United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS NATURE OF THE MOTION AND RELIEF
Hurricane Hole Management, LLC filed a motion for summary
judgment in its favor and the dismissal of plaintiff's
claims against it. Rec. Doc. 61. Plaintiff did not file any
response in opposition.
reasons discussed below, IT IS ORDERED that
defendant Hurricane Hole Management, LLC's motion for
summary judgment is GRANTED and
plaintiff's claims against defendant Hurricane Hole
Management, LLC are DISMISSED.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
facts of this case are laid out in greater detail in the
recent order and reasons issued on the summary judgment
motion filed by defendants Town of Grand Isle, Grand Isle
Police Department, and Euris Dubois. See Rec. Doc.
70. They are adopted here in support of the instant order and
reasons and summarized briefly. Plaintiff filed a complaint
against defendants, alleging excessive force in violation of
the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments. Rec. Doc. 1. Plaintiff
alleges that he was attacked and beaten by the Superintendent
of the Hurricane Hole and a group of five unidentified males,
outside of the Hurricane Hole in Grand Isle, Louisiana where
he was conducting a waste pickup for his employer on May 18,
2016. Rec. Doc. 1 at 4. Defendant Hurricane Hole Management,
LLC filed an answer denying plaintiff's claims and
providing affirmative defenses. Rec. Doc. 39.
filed the instant summary judgment motion asserting that
there is no genuine dispute of material fact and that
plaintiff has no evidence to support his claims. Rec. Doc.
61-2 at 1. Defendant states that plaintiff has no evidence
that any Hurricane Hole employee was involved in the alleged
incident and that the sole individual employed by defendant
on the day the alleged incident occurred does not match
plaintiff's description. Rec. Doc. 61-2 at 3.
Hurricane Hole Management, LLC asserts that plaintiff has no
evidence that any Hurricane Hole employee was involved in the
alleged incident. Rec. Doc. 61-2 at 3. Defendant states that
it employed only individual on the date of the alleged
incident, and he is Caucasian and not of Latino descent as
described by plaintiff, as supported by an affidavit of the
owner of Hurricane Hole Management, LLC. Id. at 4.
Additionally, defendant asserts that it has never employed a
construction superintendent or construction crew, and that it
did not have a contract with any construction company on the
date of the alleged incident. Id. Therefore,
defendant argues that plaintiff offers no evidence in support
of its conclusory allegation that a superintendent employed
by defendant was involved in the incident, and summary
judgment is proper. Id. Plaintiff filed no response
in opposition to defendant's motion.
judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). A genuine issue of
material fact exists if the evidence would allow a reasonable
jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
the movant bears the burden of proof, it must
"demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material
fact" using competent summary judgment evidence.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. But "where the
non-movant bears the burden of proof at trial, the movant may
merely point to an absence of evidence." Lindsey v.
Sears Roebuck & Co., 16 F.3d 616, 618 (5th Cir.
1994). When the movant meets its burden, the burden shifts to
the non-movant, who must show by "competent summary
judgment evidence" that there is a genuine issue of
material fact. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., Alb U.S. 574, 586 (1986); Lindsey,
16 F.3d at 618. Nonmovant "must go beyond the pleadings
and designate specific facts that prove that a genuine issue
of material fact exists." Peterson v. Brookshire
Grocery Co., 2018 WL 5920410, at *2 (5th Cir. 2018) .
Fifth Circuit has held that it is not a district court's
duty to sift through the record and find evidence to support
a party's opposition to summary judgment. "A failure
on the part of the nonmoving party to offer proof concerning
an essential element of its case necessarily renders all
other facts immaterial and mandates a finding that no genuine
issue of fact exists." Adams v. Travelers Indem. Co.
of Connecticut, 465 F.3d 156, 164 (5th Cir. 2006).
Therefore, when a plaintiff fails to respond to a
defendant's motion for summary judgment, "the
inquiry must be whether the facts presented by the defendants
create an appropriate basis to enter summary judgment against
provides no evidence of a genuine dispute as to material
facts and summary judgment in favor of defendant is therefore
appropriate. Local Rule 56.2 states that "all material
facts in the moving party's statement will be deemed
admitted, for the purposes of the motion, unless controverted
in the opponent's statement." Plaintiff did not file
any opposition to defendant's motion, therefore all the
material facts in defendant's statement are deemed
admitted for purposes of this motion. Defendant states that
plaintiff has no evidence to show that anyone employed by
defendant was involved in the alleged incident, that
defendant's sole employee on the date of the incident
does not match the description plaintiff gave of the
Hurricane Hole employee involved in the alleged incident, and
that defendant has never employed any construction workers or
crew. Rec. Doc. 61-1. Defendant provides an affidavit by the
owner of Hurricane Hole Management, LLC in support of its
statements as well as a transcript of plaintiff's
deposition in which plaintiff describes the Hurricane Hole
employee as "of Latino descent." Rec. Doc. 61-3 at
9. Plaintiff offers no evidence to support its assertions
that a Hurricane Hole employee was involved in the alleged
incident. As discussed above, because plaintiff bears the
burden at trial, defendant may merely point to an absence of
evidence" to support its motion for summary judgment.
Lindsey v. Sears Roebuck & Co.,16 F.3d 616, 618
(5th Cir. 1994). Plaintiff must go beyond the pleadings and
designate specific facts that prove that a genuine issue of
material fact exists. Peterson at *2. Plaintiff
cannot "cannot defeat summary judgment with conclusory
allegations, unsupported assertions, or presentation of only
a scintilla of evidence." Peterson at *2. In
this case, plaintiff has not designated any facts to prove
that a genuine issue of material facts exists or provided any
evidence that goes beyond conclusory allegations or
unsupported assertions. In his deposition, plaintiff state
that other than his assumption that the man who assaulted him
was the superintendent of Hurricane ...