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Franco v. MABE Trucking Co.

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

April 9, 2019

DAVID FRANCO
v.
MABE TRUCKING CO., ET AL.

          KAREN L. HAYES MAG. JUDGE.

          RULING

          TERRY A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Pending here is the Motion to Reconsider Ruling on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (styled “Defendants' Pretrial Memorandum Regarding an Outstanding Issue of Law”) [Doc. No. 174] filed by Defendants Mabe Trucking Co., Inc., (“Mabe”); Richard Agee (“Agee”); and National Interstate Insurance Company seeking the dismissal of Plaintiff David Franco's (“Franco”) claim as untimely. Franco has filed an opposition [Doc. No. 175]. Defendants have filed a reply to the opposition [Doc. No. 176]. For the reasons set forth herein, Defendants' Motion to Reconsider Ruling is GRANTED and Franco's claim is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as untimely.

         I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         This case arises out of a motor vehicle accident. On November 24, 2015, Franco's vehicle was involved in a collision with an 18-wheel truck owned by Mabe and being driven by Agee on Interstate 20 in Louisiana.

         On November 22, 2016, Franco filed suit against Mabe in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division, alleging diversity of citizenship jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). [Doc. No. 1]. Franco did not serve Mabe until January 20, 2017.

         On February 10, 2017, Mabe moved to either dismiss or transfer the proceeding, arguing that the Eastern District of Texas lacked personal jurisdiction and was an improper venue. [Doc. No.4]. On June 13, 2017, Judge Roy S. Payne, a United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, granted Mabe's motion and transferred the proceeding to this Court. [Doc. No. 13]. Judge Payne opined: “Because the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over [Mabe], and hence venue under § 1391(b)(1) is improper, the Court finds it suitable in the ‘interests of justice' to transfer the case to the Western District of Louisiana, the district where the accident occurred. See 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a).” Id. at 2. On July 6, 2017, the suit was transferred to this Court.

         On January 23, 2018, Mabe filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, moving to dismiss Franco's claim on the basis of prescription. [Doc. No. 43]. On March 19, 2018, Judge Robert G. James denied Mabe's motion. [Doc. Nos. 63, 64].

         On May 3, 2018, Franco filed a Supplemental and Amended Complaint adding Agee and National Interstate Insurance Company as Defendants [Doc. No. 72].

         On April 1, 2019, Defendants filed the instant motion [Doc. No. 174] asking this Court to reconsider the Ruling issued on March 19, 2018 [Doc. No. 63] and raising an additional issue.

         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. ...


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