United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
DWANNA YOUNG, Tutrix, o.b.o. minor child, Thaniel Young
UNITED RENTALS, INC. and J L G INDUSTRIES, INC.
PEREZ-MONTES MAG. JUDGE.
DRELL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court are motions for summary judgment filed by
defendants United Rentals, Inc. ("United") (Doc.
44) and J L G Industries, Inc., ("J L G") (Doc.
55). Plaintiff filed no opposition to these motions. For the
reasons expressed in this ruling, both motions will be
GRANTED in full, dismissing all claims by plaintiff, Dwanna
Young ("Plaintiff), as tutrix of the minor child Thaniel
is the natural tutrix of Thaniel Young ("Minor"), a
child born to Plaintiff and Davis Young ("Young"),
who was killed as a result of the events forming the basis of
this suit. On October 20, 2016, Young was employed in the
maintenance department at German Pellets Louisiana, LLC
("German Pellets") when he fell from a vertical man
lift ("Lift") he was using to clean pellet silos.
The lift was manufactured by JLG Industries, Inc.
("JLG"), owned by United Rentals (North America),
Inc. ("United") and rented to Elektro Fischer USA,
LP ("Elektro"), a contractor performing work at the
German Pellets plant.
complaint alleges that on the date of the accident in
question, the lift
...suddenly and without warning, tipped over causing [Young]
to fall to the ground, sustaining very serious injuries to
his skull and brain as well as his spinal cord, resulting in
his death on October 27, 2016. (Doc. 1-1 at ¶ 6).
filed this wrongful death suit in the Twenty-eighth Judicial
District Court for the Parish of LaSalle on October 19, 2017,
naming United and JLG as defendants. (Doc. 1). JLG removed
the suit to this court timely on or about November 13, 2017
citing federal diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1332.(Id.). Subsequently, JLG filed a
motion to dismiss on the basis of lack of personal
jurisdiction under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). (Doc. 26). By
adoption of the report and recommendation issued by the
magistrate judge, this court denied JLG's motion, finding
that we possessed specific personal jurisdiction over JLG
under the stream of commerce theory. (Docs. 47, 53).
the pendency of the aforementioned motion to dismiss, United
filed its instant motion for summary judgment, urging
judgment in its favor dismissing all claims against it on the
basis that plaintiff fails to prove that it had
garde of the lift; that plaintiff fails to
demonstrate any defect in the lift; and that plaintiff has
not shown that the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor
applies in this case. (Doc. 44-1). Plaintiff filed no
opposition to this motion.
after this court's denial of JLG's motion to dismiss,
JLG filed its own motion for summary judgment, asserting
entitlement to dismissal of all claims against it based on
plaintiffs failure to show that the lift was unreasonably
dangerous; that JLG breached any express warranty; or that
any breach of duty was the cause of Young's accident and
subsequent demise. The motion also points out that plaintiff
failed to designate an expert or produce any expert testimony
on causation under the Louisiana Products Liability Act
("LPLA"), La. Rev. Stat. 9:2800.52. Finally, the
motion contests the applicability of res ipsa
loquitor in this case. (Doc. 55). Plaintiff filed no
opposition to this motion.
necessary delays have now lapsed and the court finds the
motions ripe for decision.