United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
T. PITTMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant Interstate Express, Inc.'s
(“Defendant”) Motion for Partial Summary
Judgement (ECF No. 68), Plaintiffs Alfonso Parra and Maria
Parra's (“Plaintiffs”) Response (ECF No. 79)
and Defendant's Reply (ECF No. 86). Having considered the
motion, related briefing, and applicable law, the Court finds
that Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgement
should be and is hereby DENIED.
February 2, 2016, Plaintiff Alfonso Parra
(“Parra”) was driving a vehicle traveling
southbound on U.S. Highway 81 in Wise County, Texas.
Pl.'s App. Ex. A, ECF No. 79 (Parra Affidavit). According
to a crash report from Officer Adam Lawson of the Texas
Department of Public Safety, Roy Lester Douglas
(“Douglas”), a truck driver for Defendant, failed
to yield the right of way as he drove eastbound across U.S
Highway 81 in a tractor-trailer. Pl.'s App. Ex. A-1, ECF
No. 79 (“Crash Report”). Parra testifies that he
attempted to veer around Douglas's truck, but was unable
to do so, which resulted in Parra's vehicle colliding
with the tractor-trailer. See Crash Report at 3.
Parra's vehicle rolled off the road and came to rest on
its side in a field. Id.
January 23, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against All Ways
Transport Inc., Roy Lester Douglas, and Interstate Express
Inc. for injuries arising out of the February 2, 2016
collision. See ECF No. 1. The case was subsequently
transferred to the Fort Worth Division of the Northern
District of Texas. See ECF No. 8.
voluntarily dismissed their claims against Douglas without
prejudice. See ECF No. 59. On August 8, 2019, the
case was transferred to the undersigned. See ECF No.
64. On October 18, 2019, Plaintiffs settled their claim
against Defendant All Ways Transport Inc. in Alternative
Dispute Resolution. See ADR Summary, ECF No. 98.
Thus, Plaintiffs' only remaining claims are against
Interstate Express Inc. Plaintiffs allege claims of gross
negligence and negligent entrustment. On August 21, 2019,
Defendant Interstate Express Inc. filed this Motion for
Partial Summary Judgement (ECF No. 68) on no-evidence and
traditional grounds regarding Plaintiff's claims of gross
negligence and negligent entrustment. See ECF No.
72. On September 11, 2019, Plaintiff filed a response.
See ECF No. 79. On September 25, 2019, Defendant
filed a reply. See ECF No. 88. Plaintiffs sought and
were granted leave to file supplemental evidence.
SeeECF Nos. 92 - 94. Therefore, this Motion for
Partial Summary Judgment is ripe for consideration.
purpose of summary judgment is to isolate and dispose of
factually unsupported claims or defenses. See Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986). Summary
judgment is proper if the pleadings, the discovery and
disclosure materials on file, and any 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). 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 v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The trial court must resolve all
reasonable doubts in favor of the party opposing the motion
for summary judgment. Casey Enters., Inc. v. Am. Hardware
Mut. Ins. Co., 655 F.2d 598, 602 (5th Cir. 1981)
(citations omitted). The substantive law identifies which
facts are material. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
party moving for summary judgment has the burden to show that
there is no genuine issue of material fact and that it is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Id. at 247.
If the movant bears the burden of proof on a claim or defense
on which it is moving for summary judgment, it must come
forward with evidence that establishes “beyond
peradventure all of the essential elements of the
claim or defense.” Fontenot v. Upjohn Co., 780
F.2d 1190, 1194 (5th Cir. 1986). Where the nonmovant bears
the burden of proof, the movant may discharge its burden by
showing that there is an absence of evidence to support the
nonmovant's case. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325;
Byers v. Dall. Morning News, Inc., 209 F.3d 419, 424
(5th Cir. 2000). Once the movant has carried its burden, the
nonmovant must “respond to the motion for summary
judgment by setting forth particular facts indicating there
is a genuine issue for trial.” Byers, 209 F.3d
at 424 (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248- 49). The
nonmovant must adduce affirmative evidence.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 257. No. “mere denial of
material facts nor. . .unsworn allegations [nor] arguments
and assertions in briefs or legal memoranda” will
suffice to carry this burden. Moayedi v. Compaq Comput.
Corp., 98 F. App'x. 335, 338 (5th Cir. 2004).
Rather, the Court requires “significant probative
evidence” from the nonmovant in order to dismiss a
request for summary judgment supported appropriately by the
movant. United States v. Lawrence, 276 F.3d 193, 197
(5th Cir. 2001). The Court must consider all of the evidence
but must refrain from making any credibility determinations
or weighing the evidence. See Turner v. Baylor Richardson
Med. Ctr., 476 F.3d 337, 343 (5th Cir. 2007).
careful review of the record, including Plaintiffs'
summary judgment evidence as well as the arguments presented,
the Court is not convinced that Defendant has met its burden
demonstrating that there is no material issue of fact
entitling them to judgment as a matter of law on
Plaintiffs' claims. The case should proceed to trial.
therefore ORDERED that Defendant Interstate
Express, Inc.'s Motion for Partial Summary Judgement is