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Timmons v. L.E.P.

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

August 16, 2017

NICHOLAS R. TIMMONS, Plaintiff,
v.
L.E.P., a minor, and TIMOTHY J. POWDERLY, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ABBIE CRITES-LEONI UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Presently pending before the Court is Plaintiff Nicholas R. Timmons' Motion to Reconsider Summary Judgment in favor of Timothy J. Powderly. (Doc. 37). For the following reasons, Timmons' Motion will be denied.

         Background

         In Count I of his Complaint, Timmons asserts a negligence claim against L.E.P., the minor permit driver of the Trans Am that collided with the vehicle operated by Timmons on September 21, 2015. (Doc. 1 at p. 2.) Timmons alleges that L.E.P. was not skilled or experienced in operating the vehicle she was driving, 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.

         Timmons asserts a negligent entrustment claim against Timothy E. Powderly, Timmons' father, 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.

         L.E.P. asserts an affirmative defense of comparative fault. (Doc. 2 at p. 2-3.)

         Timmons filed a Motion for Summary Judgment against L.E.P, contending that L.E.P. admitted both fault and damages during her deposition. He requested 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.

         Defendant Powderly filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, in which he argued that he was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Timmons' negligent entrustment claim because Timmons produced no evidence to support such a claim.

         In a Memorandum and Order dated June 9, 2017, the Court granted Powderly's Motion for Summary Judgment, and denied Timmons' Motion. (Doc. 34.) Timmons now asks the Court to reconsider its grant of summary judgment in favor of Powderly on Timmons' negligent entrustment claim.

         Discussion

         There is no specific rule which references Motions to Reconsider in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. “However, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has determined that motions for reconsideration are nothing more than Rule 60(b) motions when directed at non-final orders.” Wichmann v. Proctor & Gamble Manufacturing, No. 4:06CV1457 HEA, 2007 WL 735017, *1 (E.D. Mo. Mar. 8, 2007) (internal citations and quotations omitted). Similarly, in In re Genetically Modified Rice Litigation, No. 4:06MD1811 CDP, 4:07CV416 CDP, 2008 WL 80663 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 7, 2008), the Court stated:

In this circuit, motions for reconsideration are construed as Rule 60(b) motions. Broadway v. Norris, 193 F.3d 987, 989 (8th Cir. 1999). Rule 60(b) motions should not be granted as a result of reargument of the merits but must be based on the circumstances enumerated in the Rule. Id. These circumstances include: mistake, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence that could not have been discovered with reasonable diligence, fraud, the judgment being void, and satisfaction, release, or discharge of the judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b). In this Circuit, relief for judicial error under Rule 60(b)(1)- the section dealing with mistake is only available for judicial inadvertence. Lowry v. McDonnell Douglas Corp., 211 F.3d 457, 460-61 (8th Cir. 2000).

Id. at *1.

         Timmons argues that, in granting summary judgment in favor of Timothy Powderly on Count II, the Court “misstated the law of negligent entrustment, misquoting its elements and finding as result that habitual recklessness or prior bad acts or wrecks are a requisite element of the tort.” (Doc. 38 at p. 1.) Timmons further argues that the entry ...


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