United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
FISH Senior United States District Judge
the court is the motion of the defendant JetBrokers, Inc.
(“JetBrokers”) for summary judgment (docket entry
30). For the reasons stated below, the defendant's motion
case is about the purchase of a used Socata TBM
aircraft (the “aircraft”). See
Defendant's Brief in Support of its Motion for Summary
Judgment (“JetBrokers' Brief”) at 2 (docket
entry 31). In January 2016, the plaintiff Red River Aircraft
Leasing, LLC (“Red River”) purchased the aircraft
from the Bank of Utah for $950, 000. See
JetBrokers' Appendix at 81. JetBrokers acted as the
seller's broker and, accordingly, served as an
intermediary between the bank and Red River throughout the
course of negotiations and the ultimate transaction.
See JetBrokers' Brief at 3; see also
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint ¶ 5 (docket entry 23).
plaintiff, Red River, is a Texas for-profit corporation that
buys, sells, leases, and trades aircraft. Plaintiff's
Amended Complaint ¶ 2. Red River has a place of business
and a registered agent located in Dallas, Texas. Id.
The defendant, JetBrokers, is a for-profit corporation in the
business of providing brokerage services concerning the sale
and purchase of aircraft. Defendant's Answer to
Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint
(“JetBrokers' Amended Answer”) ¶ 3
(docket entry 24). JetBrokers is incorporated under the laws
of Nevada, with its principal place of business in
Chesterfield, Missouri. Id.; see also
Defendant's Supplement to Notice of Removal ¶ 2
(docket entry 8).
to Red River, the conduct of Jeremy R. Cox
(“Cox”), JetBrokers' Vice President, was the
impetus for this suit. In particular, Red River avers that as
the broker for its transaction with the bank, Cox misinformed
Red River about maintenance items related to the aircraft.
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint ¶ 5. Red River
acknowledges that it became aware of damage to the aircraft
-- specifically, hail damage to the left hand aileron, right
hand aileron, left hand flap, right hand flap, left hand
elevator, and right hand elevator -- during the course of
negotiations. Id. ¶ 6. But, Red River contends,
Cox assured it, both orally and in writing, that the damaged
parts were repairable. Id. Despite his assurances,
Red River maintains that during the negotiations Cox knew or
had reason to believe that the parts were in fact not
repairable. Id. ¶ 8. Unaware of this alleged
misrepresentation, Red River asserts that it relied in good
faith on Cox's assurances and entered into an agreement
to purchase the aircraft. Id. ¶ 6.
taking possession of the aircraft, Red River learned that the
parts in question were not repairable. Id. ¶ 9.
In fact, according to Red River, the aircraft has been unable
to fly since shortly after closing. Id. In Red
River's view, JetBrokers' actions have led to
“significant loss by way of costs and labors to replace
the [d]amaged [p]arts, loss of a sale to a third party, and
other [d]amages.” Id.
light of this alleged damage, on October 28, 2016, Red River
filed suit in the 44th Judicial District Court of Dallas
County, Texas. Defendant's Notice of Removal
(“Notice of Removal”) ¶ 1 (docket entry 1).
In its original state court petition, Red River asserted
three causes of action as the basis for this suit: (1)
negligence; (2) negligent misrepresentation; and (3) fraud by
non-disclosure. Original Petition ¶¶ 11-29 (docket
entry 1-5, exhibit D-1). Red River further specified that it
seeks “in excess of $184, 000” for the cost of
replacing the damaged parts, and “in excess of $25,
000” for the cost of maintaining the aircraft during
the time which it has remained incapacitated. Id.
December 2, 2016, JetBrokers removed the case to this court,
alleging diversity of citizenship as the basis for this
court's subject matter jurisdiction. On March 23, 2017,
Red River filed an amended complaint dropping its fraud by
nondisclosure claim. See Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint ¶¶ 11-20. Shortly thereafter, on April 5,
2017, JetBrokers filed an answer to the amended complaint.
JetBrokers' Amended Answer.
December 7, 2017, JetBrokers filed a motion for summary
judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket entry
30); Jet Brokers' Brief; JetBrokers' Appendix. On
December 28, 2017, Red River filed a response to
JetBrokers' motion. Plaintiff's Response to
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Red
River's Response”) (docket entry 33);
Plaintiff's Brief in Support of its Response to
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (“Red
River's Brief”) (docket entry 34). JetBrokers filed
a reply on January 18, 2018. Defendant's Reply Brief in
Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment
(“JetBrokers' Reply”) (docket entry 38).
JetBrokers' motion is now ripe for decision.
Evidentiary Burdens on Motion for Summary Judgment
judgment is proper when the pleadings, depositions,
admissions, disclosure materials on file, and affidavits, if
any, “show[ ] that there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a),
(c)(1). A fact is material if the governing
substantive law identifies it as having the potential to
affect the outcome of the suit. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). An issue as to a
material fact is genuine “if evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Id.; see also Bazan ex rel. Bazan
v. Hidalgo County, 246 F.3d 481, 489 (5th Cir. 2001)
(“An issue is ‘genuine' if it is
real and substantial, as opposed to merely formal, pretended,
or a sham.”). To demonstrate a genuine issue as to the
material facts, the nonmoving party “must do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts.” Matsushita Electric Industrial
Company v. Zenith Radio Corporation, 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). The nonmoving party must show that the evidence is
sufficient to support the resolution of the material factual
issues in its favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249
(citing First National Bank of Arizona v. Cities Service
Company, 391 U.S. 253, 288-89 (1968)).
evaluating a motion for summary judgment, the court views the
evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Id. at 255 (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Company, 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). However, it is
not incumbent upon the court to comb the record in search of
evidence that creates a genuine issue as to a material fact.
See Malacara v. Garber, 353 F.3d 393, 405 (5th Cir.
2003). The nonmoving party has a duty to designate the
evidence in the record that establishes the existence of
genuine issues as to the material facts. Celotex
Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986).
“When evidence exists in the summary judgment record
but the ...