Skanes v. FedEx (MAG+)
ORDER: it is ORDERED as follows: (1) Plf's 43 objection is OVERRULED; (2) The 42 Recommendation is ADOPTED; and (3) Dft's 31 motion for summary judgment is GRANTED on Plf's Carmack Amendment claim. Signed by Chief Judge William Keith Watkins on 9/28/2016. (wcl, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
FEDEX GROUND PACKAGE
CASE NO. 2:15-CV-134-WKW
On September 9, 2016, the Magistrate Judge filed a Recommendation that this
court grant Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s remaining
claim brought under the Carmack Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 14706. (Doc. # 42.)
Plaintiff filed a timely objection to the Recommendation. (Doc. # 43.) Based upon
a de novo review of those portions of the Recommendation to which objection is
made, see 28 U.S.C. § 636(b), the court finds that the objection is due to be overruled
and that the Recommendation is due to be adopted.
The crux of Plaintiff’s argument is that the Magistrate Judge erred by allowing
Defendant a second opportunity to argue its motion for summary judgment. But
there was no error. Previously, adopting a prior Recommendation of the Magistrate
Judge, this court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s
state-law claims, finding that the Carmack Amendment preempted those claims, and
referred this action to the Magistrate Judge for a recommended disposition of
Defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the Carmack Amendment claim. (See
Doc. # 38 (Order); see also Doc. # 37 (Recommendation).) Contrary to Plaintiff’s
suggestion, the prior Order did not find that Defendant had violated the Carmack
Amendment or that Plaintiff was entitled to judgment in her favor. (Doc. # 43, at 1.)
Rather, the prior Order deferred a ruling on Defendant’s motion for summary
judgment based on the Recommendation’s proper invocation of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56(e)(1).1
In turn, in the pending Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge correctly
concludes that Plaintiff’s renewed opposition to Defendant’s supplementation lacks
merit and that Plaintiff’s failure to file a timely claim with Defendant forecloses her
Carmack Amendment claim. In short, Plaintiff has failed to show that the pending
Recommendation contains any errors in its procedural or substantive rulings.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED as follows:
Plaintiff’s objection (Doc. # 43) is OVERRULED;
The Recommendation (Doc. # 42) is ADOPTED; and
The Order permitted Defendant to submit a copy of the ground tariff in effect at the time
of Plaintiff’s shipment in order to show that Plaintiff’s failure to file a timely claim for damages
with Defendant barred her from bringing suit under the Carmack Amendment. The Order also
gave Plaintiff an opportunity to respond to Defendant’s submission. (Doc. # 39.) To the extent
that Plaintiff objects to the prior Recommendation, which the Order adopted, that objection is
untimely and, alternatively, lacks merit.
Defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. # 31) is GRANTED
on Plaintiff’s Carmack Amendment claim.
A final judgment will be entered separately.
DONE this 28th day of September, 2016.
/s/ W. Keith Watkins
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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