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Wilson v. Ray

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division

April 17, 2019

JOHN WILSON, et al. PLAINTIFFS
v.
RICHARD L. RAY, et al. DEFENDANTS/THIRD-PARTY PLAINTIFFS
v.
HILL'S PET NUTRITION, INC. THIRD-PARTY DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GREG N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         This matter is before the Court on Third-Party Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (DN 55). The motion is ripe for adjudication. For the reasons outlined below, the motion is GRANTED.

         I. STATEMENT OF FACTS

         On February 1, 2017, Plaintiff John Wilson (“Wilson”) was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Warren County, Kentucky, while working as an employee of Third-Party Defendant Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. (“Hill's”). (Compl. 1-2, DN 1; Mendez Aff. ¶¶ 2-3, DN 65-1). Wilson has filed a workers' compensation claim and received benefits for his claim arising from that accident. (Mendez Aff. ¶¶ 5-6).

         Wilson and his wife subsequently filed this lawsuit against Defendants/Third-Party Plaintiffs Richard L. Ray, K & R Company, Ronald E. Burhans, and Kristina Ray (collectively “Third-Party Plaintiffs”) to recover for injuries from that accident. (Compl. 2-3). After Third-Party Plaintiffs filed the Third-Party Complaint asserting claims against Hill's, Hill's has moved for summary judgment on those claims. (Third-Party Compl, DN 12; Third-Party Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., 55).

         II. JURISDICTION

         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 as there is complete diversity between the Plaintiff and Defendant and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $75, 000.00.

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must determine whether there is any genuine issue of material fact that would preclude entry of judgment for the moving party as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). The moving party bears the initial burden stating the basis for the motion and identifying evidence in the record that demonstrates an absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). If the moving party satisfies its burden, the non-moving party must then produce specific evidence proving the existence of a genuine issue of fact for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).

         While the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the non-moving party must do more than merely show the existence of some “metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986) (citation omitted). Rather, the non-moving party must present specific facts proving that a genuine factual issue exists by “citing to particular parts of the materials in the record” or by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence . . . of a genuine dispute.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [non-moving party's] position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the [non-moving party].” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         IV. DISCUSSION

         In its motion, Hill's seeks dismissal of the claims asserted against it in the Third-Party Complaint. (Third-Party Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 1-3). In particular, Third-Party Plaintiffs have asserted claims of “indemnity, contribution, offset, and apportionment” against Hill's. (Third-Party Pls.' Compl. ¶ 13). The Court will address each of these claims.

         A. Indemnity

         “A claim for indemnity is ‘one in which the claimant seeks restitution for damages it was required to pay for injuries sustained by another and which were entirely or primarily caused by the party against whom indemnity is sought.'” Franke v. Ford Motor Co., 398 F.Supp.2d 833, 840 (W.D. Ky. 2005) (quoting Degener v. Hall Contracting Corp., 27 S.W.3d 775, 781-82 (Ky. ...


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