmoving party must come forward with specific facts showing
that there is a genuine dispute of material fact for trial.
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The showing of a genuine issue is
not satisfied by creating “‘some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts, ' by ‘conclusory
allegations, ' by ‘unsubstantiated assertions,
' or by only a ‘scintilla' of evidence.”
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir. 1994) (citations omitted). Instead, a genuine issue of
material fact exists when the “evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). “Although the substance or
content of the evidence submitted to support or dispute a
fact on summary judgment must be admissible . . ., the
material may be presented in a form that would not, in
itself, be admissible at trial.” Lee v. Offshore
Logistical and Transp., LLC, 859 F.3d 353, 355 (5th Cir.
2017) (quotation omitted).
party responding to the motion for summary judgment may not
rest upon the pleadings but must identify specific facts that
establish a genuine issue. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
248. The nonmoving party's evidence, however,
“is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are
to be drawn in [the nonmoving party's] favor.”
Id. at 255; see also Hunt v. Cromartie, 526
U.S. 541, 552 (1999).
Murphy USA issued a request for proposals, seeking bids for
document management and business consulting
services. In anticipation of submitting a proposal
to Murphy USA, Windward and Reva entered into a
“teaming agreement.”The agreement reflected the
parties desire to “combine their efforts to respond to
[Murphy USA's request] and further to enter into an