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Allstate Ins. Co. v. Mayflower Transit

April 14, 2009

ALLSTATE INS. CO., AS SUBROGEE FOR BRIAN MILLER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MAYFLOWER TRANSIT, LLC, AND DOES 1 TO 20, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: VIRGINIA A. Phillips United States District Judge

[Motion filed on March 30, 2009]

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

Defendant Mayflower Transit, LLC's Motion for Summary Judgment came before the Court for hearing on April 13, 2009. After reviewing and considering all papers filed in support of, and in opposition to, the Motion, as well as the arguments advanced by counsel at the hearing, the Court GRANTS the Motion.

I. BACKGROUND

On January 5, 2009, Plaintiff Allstate Insurance Company ("Plaintiff"), as subrogee for Brian Miller, filed a form Complaint in the California Superior Court, Riverside County, against Defendant Mayflower Transit, LLC ("Defendant"), alleging the following claims: (1) "Motor Vehicle;" (2) "General Negligence;" and (3) "Equitable Subrogation." (See Not. of Removal at 7.) Defendant removed the action to this Court on February 20, 2009.

On February 25, 2009, Defendant filed a "Motion to Dismiss Complaint." Plaintiff filed Opposition on March 9, 2009; Defendant filed a Reply on March 16, 2009. On the face of Plaintiff's Complaint, it is unclear whether Brian Miller hired Defendant to move his belongings within California or outside of the state. On March 18, 2009, the Court, sua sponte, converted Defendant's Motion to Dismiss into a Motion for Summary Judgment to consider evidence of the interstate nature of the move and whether or not the Carmack Amendment completely preempts Plaintiff's California state law claims.

Pursuant to the Court's March 18 Order, Defendant filed a "Statement of Uncontroverted Facts and Conclusions of Law" ("SUF"), a supplemental brief, and the Declaration of Tina Gaugh ("Gaugh Declaration") on March 30, 2009. Plaintiff filed Opposition, a "Statement of Genuine Issues" ("SGI"), and the Declaration of Sandra D. Lovern ("Lovern Declaration") on April 6, 2009.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

A motion for summary judgment shall be granted when there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). The moving party must show that "under the governing law, there can be but one reasonable conclusion as to the verdict." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.

Generally, the burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that it is entitled to summary judgment. Margolis v. Ryan, 140 F.3d 850, 852 (9th Cir. 1998); Retail Clerks Union Local 648 v. Hub Pharmacy, Inc., 707 F.2d 1030, 1033 (9th Cir. 1983). The moving party bears the initial burden of identifying the elements of the claim or defense and evidence that it believes demonstrates the absence of an issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).

When the non-moving party has the burden at trial, however, the moving party need not produce evidence negating or disproving every essential element of the non-moving party's case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325. Instead, the moving party's burden is met by pointing out there is an absence of evidence supporting the non-moving party's case. Id.

The burden then shifts to the non-moving party to show that there is a genuine issue of material fact that must be resolved at trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. The non-moving party must make an affirmative showing on all matters placed in issue by the motion as to which it has the burden of proof at trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; see also William W. Schwarzer,

A. Wallace Tashima & James M. Wagstaffe, Federal Civil Procedure Before Trial, 14:144

A genuine issue of material fact will exist "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court construes the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Barlow v. Ground, 943 F.2d 1132, 1135 (9th Cir. 1991); T.W. ...


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