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ALL Star Dairy Association, Inc. v. Amber Trucking, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 23, 2014

ALL STAR DAIRY ASSOCIATION, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
AMBER TRUCKING, INC., a California corporation; and DOES 1 through 25, inclusive, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Doc. 17)

SHEILA K. OBERTO, Magistrate Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

On May 7, 2014, Plaintiff All Star Dairy Association, Inc. ("Plaintiff") filed a motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 17.) Amber Trucking, Inc. ("Defendant") failed to file any opposition to the motion. On June 10, 2014, the Court determined the matter was suitable for decision without oral argument, the matter was taken under submission, and the hearing was vacated. (Doc. 18.)

For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

II. BACKGROUND

This is a diversity suit that arises out of a written agreement involving the purchase of tires and other services. Plaintiff is engaged in the business of providing discount pricing for products and services used by its members. (Cmplt. ¶ 5; Doc. 17-1, Declaration of Jeff Hoogerheide ("Hoogerheide Decl."), ¶ 9.) Plaintiff uses the combined buying power of its members to negotiate agreements with various suppliers to obtain volume price discounts for its members. (Cmplt. ¶ 5; Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶ 9.) Plaintiff's members order from suppliers, the suppliers invoice Plaintiff, and Plaintiff forwards the supplier's invoice to the members with a cover invoice from Plaintiff. (Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶ 9.) Defendant is a freight shipping and trucking company that hauls general freight. (Cmplt., ¶ 6; Doc. 8, Answer, ¶ 6.)

On April 14, 2010, Defendant, through its agent Jatinder S. Kaleka, executed a Credit Application and Membership Agreement with Plaintiff (the "Agreement"). (Cmplt., ¶ 7; Doc. 8, Answer, ¶ 7; Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶¶ 10-11.) Pursuant to the Agreement, Plaintiff furnished Defendant with a line of credit for the purchase of goods and services to be used in connection with Defendant's business. (Cmplt, ¶ 8; Doc. 8, Answer, ¶ 8; Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶ 12.) Defendant paid a membership fee and agreed to the terms of the Agreement. (Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶ 12.)

The Agreement provides that Defendant would pay all invoices billed by Plaintiff for all goods and services Defendant purchased. (Cmplt., ¶ 8; Doc. 8, Answer ¶ 8; Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶ 12.) According to Plaintiff, from the time the Agreement was entered in April 2010 until January 2013, Defendant used the line of credit to purchase tires and related services for its fleet of trucks, Plaintiff issued invoices, and Defendant paid the invoices. (Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶ 14.)

Beginning with the invoice issued to Defendant in February 15, 2013, however, Defendant allegedly breached the agreement by failing to pay the invoices as they were delivered. (Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶ 15.) While Defendant continued to make purchases for two more months, it refused to make any payments for those purchases. (Cmplt, ¶ 11; Doc. 17-1, Hoogerheide Decl., ¶ 16.) Plaintiff maintains it has never received payment from Defendant on 25 outstanding invoices, and seeks to recover $96, 136.56 that Plaintiff claims is due and owing under the Agreement.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

Summary judgment is proper where the pleadings, discovery, and affidavits show that there is "no genuine dispute as to any material fact and [that] the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Material facts are those which may affect the outcome of the case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See id. The party moving for summary judgment bears the initial burden of identifying those portions of the pleadings, discovery, and affidavits or declarations which demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Where the moving party will have the burden of proof on an issue at trial, it must affirmatively demonstrate that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving party. On an issue for which the opposing party will have the burden of proof at trial, however, the moving party need only point out "that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Id. at 325.

Once the moving party meets its initial burden, the nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and, by its own affidavits or discovery, set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The court is only concerned with disputes over material facts and "factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. It is not the task of the district court to scour the record in search of a genuine issue of triable fact. Keenan v. Allan, 91 F.3d 1275, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996). The nonmoving party has the burden of identifying with reasonable particularity the evidence that precludes summary judgment. Id. If the ...


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