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Offshore Rental v. Louisiana Scrap International Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division

March 19, 2018

Offshore Rental
v.
Louisiana Scrap International Inc et al

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          CAROL B. WHITEHURST, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court is Motion For Summary Judgment filed by Defendant, Southern Recycling, LLC (“Southern Recycling”) [Rec. Doc. 84], Plaintiff, Offshore Rental, Ltd.'s (“Offshore Rental”) Opposition [Rec Doc. 96], Southern Recycling's Reply [Rec. Doc. 101] and Plaintiff's Sur-Reply [Rec. Doc. 117].

         Also before the Court is Motion For Summary Judgment filed by Defendant, Travelers Property Casualty Company of America (“Travelers”) [Rec. Doc. 93] and Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition [Rec. Doc. 105].

         For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny Southern Recycling's motion as premature with the right to reurge if appropriate and will deny Traveler's related motion as moot.

         I. Background

         On July 23, 2015, Defendant Anthony Harris appeared in person at Southern Recycling's Lafayette facility and sold approximately 22, 940 pounds of scrap metal to Southern Recycling for a value of $1, 296.07. R. 84-3, Aff. Of Belaire, No. 3. On August 6, 2015, Harris again appeared at the Lafayette facility and sold approximately 29, 760 pounds of scrap metal to Southern Recycling for a value of $1, 408.93. Id., No. 4. On October 9, 2015, Harris appeared at Southern Recycling's Lafayette facility for the third time and sold approximately 9, 320 pounds of scrap metal for a value of $291.95. Id., No. 5.

         Plaintiff Offshore Rental, Ltd. filed its Original Complaint with Jury Demand asserting claims of conversion and unjust enrichment against Louisiana Scrap International, Inc., John Rongey, Kathy Rongey, Travis Cormier, Anthony Harris and Floyd Tolivour on July 25, 2016. R. 1. On October 11, 2016, Plaintiff filed its Amended Complaint, naming Southern Recycling in the suit. R. 16. The record indicates that more than one year passed between the July 23, 2015, August 6, 2015 and October 9, 2015 transactions in question and the October 11, 2016 First Amended Complaint against Southern Recycling.

         II. Contentions of the Parties

         Southern Recycling contends that Plaintiff's claims against it should be dismissed as facially prescribed. Alternatively, Southern Recycling asserts that Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim must be dismissed as invalid. Plaintiff argues that it did not know, nor have reason to know that Southern Recycling was involved in the conduct at issue until September 14, 2016, and therefore, the doctrine of contra non valentem applies to toll prescription until it sought leave to file its claim on October 11, 2016. Plaintiff also argues that prescription was interrupted by the filing of this lawsuit against the other Defendants as joint tortfeasors of Southern Recycling. Plaintiff argues that unjust enrichment is an available cause of action in this case.

         Travelers contends that in the event the Court grants Southern Recycling's Motion For Summary Judgment Travelers cannot have any liability to the Plaintiff in this litigation, and therefore Plaintiff's claims against Travelers should also be dismissed. Plaintiff concedes that Travelers' Motion should be granted if Southern Recycling's Motion is granted.

         III. Summary Judgment Standard

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), the Court will grant a party's motion for summary judgment only if:

the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

         A genuine issue of material fact exists if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in favor of the nonmoving party. See Anderson v. ...


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