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Personal Communications Devices v. Platinum Cargo Logistics

July 29, 2011

PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS DEVICES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
PLATINUM CARGO LOGISTICS, INC., DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

[MotionS filed on 12/22/2010 ]

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION

Presently before the court are Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of Partial Summary Judgment Entered in Favor of Platinum Cargo Logistics, Inc. (Dkt. No. 87) and Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration of Partial Summary Judgment Entered in Favor of Celestial Freight Solutions, Inc. (Dkt. No. 88). Having reviewed the submissions of the parties, the court DENIES the motions and adopts the following order.

I. Background

As described more fully in this court's earlier orders, Plaintiff Personal Communications Devices ("PCD") tendered seven shipments of mobile phones to Defendant Platinum Cargo Logistics, Inc. ("Platinum") for transportation from California to Kentucky.*fn1

Rather than accept Platinum's standard limitation of liability, PCD elected a higher declared value of $35,000 per shipment, totaling $245,000. PCD also obtained insurance of $5 million per truckload.

According to PCD, the parties agreed to follow certain security procedures, including separate transportation of the seven phone shipments. However, contrary to the agreement of the parties, PCD alleges, Platinum consolidated the seven phone shipments into one truckload, valued at approximately $7.7 million. One day after Celestial picked up the shipment for transport, the truck, trailer, and phones were stolen from an unlocked truck yard. The phones were never recovered.

PCD brought suit against Platinum, Celestial, and the truck drives asserting causes of action for (1) breach of contract1 (against Platinum only); (2) breach of bailment obligations; (3) negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and/or willfulness; and (4) conversion. On October 6, 2009, this court dismissed Platinum's state law claims as preempted by the Carmack Amendment to the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, 49 U.S.C. § 14706. (Dkt. No. 37).

Platinum then moved for partial summary judgment, seeking to establish that Platinum's liability under the Carmack Amendment is limited to $245,000.*fn2 (Dkt. No. 56). On September 22, 2010, the court granted the partial motion for summary judgment with respect to both Platinum and Celestial. (Dkt. No. 75). PCD now moves for reconsideration of the court's September 22 order.

II. Legal Standard

"[A] motion for reconsideration should not be granted, absent highly unusual circumstances, unless the district court is presented with newly discovered evidence, committed clear error, or if there is an intervening change in the controlling law." Carroll v. Nakatani, 342 F.3d 934, 945 (9th Cir. 2003). In addition, Local Rule 7-18 provides that:

A motion for reconsideration of the decision on any motion may be made only on the grounds of (a) a material difference in fact or law from that presented to the Court before such decision that in the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have been known to the party moving for reconsideration at the time of such decision, or (b) the emergence of new material facts or a change of law occurring after the time of such decision, or (c) a manifest showing of a failure to consider material facts presented to the Court before such decision. No motion for reconsideration shall in any manner repeat any oral or written argument made in support of or in opposition to the original motion. C.D. Cal. L.R. 7-18.

III. Discussion

A. Platinum In its motion for reconsideration, PCD argues that compliance with the agreed-upon security procedures is a condition precedent to Platinum limiting its liability to $245,000. (Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration (Dkt. No. 87) at 6). PCD asserts that this court failed to consider these security ...


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