United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Bowling Green Division
DEBRA S. KELTNER et al. PLAINTIFFS
GENERAL MOTORS, LLC et al. DEFENDANTS
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment (DN 96) and Defendant's Motion for Leave
to File Supplemental Memorandum (DN 125). The matter is ripe
for adjudication. For the reasons that follow,
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, and
Defendant's Motion for Leave to File Supplemental
Memorandum is GRANTED.
case arises from the explosion of a 2006 Chevrolet utility
truck that resulted in the death of Mitchell O. Coomer and
Steven A. Keltner. (Compl. ¶ 16, DN 1). Plaintiffs Debra
S. Keltner and Jason Coomer (“Plaintiffs”)
allege the truck's bi-fuel system was defective, which
caused the explosion. (Compl. ¶¶ 25-26).
Renzo USA Corporation (“Landi”) manufactures
component parts for bi-fuel systems. (Def.'s Mot. Summ.
J. 2, DN 96 [hereinafter Def.'s Mot.]). Believing it was
not involved in the production of the system at issue in this
litigation, Landi propounded requests for admission to
Plaintiffs asking them to admit that Landi was not involved
in the design, manufacture, sale, distribution, installation,
marketing, or inspection of any component of the truck.
(Pl.'s Answer Def.'s First Set Reqs. Admis. 1-4, DN
96-2). Plaintiffs responded with a blanket statement that the
parties had not yet developed a discovery plan, so that the
requests for admission were premature and therefore denied.
(Pls.' Answer Def.'s First Set Reqs. Admis. 1-7).
support of its present motion, Landi has submitted Defendant
General Motors LLC's (“GM”) responses to
Plaintiffs' first set of interrogatories. Plaintiffs
asked GM to identify all individuals and corporations
“who assisted or participated (in any way) with the
design, manufacture, production, installation, sale and/or
distribution of the compressed natural gas
(“CNG“), bi-fuel system contained in one 2006
Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD utility truck, VIN
1GBHC24U06E248199, which is at issue in Plaintiffs'
Complaint.” (Gen. Motors' Resp. Pls.' First Set
Interrogs. 3-4, DN 96-3). General Motors did not list Landi
among the entities identified in its answer. Landi now
contends Plaintiffs cannot show that Landi was involved in
the manufacture of the relevant fuel system and that it is
therefore entitled to summary judgment.
Landi has moved for leave to file a supplemental memorandum
in support of its motion. (Def.'s Mot. Leave File Suppl.
Mem. 1, DN 125). The supporting memorandum, however, adds
only that GM Canada has also responded to discovery requests
and do not list Landi as involved in the design or
manufacture of the CNG bi-fuel system. (Def.'s Suppl.
Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 2, DN 125-1).
response, Plaintiffs argue that discovery is in its infancy
and summary judgment would be premature at this point.
(Pls.' Resp. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. 10, DN 98
[hereinafter Pls.' Resp.]). Plaintiffs note that, at the
time of filing their response to Landi's motion, they had
not deposed any Landi officers nor received responses to
their first set of interrogatories and requests for
production. (Pls.' Resp. 10-12).
support of their objection, Plaintiffs' counsel has
submitted an affidavit as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d).
(Adamson Aff., DN 98-8). Plaintiffs aver they need more
discovery because evidence collected from the truck explosion
has not yet been analyzed, and Plaintiffs do not possess
sufficient information to refute Landi's allegation that
it was not involved. (Adamson Aff. ¶¶ 2-9).
Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action under
28 U.S.C. § 1332 as there is complete diversity between
the parties and the amount in controversy exceeds the sum of
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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 of stating the basis for the motion
and identifying evidence in the record that demonstrates an
absence of a genuine dispute 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 dispute of fact for trial. See
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48
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 dispute
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