Crotzer v. CHS Inc et al
OPINION AND ORDER denying 3 MOTION to Strike.Signed by Judge Susan Webber Wright on 05/31/2013. (jak)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
LORA CROTZER, Administrator of the
Estate of Gaylon Ray Karnes,
CHS Inc. and John Does I-X,
No. 3:13CV00112 SWW
Opinion and Order
Before the Court is a motion to strike filed by defendant CHS Inc. ( “CHS”) to which
plaintiff responded. The motion is denied.
This complaint, which was filed in state court and then removed, involves an accident that
occurred at defendant CHS’s facility in Memphis, Tennessee, and resulted in the death of Gaylon
Ray Karnes. Plaintiff asserts claims of negligence and ultra-hazardous absolute liability and
seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Defendant CHS moves the Court to strike portions of plaintiff’s complaint pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f), which provides that “[t]he court may strike from a pleading . . . any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.” Specifically, CHS objects to
plaintiff’s allegations that CHS had total annual revenues in 2012 of $40.6 billion; plaintiff’s
inclusion of a brief history of President’s Island, the location of CHS’s facility; a description of
the logistics of loading tractor-trailers at the facility; an allegation that CHS benefitted from
Karnes’s performance in the loading process; and that CHS did not have safety protocols in place
to prevent the accident but after the accident adopted such protocols. Defendant CHS argues the
allegations about its total annual revenues and subsequent remedial measures are included for the
sole purpose of prejudicing the Court and jury and have no possible relation to the controversy in
this case. It asserts the allegations relating to the location of the accident, the loading procedures
at CHS’s facility, and Karnes’s status as an invitee are immaterial and irrelevant.
In response, plaintiff argues CHS’s revenues may be relevant to the punitive damages
claim; the allegations about President’s Island were intended to provide context and background;
and that the allegations about the loading system and Karnes status as an invitee are relevant to
plaintiff’s claims. Plaintiff asserts that the allegations as to the lack of precautions at the time of
the accidents are not “impertinent, immaterial, or scandalous,” and the issue of subsequent
remedial measures is an evidentiary matter to be determined at a later date.
Motions to strike “are viewed with disfavor and are infrequently granted.” Lunsford v.
United States, 570 F.2d 221, 229 (8th Cir. 1977). Matters which provide context and background
should not necessarily be stricken. Stanbury Law Firm v. Internal Revenue Service, 221 F.3d
1059, 1063 (8th Cir. 2000). The Court enjoys liberal discretion in ruling on a motion to strike. Id.
The Court finds CHS fails to show the challenged allegations are redundant, immaterial,
impertinent, scandalous, or prejudicial.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that defendant’s motion to strike [docket entry 3] is
DATED this 31st day of May, 2013.
/s/Susan Webber Wright
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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