Ford v. Pike Electric, LLC, No. 2:2019cv00146 - Document 33 (M.D. Ala. 2021)

Court Description: OPINION AND ORDER: it is ORDERED that dft Pike Electric, LLC's 23 motion for summary judgment is denied. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 3/31/2021. (bes, )
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Ford v. Pike Electric, LLC Doc. 33 IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION ALICIA McDANIEL FORD, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Plaintiff, v. PIKE ELECTRIC, LLC, Defendant. CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:19cv146-MHT (WO) OPINION AND ORDER This is a state-law tort action arising from a motorcycle crash suffered by plaintiff Alicia Ford at an intersection where defendant Pike Electric, LLC, was conducting repair work on a utility pole. Ford claims that the company’s employees negligently or wantonly left gravel in the road, leading to her crash. She seeks for her court has compensatory injuries resulting and from punitive the damages crash. The jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332 (diversity). This suit is now before the court Electric’s motion for summary judgment. on Pike “A party may move for summary judgment, identifying each claim or defense--or the part of each claim or defense--on which summary judgment is sought. The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Civ. P. 56(a). Fed. R. To determine whether a genuine factual dispute exists, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). Summary judgment is appropriate “[w]here the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational non-moving party.” trier of fact to find for the Id. The crux of the dispute in this case is factual. Pike Electric argues that it did not leave gravel in the road, and it supplies deposition testimony of an employee and other witnesses to support its position. See, e.g., Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 23) at 4, 2 8. Ford counters that Pike Electric did leave gravel in the road, and she supplies witness affidavits and deposition testimony supporting her allegation. See, e.g., Response to Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 25) at 2-4. Both sides point to photographs of the intersection, and they dispute which of the photographs accurately depict the exact location of the accident. See Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 23) at 6-8; Response to Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 25) at 3-4, 11. In other words, there exists a genuine dispute as to an issue of material fact. Indeed, it appears the central dispute in this case is one of material fact: whether Pike Electric left gravel in the road at the place where Ford’s crash occurred. Pike Electric’s position in its motion for summary judgment amounts to an argument that the court should set aside or not credit Ford’s evidence on that issue. But a reasonable trier of fact evaluating the totality of the evidence 3 could find therefore for either inappropriate, party. and Summary Pike judgment Electric’s is motion will be denied. * * * Accordingly, it is ORDERED that defendant Pike Electric, LLC’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. 23) is denied. DONE, this the 31st day of March, 2021. /s/ Myron H. Thompson UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 4