Pendleton et al v. State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Company et al
ORDER granting 30 Motion for Summary Judgment as set out in the Order. Signed by District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III on October 27, 2017. (SP)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
CHARLES PENDLETON AND
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:17-CV-337-DPJ-FKB
STATE AUTO PROPERTY & CASUALTY
INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL.
Defendant Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network of Central and Southern
Mississippi (“CRDN”) seeks summary judgment in its favor in this bad-faith insurance dispute.
Because there is no genuine issue of material fact for trial as to the claim against CRDN, its
Motion for Summary Judgment  is granted.
Facts and Procedural History
The facts in this case are more fully set forth in the Order  granting in part the motion
to sever and motion to remand. In that Order, the Court concluded that there was no reasonable
basis for concluding that Plaintiffs Charles and Betty Pendleton could succeed on their claim
against in-state Defendant Nan Lyles, and the Court dismissed the claim against Lyles. At all
times relevant to the events giving rise to this lawsuit, Lyles was acting as “an employee,
representative, or agent of CRDN.” Am. Compl. [1-1] ¶ 5. The claim against CRDN is thus,
coterminous with the claim against Lyles.
On September 14, 2017, CRDN filed its Motion for Summary Judgment , asserting
that summary judgment was warranted on the Pendletons’ claim against it for the same reasons
the claim against Lyle was dismissed. The Pendletons sought and received an extension through
October 16, 2017, within which to respond to CRDN’s motion. Mot. ; Oct. 5, 2017 Text-
Only Order. That deadline has come and gone with no response from the Pendletons, and the
Court is prepared to rule on CRDN’s motion.
Summary judgment is warranted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) when
evidence reveals no genuine dispute regarding any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The rule “mandates the entry of summary judgment,
after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party’s case, and on which that
party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
The party moving for summary judgment “bears the initial responsibility of informing the
district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the record] which it
believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Id. at 323. The
nonmoving party must then “go beyond the pleadings” and “designate ‘specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.’” Id. at 324 (citation omitted). In reviewing the evidence,
factual controversies are to be resolved in favor of the nonmovant, “but only when . . . both
parties have submitted evidence of contradictory facts.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069,
1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (en banc).
In this case, the Pendletons have not responded to the summary-judgment motion. “A
motion for summary judgment cannot be granted simply because there is no opposition.
However, a court may grant an unopposed summary judgment motion if the undisputed facts
show that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Day v. Wells Fargo Bank Nat’l
Ass’n, 768 F.3d 435, 435 (5th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
As with the negligence claim against Lyles, the claim against CRDN is based on its
actions in allegedly damaging the Pendletons’ clothes following a roof-leak incident at the
Pendletons’ home. Am. Compl. [1-1] ¶ 20. And as with the claim against Lyles, Charles
Pendleton’s deposition testimony in a related case establishes that the dye stains on the clothes
attributed to CRDN’s negligence in the Amended Complaint were actually caused by leaking
containers of dye the Pendletons stored in the closet or attic above the closet. Pendleton Dep.
[30-2] at 74–77. The Pendletons have provided no evidence to the contrary, and CRDN has
shown that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Because there is no genuine issue of
material fact, CRDN’s motion for summary judgment is granted.
The Court has considered all arguments. Those not specifically addressed would not
have changed the outcome. For the foregoing reasons, CRDN’s Motion for Summary Judgment
 is granted and the claims against it are dismissed with prejudice.
SO ORDERED AND ADJUDGED this the 27th day of October, 2017.
s/ Daniel P. Jordan III
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?