United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
TERENCE KERN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant CRST Malone, Inc.'s Motion for
Partial Summary Adjudication and Brief in Support
(“Motion”) (Doc. 68).
Penny Walling (“Plaintiff”) alleges that on
January 14, 2016, she was involved in an accident with
Defendant Nathanial S. Medley (“Medley”) at the
intersection of Southwest Boulevard and West 23rd Street in
Tulsa County, Oklahoma, which was caused by the negligence of
Medley. In its Answer, Defendant CRST Malone, Inc.
(“CRST”) admits agency and stipulates that at the
time of the collision, Medley was an agent of CRST acting
within the course and scope of his agency agreement. CRST
admits that, should Medley be found negligent and should his
alleged negligence be determined to be the cause of
Plaintiff's claimed injuries and damages, CRST would be
vicariously liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
Plaintiff also alleges that CRST was independently negligent
for entrusting its vehicle to Medley.
Plaintiff's Additional Statement of Undisputed
21, 2012, Medley was found at fault for speeding while
driving a semi-truck and striking a concrete barrier, which
CRST knew at the time the time it decided to hire Medley as a
driver. In 2013, Medley was cited for stop lamp violations,
inoperative required lamps, failure to obey a traffic control
device, and a state vehicle registration violation.
(Pl.'s Ex. 7.) On another occasion before he was hired by
CRST, Medley drove with an improper
point before CRST hired Medley, Medley pleaded guilty to a
felony. CRST knew Medley was a convicted felon when it hired
him. CRST had a policy requiring senior management to approve
the hiring of any convicted felon. No documents exist showing
that senior management approved Medley for hire despite his
felony conviction. On Medley's application for employment
with CRST, he also indicated that he had received a DUI.
hired Medley on May 21, 2015. Between then and October 8,
2015, CRST cited Medley with fifteen different violations,
ranging from logbook violations to speeding. Medley failed
his daily inspection report for several dates in December
2015. Medley also failed his daily inspection report on the
following dates in January 2016: January 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9,
10, 11, 13, and 14.
January 14, 2016, CRST entrusted Medley with its semi-truck.
On that date, while driving a semi-truck for CRST, Medley
turned in front of Plaintiff and caused a collision with
Plaintiff. CRST's agent testified that the collision was
caused by improper turning by Medley, and CRST planned to
fire Medley after the collision, before Medley quit.
August 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint in the District
Court for Tulsa County, Oklahoma, alleging negligence claims
against several defendants including CRST, Medley, and ACE
American Insurance Company, Inc. On October 4, 2016, CRST
removed the complaint to this Court based on diversity
jurisdiction. (Doc. 2.) On August 8, 2017, Plaintiff, with
leave of Court, filed a Second Amended Complaint (Doc. 62),
including additional factual allegations, a claim of
negligent entrustment against CRST, and claims for punitive
damages against CRST and Medley. On November 20, 2017, CRST
filed its Motion, seeking partial summary judgment with
respect to Plaintiff's claim of negligent entrustment.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is proper only if “there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The
moving party bears the burden of showing that no genuine
issue of material fact exists. See Zamora v. Elite
Logistics, Inc., 449 F.3d 1106, 1112 (10th Cir. 2006).
In its summary judgment analysis, the Court resolves all
factual disputes and draws all reasonable inferences in favor
of the non-moving party. Id. However, the party
seeking to overcome a motion for summary judgment “must
do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
movant that “will not bear the burden of persuasion at
trial need not negate the nonmovant's claim, ” but
may “simply . . . point out to the court a lack of
evidence for the nonmovant on an essential element of the
nonmovant's claim.” Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 670-71 (10th Cir. 1998) (internal
citations omitted). If the movant makes this prima facie
showing, “the burden shifts to the nonmovant to go
beyond the pleadings and ‘set forth specific facts'
that would be admissible in evidence in the event of trial
from which a rational trier of fact could find for the
nonmovant.” Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).
To meet this burden, the nonmovant must set forth facts
“by reference to affidavits, deposition transcripts, or
specific exhibits incorporated therein.” Id.
(citing Thomas v. Wichita Coca-Cola Bottling Co.,
968 F.2d 1022, 1024 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 506
U.S. 1013 (1992)). “In response to a motion for summary
judgment, a party cannot rest on ignorance of facts, on
speculation, or on suspicion, and ...