United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division
NICHOLAS R. TIMMONS, Plaintiff,
L.E.P., a minor, and TIMOTHY J. POWDERLY, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
CRITES-LEONI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Nicholas R. Timmons brings this personal injury action
arising out of an automobile accident against Defendant
L.E.P., a minor, and Timothy J. Powderly, L.E.P.'s
father. This case has been assigned to the undersigned United
States Magistrate Judge pursuant to the Civil Justice Reform
Act and is being heard by consent of the parties.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Presently pending
before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Summary
Judgment against Defendant L.E.P. (Doc. 20.) Also pending is
Defendant Timothy Powderly's Motion for Summary Judgment.
(Doc. No. 21). For the following reasons, Plaintiff's
Motion will be denied, and Defendant Powderly's Motion
will be granted.
September 21, 2015, L.E.P. was operating a 1998 Pontiac
Firebird Trans-Am at the intersection of Notre Dame Drive and
Route K in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. L.E.P. was not yet
licensed and was only a permit driver. Defendant L.E.P.
turned onto Route K from Notre Dame Drive, lost control of
the Trans-Am and collided with the vehicle operated by
Count I of his Complaint, Timmons asserts a negligence claim
against L.E.P. (Doc. 1 at p. 2.) Timmons alleges that L.E.P.
was not skilled or experienced in operating such a powerful
vehicle, and drove at a speed that was too fast to maintain
control of the vehicle. Id. He states that he
sustained injury, has incurred medical expenses, and has
experienced pain, suffering, lost income, and disability as a
result of L.E.P.'s negligence. Id.
asserts a negligent entrustment claim against Timothy E.
Powderly in Count II. Id. at p. 3. He states that
Powderly was the owner of the Trans-Am driven by L.E.P.
Id. Timmons alleges that Powderly negligently
entrusted the vehicle to L.E.P. when he knew his daughter was
too inexperienced “to operate such a powerful
vehicle.” Id. He further alleges that Powderly
directed L.E.P. to enter onto Route K from Notre Dame Drive
when it was not safe to do so due to the proximity of traffic
on Route K. Id. Timmons contends that the collision
resulted from Powderly's negligence. Id. at 4.
He requests compensatory and punitive damages
“commensurate to his reckless conduct.”
asserts an affirmative defense of comparative fault. (Doc. 2
at p. 2-3.)
filed a Motion for Summary Judgment against Defendant L.E.P,
contending that L.E.P. admitted both fault and damages during
her deposition. He requests that the Court enter summary
judgment in favor of Plaintiff and against L.E.P., and that
this matter proceed to trial against L.E.P. on the issue of
compensatory damages only.
Powderly filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, in which he
argues that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on
Timmons' negligent entrustment claim because Timmons has
produced no evidence to support such a claim. He further
argues that Timmons cannot establish that the conduct of
Powderly supports a claim of punitive damages.
Summary Judgment Standard
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), a district court
may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the
information before the court demonstrates that “there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
The burden is on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant,
Iowa v. Associated Elec. Co-op. Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273
(8th Cir. 1988). After the moving party discharges this
burden, the nonmoving party must do more than show that there
is some doubt as to the facts. Matsushita Elec.
Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). A genuine issue of material fact is not the
“mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between
the parties.” State Auto. Ins. Co. v.
Lawrence, 358 F.3d 982, 985 (8th Cir. 2004).
“Instead, the dispute must be outcome determinative
under prevailing law.” Mosley v. City of
Northwoods, 415 F.3d 908, 910-11 (8th Cir. 2005)
(internal quotations omitted). A fact is material when it
“might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
nonmoving party bears the burden of setting forth specific
facts showing that there is sufficient evidence in his favor
to allow a jury to return a verdict for him.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249; Celotex, 477
U.S. at 324. “If ‘opposing parties tell two
different stories, ' the court must review the record,
determine which facts are material and genuinely disputed,
and then view those facts in a light most favorable to the
nonmoving party - as long as those facts are not ‘so
blatantly contradicted by the record . . . that no reasonable
jury could believe' them.” Reed v. City of St.
Charles, Mo., 561 F.3d 788 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007)).
Self-serving, conclusory statements without support are not
sufficient to defeat summary judgment. Armour and Co.,
Inc. v. Inver Grove Heights, 2 F.3d 276, 279 (8th Cir.
ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must
review the facts in a light most favorable to the nonmoving
party and give that party the benefit of any inferences that
logically can be drawn from those facts. Matsushita,
475 U.S. at 587; Woods v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 409
F.3d 984, 990 (8th Cir. 2005). The Court may not “weigh
the evidence in the summary judgment record, decide
credibility questions, or determine the truth of any factual
issue.” Kampouris v. St. Louis Symphony Soc.,
210 F.3d 845, 847 (8th Cir. 2000). The court is required,
however, to resolve all conflicts of evidence in favor of the
nonmoving party. Robert Johnson Grain Co. v. Chemical
Interchange Co., 541 F.2d 207, 210 (8th Cir. 1976).