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Deshotel v. Unifirst Corp.

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

November 16, 2018

STACY DESHOTEL, ET AL.
v.
UNIFIRST CORPORATION, ET AL.

          PATRICK J. HANNA MAG. JUDGE

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is Defendant ESIS, Inc.'s (“ESIS”) Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 25]. ESIS moves the Court for summary judgment, contending that it is not the insurer of Defendant Unifirst Corporation (“Unifirst”) and does not have any liability to Plaitiffs Stacey Deshotel and Lisa Deshotel (“the Deshotels”). The Deshotels have failed to oppose the motion.

         For the following reasons, ESIS's Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED, and the Deshotels' claims against it are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This case arises out of a slip and fall incident. On or about September 19, 2016, Defendant Unifirst delivered a mat to Cajun Express Service Center (“Cajun”), a business co-owned by Plaintiff Stacey Deshotel. Mr. Deshotel alleges that on or about September 20, 2016, he was working on the front sales floor at Cajun and needed to go out the front entrance. On his way out, his foot caught in the mat, and he fell. Mr. Deshotel hit his head on the door, breaking the glass and injuring his left arm.

         On September 19, 2017, the Deshotels filed suit against Unifirst and ESIS. ESIS was listed as the insurer of Unifirst. The Deshotels further allege that ESIS is liable to them “jointly, severally, and in solido for all damages herein, ” but fails to allege any facts other than ESIS's alleged status as Unifirst's insurer.

         On October 19, 2018, ESIS filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment. Under the Court's Notice of Motion Setting [Doc. No. 31], the Deshotels' opposition was due no later than November 13, 2018. None has been filed, and the Court is now prepared to rule.

         II. LAW AND ANALYSIS

         A. Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment “shall [be] grant[ed] . . . 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is “material” if proof of its existence or nonexistence would affect the outcome of the lawsuit under applicable law in the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute about a material fact is “genuine” if the evidence is such that a reasonable fact finder could render a verdict for the nonmoving party. Id.

         If the moving party can meet the initial burden, the burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to establish the existence of a genuine issue of material fact for trial. Norman v. Apache Corp., 19 F.3d 1017, 1023 (5th Cir. 1994). The nonmoving party must show more than “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). In evaluating the evidence tendered by the parties, the Court must accept the evidence of the nonmovant as credible and draw all justifiable inferences in its favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.

         B. Status as Insurer and Basis for Liaibility

         ESIS moves the Court for summary judgment because it is not the insurer of Cajun, and the Deshotels have failed to ...


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