Jenkins v. Duffy Crane and Hauling, Inc. et al
ORDER Granting Plaintiff's 260 Motion for Reconsideration and Vacating Doc. # 180 , Previous Order granting Defendant Immedia's Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendant Immedia's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 161 ) is DE NIED. Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Immedia are REINSTATED. The parties are DIRECTED to contact Chambers at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain appropriate dates for a Status Conference in this matter. By Judge Christine M. Arguello on 10/27/2017. (athom, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Judge Christine M. Arguello
Civil Action No. 13-cv-00327-CMA-KLM
FRANKLYN A. JENKINS,
DUFFY CRANE AND HAULING, INC., a Colorado corporation,
DUFFY HOLDINGS, LLC, a Colorado limited liability company,
DUFFY CRANE, INC., a Colorado corporation, and
IMMEDIA, INC., a Minnesota corporation,
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION AND
VACATING DOC. # 180, PREVIOUS ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT IMMEDIA’S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration (Doc.
# 260) of the Court’s previous Order Granting Defendant Immedia’s Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. # 180). Because the Court inadvertently did not consider an
applicable statutory provision, Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration is granted.
This case arises from injuries Plaintiff Franklyn A. Jenkins sustained on February
12, 2010, when he was unloading a heavy printing press from his truck. Plaintiff is an
experienced commercial truck driver and was hired to transport part of the press from
Colorado to Minnesota.
Defendant Immedia, Inc. (“Defendant Immedia”) purchased the large printing
press from a seller in Colorado in late 2009. Defendant Duffy Crane and Hauling, Inc.
(“Defendant Duffy”) loaded the equipment onto Plaintiff’s truck at the seller’s facility on
February 10, 2010. Plaintiff then drove the load from Colorado to Minnesota, stopping
twice to add additional securement devices to the load. When Plaintiff arrived at
Defendant Immedia’s Minnesota facility on February 12, 2010, the third party whom
Defendant Immedia had hired to unload the truck directed Plaintiff to remove the
securement devices from the load. As Plaintiff released the straps and chains, a steel
cart rolled off the truck’s top deck and injured Plaintiff. See (Doc. # 134.)
In 2011, Plaintiff filed suit in Minnesota state court against Defendant Immedia,
Defendant Duffy, and other defendants, alleging negligence and negligence per se.
The state trial court dismissed Defendant Duffy for lack of personal jurisdiction. The
state trial court later denied Defendant Immedia’s motion for summary judgment
because it determined Defendant Immedia, as the owner of the property being unloaded
from Plaintiff’s truck, owed Plaintiff the duty to use reasonable care for Plaintiff’s safety.
(Doc. # 103-1.)
Plaintiff filed suit in this Court against Defendant Duffy on February 6, 2013.
(Doc. # 1.) On June 19, 2015, Plaintiff moved to join Defendant Immedia as a
defendant. (Doc. # 94.) On October 27, 2015, United States Magistrate Judge Kristen
L. Mix granted this motion because she concluded joinder was proper pursuant to Fed.
R. Civ. P. 20. (Doc. # 119.) Relevant here, Defendant Duffy had attempted to argue
that Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant Immedia were barred by the statute of
limitations and collateral estoppel. (Id.) Magistrate Judge Mix stated that Defendant
Immedia, not Defendant Duffy, would be the proper defendant to raise these affirmative
defenses. (Id.) Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint, naming Defendant Immedia as
an additional defendant, on November 19, 2015. (Doc. # 120.)
Defendant Immedia moved for summary judgment on all of Plaintiff’s claims
against it on August 11, 2016. (Doc. # 161.) Defendant made four arguments: (1)
Plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations; (2) Plaintiff was
engaging in improper forum shopping, in violation of the Colorado River doctrine; (3)
Plaintiff’s claims were precluded by collateral estoppel; and (4) Plaintiff was solely
responsible for securing the load on his truck as a matter of law. (Id.)
The Court granted Defendant Immedia’s Motion for Summary Judgment on
October 17, 2016, concluding that Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant Immedia were
barred by the applicable statute of limitations. (Doc. # 180.) The Court first addressed
the parties’ disagreement regarding which statute of limitations Colorado law would
apply to the case. (Id.) It agreed with Defendant Immedia that Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80101(1)(k) 1 was the appropriate statute of limitations. (Id.) Because Minnesota (where
the action accrued) would apply a six-year statute of limitations—longer than Colorado’s
Section 13-80-101(1)(k) provides that “[a]ll actions accruing outside this state if the limitation of
actions of the place where the cause of action accrued is greater than that of this state” “shall
be commenced within three years after the cause of action accrues, and not thereafter.”
three-year statute of limitations—section 13-80-101(1)(k) applied and required that the
action be brought within three years of its accrual. (Id.)
The Court rejected Plaintiff’s argument that Colorado’s borrowing statute, Colo.
Rev. Stat. § 13-8-110 2, required that Minnesota’s six-year statute of limitation apply.
(Doc. # 180.) The Court disagreed with Plaintiff’s reliance on Jenkins v. Panama Canal
R.R., 208 P.3d 238 (Colo. 2009), and determined that the borrowing statute was
inapplicable where a party seeks to “borrow” a longer statute of limitation from another
jurisdiction. (Id.) The Court also rejected Plaintiff’s assertions that his claim against
Defendant Immedia did not accrue until 2014 and that the doctrine of equitable tolling
should save his claim. (Id.) For these reasons, the Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claims
against Defendant Immedia. (Id.)
On September 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration.
(Doc. # 260.) Defendant Immedia opposed the motion on October 9, 2017. (Doc.
# 266.) Plaintiff replied on October 19, 2017. (Doc. # 267.)
MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not explicitly authorize a motion for
reconsideration. However, the Rules allow a litigant who was subject to an adverse
judgment to file a motion to change the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) or a motion
Section 13-8-110 states:
If a cause of action arises in another state or territory or in a foreign country and,
by the laws thereof, an action thereon cannot be maintained in that state,
territory, or foreign country by reason of lapse of time, the cause of action shall
not be maintained in this state.
seeking relief from the judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b). Van Skiver v. United States,
952 F.2d 1241, 1243 (10th Cir. 1991). In this case, Plaintiff’s Motion for
Reconsideration was not served within ten days of the Court’s previous order.
Therefore, Plaintiff’s motion must be construed as one pursuant to Rule 60(b). Id.
Relief under Rule 60(b) “is extraordinary and may only be granted in exceptional
circumstances.” Bud Brooks Trucking, Inc. v. Bill Hodges Trucking Co., Inc., 909 F.2d
1437, 1440 (10th Cir. 1990). A litigant shows exceptional circumstances by satisfying
one or more of Rule 60(b)’s six grounds for relief from judgment. Van Skiver, 952 F.2d
at 1243–44. These six grounds are:
(1) mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect;
(2) newly discovered evidence that, with reasonable diligence, could not have
been discovered in time to move for a new trial under Rule 59(b);
(3) fraud (whether previously called intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or
misconduct by an opposing party;
(4) the judgment is void;
(5) the judgment has been satisfied, released or discharged; it is based on an
earlier judgment that has been reversed or vacated; or applying it prospectively is
no longer equitable; or
(6) any other reason that justifies relief.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b) (emphasis added).
Plaintiff argues that the Court’s order granting summary judgment (Doc. # 180)
“overlooked the key Colorado statute,” which it asserts is Colo. Rev. Stat. §13-82104(1)(a) 3. (Doc. # 260.) Plaintiff’s counsel concedes that “[t]his error was, to be sure,
Section 13-82-104(1)(a) provides that “if a claim is substantively based . . . [u]pon the law of
one other state, the limitation period of that state applies.”
one in which [Plaintiff’s counsel] shares responsibility.” (Id.) Plaintiff also concedes that
Defendant Immedia’s summary judgment motion (Doc. # 161) cited this allegedly “key”
statute. (Doc. # 260.) But despite Defendant Immedia’s brief mention of section 13-82104(1)(a) in a footnote of its motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff did not address this
statute in his response. See (Doc. # 174.) Plaintiff instead relied on Colorado’s
borrowing statute, section 13-80-110. See (id.) The Court granted Defendant
Immedia’s request for summary judgment because it concluded that the borrowing
statute was inapplicable. (Doc. # 180.)
In ruling on Defendant Immedia’s motion for summary judgment (id.), the Court
inadvertently overlooked section 13-82-104(1)(a), the provision that Plaintiff now asserts
is the “the Colorado statute most directly supportive” of his argument that Minnesota’s
six-year statute of limitations controls this case, see (Doc. # 260.) Section 13-82104(1)(a) was mentioned only once in a footnote in Defendant Immedia’s motion to
dismiss, see (Doc. # 161)—and the Court inadvertently overlooked it. Accordingly, the
Court reconsiders its October 17, 2016, Order Granting Defendant Immedia’s Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. # 180).
Section 13-82-104(1)(a), part of Colorado’s enactment of the Uniform Conflict of
Laws–Limitations Act, Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 13-82-101–107, states that “if a claim is
substantively based . . . [u]pon the law of one other state, the limitation period of that
Plaintiff argues that because Minnesota substantive law applies to its claims
against Defendant Immedia, section 13-82-104(1)(a) “makes clear” that Minnesota’s sixyear limitations period applies. (Doc. # 260.) This statute, according to the Plaintiff,
“must be the starting point” and the end point for analyzing which state’s statute of
limitations controls. (Id.) Plaintiff asserts that “there is no conflict between section 1382-104(1)(a) and 13-8-101(1)(k)” and even if there was a conflict, “that conflict would
need to be resolved in favor of the longer six-year period.”
Defendant maintains that section 13-8-101(1)(k), which states that “all actions
accruing outside this state if the limitation of actions [of the other jurisdiction] is greater
than that of this state” must be brought within three years, controls. (Doc. # 161.) And
because Minnesota’s statute of limitations (six years) is longer than Colorado’s statute
(three years), Defendant argues that section 13-8-101(1)(k) requires the application of
the provision’s three-year limitation. (Id.) Defendant contends that there is no conflict
between section 13-8-101(1)(k) and section 13-82-104(1)(a), but “[e]ven if there is a
conflict between the two statutes, [section 13-8-101(1)(k)] prevails because it is the
more recently enacted statute.” (Doc. # 266.)
Principles of Statutory Interpretation
When interpreting statutes, the Court’s primary task is to give effect of the
General Assembly’s intent. Reg’l Transp. Dist. v. Voss, 890 P.2d 663, 667 (Colo.
1995). When commonly accepted meanings of a statute’s plain language do not clarify
legislative intent, the Court may “look to a statute’s legislative history.” For example,
legislative history may be useful “when a statute’s language is ambiguous” or “when
attempting to harmonize two seemingly conflicting statutes.” Jenkins, 208 P.3d at 241.
The Court finds that neither section 13-82-104(1)(a) nor section 13-8-101(1)(k)
contains ambiguous language. They are, however, seemingly in conflict with one
another. Because the statutes are not ambiguous and cannot be harmonized, the Court
turns to the statutory construction rules for irreconcilable statutes. See id.
The General Assembly has established two rules for deciding which of two
irreconcilable statutes control. Id. First, the specific provision prevails over the general
provision. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 2-4-205. This rule applies
unless the general statute was enacted more recently than the specific
statute, and the legislature manifestly intends that the later-enacted
general statute prevail over the earlier-enacted specific statute. If these
conditions are met, the general statute prevails. However, without the
General Assembly’s manifest intent, a more recent general statute will not
repeal an existing specific statute.
Jenkins, 208 P.3d at 241–42 (internal citations omitted).
Second, if specificity does not resolve the conflict, the statute with the more
recent effective date controls. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 2-4-206. The more recent statute
prevails “even if the General Assembly did not clearly intend it to supplant an existing
statute. This is because [the Court] assume[s] the General Assembly is aware of its
enactments, and thus [the Court] conclude[s] that by passing an irreconcilable statute at
a later date the legislature intended to alter the prior statute.” Jenkins, 208 P.3d at 242
(citing City of Florence v. Pepper, 145 P.3d 654, 657 (Colo. 2006)). Finally, if neither of
these two rules resolve a conflict between two different statutes of limitations, the Court
turns to a third rule of construction “supported by . . . case law and public policy; the
statute providing the longer limitations period prevails.” Reg’l Transp. Dist., 890 P.2d at
Applying the first rule of that analysis, the Court finds that section 13-82-
104(1)(a) is the more specific of the conflicting provisions and therefore concludes that it
controls. Section 13-82-104(1)(a) is specifically intended to resolve situations like
instant matter: “if a claim is substantively based . . . [u]pon the law of one other state,
the limitation period of that state applies.” It was adopted as part of a statutory scheme
specifically addressing conflict of laws. See Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-82-101. By contrast,
section 13-8-101(1)(k) is part of a statute explicitly titled “General limitation of actions–
three years.” (Emphasis added.)
As explained above, the first rule for resolving statutory conflicts provides that a
general statute prevails over the specific statute if “the general statute was enacted
more recently than the specific statute, and the legislature manifestly intends that the
later-enacted general statute prevail over the earlier enacted specific statute.” Jenkins,
208 P.3d at 241–42 (internal citations omitted). To be clear, “the General Assembly’s
manifest intent” is required for the more general statute to apply. Id. Here, the general
statute, section 13-8-101(1)(k), was enacted more recently than the specific statute,
section 13-82-104(1)(a). However, Defendant Immedia does not suggest, nor has the
Court found, any evidence suggesting the General Assembly manifestly intended the
general section 13-8-101(1)(k) to repeal the more specific section 13-82-104(1)(a).
Defendant Immedia’s argument that Jenkins, 208 P.3d 238, leads to the contrary
conclusion fails to persuade the Court. See (Doc. # 266.) In Jenkins, the Colorado
Supreme Court considered different questions. Jenkins did not involve either of the
sections here; rather, the Supreme Court considered section 13-80-110 and section 1382-104(2). Jenkins, 208 P.3d at 241. Moreover, the Jenkins plaintiff was not arguing
that another jurisdiction’s longer limitations period applied. Id. at 240. He instead
argued that Colorado’s longer limitations period applied, even though the injury
occurred in Panama. Id. Jenkins is easily distinguished from this case.
For these reasons, the Court concludes that section 13-82-104(1)(a) is more
specific and therefore applies. Because the conflict is resolved at specificity, the Court
does not reach the second rule concerning recency.
Pursuant to section 13-82-104(1)(a), because Plaintiff’s claim against Defendant
Immedia is based on Minnesota’s substantive law, the six-year limitations period of that
state applies. Plaintiff’s claim against Defendant Immedia is not barred by any statute
of limitations. Accordingly, the Court reconsiders its previous Order Granting Defendant
Immedia’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 180) and concludes that summary
judgment is not warranted.
For the foregoing reasons, it is hereby:
1. ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. # 260) of the
Court’s previous Order Granting Defendant Immedia’s Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. # 180) is GRANTED. It is FURTHER ORDERED that
2. This Court’s Order Granting Defendant Immedia’s Motion for Summary
Judgment (Doc. # 180) is VACATED. It is FURTHER ORDERED that
3. Defendant Immedia’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 161) is
DENIED. It is FURTHER ORDERED that
4. Plaintiff’s claims against Defendant Immedia are REINSTATED. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that
5. The parties are DIRECTED to contact Chambers at
email@example.com to obtain appropriate dates for a
Status Conference in this matter.
DATED: October 27, 2017
BY THE COURT:
CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO
United States District Judge
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