Brumfield v. Biriho et al
ORDER granting 26 Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings Signed by District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr on 11/21/2022 (Guirola, Louis)
Case 1:22-cv-00141-LG-BWR Document 37 Filed 11/21/22 Page 1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
CAUSE NO. 1:22CV141-LG-BWR
ELIE BIRIHO and
INFOCOM USA, LLC
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION
FOR PARTIAL JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS
BEFORE THE COURT is the  Motion for Partial Judgment on the
Pleadings filed by Defendants Elie Biriho and Infocom USA, LLC, in this lawsuit
that arose out of a motor vehicle accident. Defendants seek dismissal of Plaintiff
Harry Brumfield’s direct liability claims against Infocom because Infocom has
admitted that Biriho was acting within the course and scope of his employment at
the time of the accident. Brumfield has not filed a response in opposition to the
Motion. After reviewing the submissions of the parties, the record in this matter,
and the applicable law, the Court finds that Brumfield’s direct liability claims
against Infocom should be dismissed.
In this lawsuit, Brumfield claims that he was injured in a motor vehicle
accident caused by Biriho in Gulfport, Mississippi, on April 14, 2021. At the time of
the accident, Brumfield was driving a pickup truck, and Biriho was driving a
tractor-trailer on behalf of his employer Infocom. Brumfield has attempted to
assert negligence claims against both Biriho and Infocom, including claims of
Case 1:22-cv-00141-LG-BWR Document 37 Filed 11/21/22 Page 2 of 3
negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, negligent training, negligent supervision,
and negligent retention against Infocom. Infocom admitted in its Answer that
Biriho was acting within the course and scope of his employment with Infocom at
the time of the accident. Defendants filed the present Motion seeking judgment on
the pleadings as to Brumfield’s claims alleging direct liability on the part of
“After the pleadings are closed -- but early enough not to delay trial -- a party
may move for judgment on the pleadings.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c).
The standard for deciding a Rule 12(c) motion is the same as a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. The court accepts all well-pleaded facts as
true, viewing them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. The
plaintiff must plead enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face. Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level, on the assumption that all
the allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in fact).
Guidry v. Am. Pub. Life Ins. Co., 512 F.3d 177, 180 (5th Cir. 2007) (internal
citations and quotation marks omitted).
The Mississippi Court of Appeals has held that direct liability claims of
negligent hiring, training, and retention are properly dismissed where the
defendant employer admits vicarious liability for negligent acts caused by its
employee. Carothers v. City of Water Valley, 242 So. 3d 138, 144 (Miss. Ct. App.
2017). In Carothers, the court adopted this Court’s reasoning in Davis v. Rocor
International, No. 3:00cv863-BN, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26216 (S.D. Miss. Dec. 19,
2001), for dismissing claims of negligent hiring, training, entrustment, and
Case 1:22-cv-00141-LG-BWR Document 37 Filed 11/21/22 Page 3 of 3
retention as a matter of law. In Davis, this Court held that the need for a plaintiff
to show negligent entrustment, hiring, and other similar claims “is obviated by the
fact that the employer has admitted liability for any acts taken by that driver.”
Davis, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26216, at *20.
Infocom’s admission that it is vicariously liable for any negligence committed
by Biriho at the time of the accident necessitates dismissal of Brumfield’s direct
liability claims against Infocom for negligent entrustment, negligent hiring,
negligent training, negligent supervision, and negligent retention. As a result,
Defendants’ Motion for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings is granted.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the  Motion
for Partial Judgment on the Pleadings filed by Defendants Elie Biriho and Infocom
USA, LLC, is GRANTED. Plaintiff’s claims of negligent entrustment, negligent
hiring, negligent training, negligent supervision, and negligent retention against
Infocom are hereby DISMISSED pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c).
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED this the 21st day of November, 2022.
Louis Guirola, Jr.
LOUIS GUIROLA, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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