Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cox Operating, L.L.C. v. Settoon Towing, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

December 5, 2018

COX OPERATING, L.L.C.
v.
SETTOON TOWING, L.L.C., ET AL.

         SECTION I

         REF: ALL CASES

          ORDER & REASONS

          LANCE M. AFRICK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Cox Operating, L.L.C.'s (“Cox”) motion[1] for an adverse inference at trial. Specifically, Cox requests that the Court order that a certain e-mail be considered admissible as a party-opponent statement against Settoon Towing, L.L.C. (“Settoon”) as a sanction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11.[2] For the following reasons, the motion is denied.

         I.

         This case concerns a 2016 accident in which a vessel owned by Settoon allided with a well owned by Cox (the “allision”). The e-mail underlying the present dispute was sent by Scott Lerille (“Lerille”)-who was at some point in time a Settoon employee[3]-to Mike Ellis, Settoon's then-president. Lerille sent the e-mail three days after the allision occurred.[4] Cox asserts that the e-mail is critical to proving “Settoon's privity and knowledge of the negligence that caused the [a]llision” at trial.[5] According to the parties' briefs, the dispute unfolded as follows:

• On May 18, 2018, Cox moved for partial summary judgment, relying in part on Lerille's e-mail to demonstrate that Settoon “admitted that [its] ‘management failures' caused the [a]llision.”[6]
• On June 5, 2018, Settoon filed its opposition and a motion to strike the e-mail, arguing that it was inadmissible hearsay. In its memorandum in support of the motion to strike, Settoon contended that Lerille resigned before sending the e-mail. Additionally, Settoon stated that “Lerille never worked at Settoon again.”[7] It is undisputed that such statement is false.[8]
• Settoon states that the misstatement was a mistake: Settoon “enlisted the assistance of a special counsel . . . to assist in drafting [the] [m]otion to [s]trike.” The special counsel “read the part of the . . . deposition transcript in which it was discussed that Lerille quit right after the allision” and “inadvertently concluded . . . that after [Lerille] quit the first time, ” he never worked for Settoon again.[9]
• The day after Settoon filed its motion to strike, Cox's counsel called Settoon's counsel to discuss the misstatement. Settoon's counsel stated that he would file a motion for leave to substitute the memorandum with a corrected version. However, before he could do so (and only two days after the motion was filed), the Court denied Cox's motion for partial summary judgment and dismissed the motion to strike as moot.[10]Settoon argues that “[t]here was therefore no longer any mistaken memorandum pending before the Court.”[11]
• Counsel for both parties again spoke about the issue, and Settoon's counsel advised Cox's counsel that he would still correct the misstatement-this time in a motion in limine Settoon intended to file seeking exclusion of the e-mail at trial.[12]
• Settoon states, however, that it decided not to file such a motion after it learned that Cox had subpoenaed Lerille to testify live at trial because “it became clear to Settoon that . . . [t]here would be no hearsay issue.”[13]
• Thereafter, counsel for both parties spoke about the issue for a third time. Settoon states that it proposed the submission of a joint stipulation correcting the error and that “Cox's counsel represented that he would get back to Settoon in response to the proposal.”[14] According to Settoon, Cox filed the present motion instead.[15]

         Cox now moves the Court to enter “an order granting an adverse inference as to the admissibility of the [e-mail] as a non-hearsay statement of party opponent” pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 as a sanction ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.