United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
the Court are several motions for summary judgment, including
the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
filed by Entergy Louisiana, LLC ("Entergy") (Doc.
52), the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
filed by Plaintiff (Doc. 53), the Motion for Summary
Judgment filed by Entergy (Doc. 54), and the
Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Charter
Communications, LLC ("Charter") (Doc. 55).
Responses in opposition to each motion have been filed (Docs.
83, 71, 67, 66). For the following reasons, Entergy's
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Doc.
52) is DENIED. Plaintiffs
Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Doc. 53) is
DENIED. Entergy's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. 54) is DENIED.
Charter's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 55)
alleges that on June 8, 2017, a cable line belonging to
Charter was snagged by a boat being towed down her driveway.
(Doc. 26, at 4). Plaintiff allegedly became entangled in the
cable and was dragged across the ground and underneath the
trailer towing the boat. (Id. at 5). Plaintiff
allegedly suffered severe physical, economic, and emotional
injuries, (Id. at 4). Plaintiff alleges negligence
on the part of Charter for failing to install and maintain
the cable line at a safe height and for failing to properly
respond to complaints that the cable line appeared to be too
low, and Entergy for failing to properly locate its own
service lines, to oversee Charter's positioning of its
cable line, and to allow or require Charter to move its cable
line. (Id. at 5). Plaintiff also alleges that both
Charter and Entergy are strictly liable for her injuries.
court shall grant summary judgment 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). In determining whether the movant is
entitled to summary judgment, the court views the facts in
the light most favorable to the nonmovant and draws all
reasonable inferences in the nonmovant's favor.
Coleman v. Hous. Indep. Sch. Dist., 113 F.3d 528,
533 (5th Cir. 1997).
proper motion for summary judgment is made, the nonmovant
"must set forth specific facts showing there is a
genuine issue for trial." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986) (internal citations
omitted). At that moment, the court does not evaluate the
credibility of witnesses, weigh the evidence, or resolve
factual disputes. Int'l Shortstop, Inc. v.
Rally's, Inc., 939 F.2d 1257, 1263 (5th Cir. 1991),
cert, denied, 502 U.S. 1059 (1992). However, if
"the evidence in the record is such that a reasonable
jury, drawing all inferences in favor of the non-moving
party, could arrive at a verdict in that party's
favor," the motion for summary judgment must be denied.
nonmovant's burden is not satisfied by some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts, or by conclusory allegations,
unsubstantiated assertions, or a mere scintilla of evidence.
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir. 1994) (internal quotations omitted). Summary judgment is
appropriate if the nonmovant "fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case." Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
Entergy's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Doc.
requests that the Court grant its claim for indemnity against
Charter on summary judgment. However, the Louisiana Supreme
Court has held that "a cause of action for
indemnification for cost of defense does not arise until the
lawsuit is concluded and defense costs are paid."
Meloy v. Conoco, Inc., 504 So.2d 833, 839 (La.
1987). Thus, at this early stage in the proceedings,
Entergy's motion for partial summary judgment as to its
indemnity claim must be denied without prejudice. See
Winslow v. Am. Airlines, Inc., No. CIV.A. 07-236,
2008 WL 4469962, at *1 (E.D. La. Sept. 29, 2008)
("Louisiana courts have noted that in those situations
where a claim for defense and indemnity is made before a
judicial determination of fault, there is no prohibition from
. . . deferring resolution of the claim until the lawsuit
concludes and liability [is] determined.").
also requests that the Court declare Charter to be in breach
of contract for failure to obtain commercial general
liability insurance. An examination of the pole attachment
agreement between Entergy and Charter reveals that Charter
agreed to carry comprehensive general liability insurance
with a combined single limit of not less than one million,
five hundred thousand dollars ($1, 500, 000) for bodily
injury and property damage and to name Entergy as an
additional insured. (Doc. 52-2, at 8). Entergy contends that
Charter's initial disclosures under Federal Rule of
Procedure 26 indicated that it would provide information on
insurance coverage, but that it has not received any such
information to date. In its response in opposition, Charter
neither contends that it has provided information on
insurance coverage nor cites to any evidence providing
information on insurance coverage. In fact, Charter simply
does not address the issue of insurance coverage in the
response. However, given that the lawsuit has not concluded,
the Court will defer resolution of Charter's breach of
contract claim until Entergy's liability is determined.
Nonetheless, the Court notes that Entergy appears to have a
viable breach of contract claim against Charter. The Court
invites Entergy to renew its claim at a later stage of this
Plaintiffs Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Doc.
argues that Charter was negligent for failing to install and
maintain the cable line at a safe height and for failing to
properly respond to complaints that the cable line appeared
to be too low. ...