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Redos v. Union Pacific Railroad Co.

September 17, 2009

JOHN F. REDOS, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER

Plaintiff filed this action on May 12, 2008. It was later ordered related to Nickels v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 2:08-cv-01155-MCE-KJM, and was then consolidated for discovery purposes with Nickles and Gomez v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, 2:09-cv-002255-MCE-KJM. Presently before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment, Motion in Limine, and Motion for Judicial Notice, which are materially identical to that filed in Nickles, 2:08-cv-01155. For the following reasons, the instant Motions are denied.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff initiated this action seeking to recover for injuries suffered as a result of the derailment of rail grinding track maintenance equipment. The equipment was owned and operated by Harsco Track Technologies ("Harsco"), a contractor providing services for Union Pacific. Plaintiff Redos supervised the rail grinding equipment and Plaintiff Nickles was its operator.

According to Plaintiff's Statement of Undisputed Facts, Union Pacific contracted with Harsco for rail grinding services. Plaintiff contends that a unit comprising the grinding equipment was a "locomotive" and further alleges that the various equipment along with the "locomotive" comprised a "train." Plaintiff also avers that the rail grinding equipment ultimately derailed as a result of brake deficiencies and defects.

Based on the above facts, Plaintiff contends that, as a matter of law, Defendant violated the Federal Safety Appliance Act ("FSAA"), 49 U.S.C. § 20302. Defendant also moves to have this Court take judicial notice of the Consumer Price Index and moves to exclude Section 14 of the Harsco/Union Pacific contract. For the following reasons, Plaintiff's Motions are each denied without prejudice.

ANALYSIS

1. Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary judgment when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). One of the principal purposes of Rule 56 is to dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-324 (1986).

Rule 56 also allows a court to grant summary adjudication on part of a claim or defense. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) ("A party seeking to recover upon a claim...may...move...for a summary judgment in the party's favor upon all or any part thereof."); see also Allstate Ins. Co. v. Madan, 889 F. Supp. 374, 378-79 (C.D. Cal. 1995); France Stone Co., Inc. v. Charter Township of Monroe, 790 F. Supp. 707, 710 (E.D. Mich. 1992).

The standard that applies to a motion for summary adjudication is the same as that which applies to a motion for summary judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a), 56(c); Mora v. ChemTronics, 16 F. Supp. 2d. 1192, 1200 (S.D. Cal. 1998).

A party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of 'the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file together with the affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.

Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. at 323(quoting Rule 56(c)).

If the moving party meets its initial responsibility, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine issue as to any material fact actually does exist. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 585-87 (1986); ...


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