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EDU-Science Inc. v. Intubrite LLC

United States District Court, S.D. California

June 23, 2015

EDU-SCIENCE (USA) INC., Plaintiff,
v.
INTUBRITE LLC, Defendant. AND RELATED COUNTERCLAIMS

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT [ECF 128]

CYNTHIA BASHANT, District Judge.

On April 23, 2015, Plaintiff Edu-Science (USA) Inc. ("Edu-USA") and Counter-Defendant Edu-Science (HK) Ltd. ("Edu-HK") (collectively, "Edu-Science") moved for partial summary judgment (ECF 128) on Defendant and Counter-Complainant IntuBrite LLC's ("IntuBrite") second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh counterclaims, as set forth in IntuBrite's First Amended Counterclaim ("IACC", ECF 99). IntuBrite has abandoned its third, fourth, and fifth claims. Intubrite's Mem. of Facts and Contentions of Law 12, ECF 130. The Court heard oral argument on the motion on June 22, 2015. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS summary judgment on IntuBrite's sixth and seventh counterclaims in favor of the movants and DENIES summary judgment on IntuBrite's second counterclaim.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 16, 2013, Edu-USA sued IntuBrite for breach of contract. Edu-USA alleges that IntuBrite breached its contract to purchase custom-manufactured instruments for tracheal intubation from Edu-USA.

IntuBrite, in the counterclaim addressed in the present motion, alleged that the products delivered were defective and untimely. IACC ¶¶ 33-35. IntuBrite further claims it paid fully for the products it actually received. IACC ¶ 36. IntuBrite has chosen to proceed on four of the seven claims against Edu-USA and Edu-HK: (1) breach of contract; (2) breach of the implied warranty of merchantability; (6) intentional misrepresentation of fact; and (7) negligent misrepresentation of fact.

The Court previously denied Edu-USA and Edu-HK's request to assert tort claims. ECF 118. Now, Edu-USA and Edu-HK move to dismiss IntuBrite's tort claims because IntuBrite lacks substantial evidence to support its claims. They also move to dismiss IntuBrite's second claim, arguing that IntuBrite's evidence of damages is inadmissible. IntuBrite's Opposition to the motion includes evidence to support the breach of implied warranty claim, but it fails to point to substantial evidence supporting material elements of the tort claims. Therefore the Court must grant summary judgment in favor of Edu-USA and Edu-HK on the sixth and seventh claim and deny summary judgment on the second claim.

II. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate on "all or any part" of a claim if there is an absence of a genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (" Celotex "). A fact is material when, under the governing substantive law, the fact could affect the outcome of the case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); see also Freeman v. Arpaio, 125 F.3d 732, 735 (9th Cir. 1997). A dispute about a material fact is genuine if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. One of the principal purposes of Rule 56 is to dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323-24.

The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. "The burden then shifts to the nonmoving party to establish, beyond the pleadings, that there is a genuine issue for trial." Miller v. Glenn Miller Prods., Inc., 454 F.3d 975, 987 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324).

"[W]hen the non-moving party bears the burden of proving the claim or defense, the moving party can meet its burden by pointing out the absence of evidence from the non-moving party. The moving party need not disprove the other party's case." Miller, 454 F.3d at 987 (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325). "Thus, [s]ummary judgment for a defendant is appropriate when the plaintiff fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to [his] case, and on which [he] will bear the burden of proof at trial.'" Miller, 454 F.3d at 987 (quoting Cleveland v. Policy Management Sys. Corp., 526 U.S. 795, 805-06 (1999) (internal quotations omitted)).

A genuine issue at trial cannot be based on disputes over "irrelevant or unnecessary facts[.]" See T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pacific Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987). Similarly, "[t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the nonmoving party's position is not sufficient." Triton Energy Corp. v. Square D. Co., 68 F.3d 1216, 1221 (9th Cir. 1995) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252).[1] The party opposing summary judgment must "by [his or her] own affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, ' designate specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P 56(e)). That party cannot "rest upon the mere allegations or denials of [his or her] pleadings." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).

When making its determination, the Court must view all inferences drawn from the underlying facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). "Credibility determinations, the weighing of evidence, and the drawing of legitimate inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a judge, [when] ruling on a motion for summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.

III. ANALYSIS

A. Breach of Implied Warranty of ...


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