Williams v. Ethicon, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER granting 96 MOTION by Nancy Williams for Partial Summary Judgment to the extent that the affirmative defenses are based on comparative and/or contributory fault of plaintiff's physicians. Signed by Judge Joseph R. Goodwin on 1/6/2017. (cc: counsel of record; any unrepresented party) (ts)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA
CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:12-cv-00511
ETHICON, INC., et al.,
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
(Plaintiff ’s Motion for Summary Judgment)
Pending before the court is the plaintiff ’s Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment [ECF No. 96]. As set forth below, the plaintiff ’s Motion is GRANTED.
Legal Standard for Summary Judgment
To obtain summary judgment, the moving party must show that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). In considering a motion for
summary judgment, the court will not “weigh the evidence and determine the truth
of the matter.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986). Instead, the
court will draw any permissible inference from the underlying facts in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 587–88 (1986).
Although the court will view all underlying facts and inferences in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party, the nonmoving party nonetheless must offer
some “concrete evidence from which a reasonable juror could return a verdict” in his
or her favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256. Summary judgment is appropriate when the
nonmoving party has the burden of proof on an essential element of his or her case
and does not make, after adequate time for discovery, a showing sufficient to establish
that element. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322–23 (1986). The nonmoving
party must satisfy this burden of proof by offering more than a mere “scintilla of
evidence” in support of his or her position. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. Likewise,
conclusory allegations or unsupported speculation, without more, are insufficient to
preclude the granting of a summary judgment motion. See Dash v. Mayweather, 731
F.3d 303, 311 (4th Cir. 2013); Stone v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 105 F.3d 188, 191 (4th
The plaintiff argues she is entitled to summary judgment on defendants’
affirmative defenses 42, 45, 66, and 77 in their Master Answer and Jury Demand of
Defendant Ethicon, Inc. to First Amended Master Complaint (“Master Answer”), as
they relate to any of plaintiff’s physicians, because the defenses are without
evidentiary support, namely lack of expert testimony. Mem. Supp. Partial Mot.
Summ. J.), at 3–4, [ECF No. 97]. The defendants agree that this court should dismiss
several of the affirmative defenses listed in their Master Answer to the extent they
are based on the purported negligence of plaintiff’s physicians, and Ethicon withdrew
defenses 42, 45, 51, 66, and 77. Resp. Mem. Opp. Mot. Summ. J. 1, [ECF No. 91].
Accordingly, the plaintiff’s Motion with regard to these defenses is GRANTED.
For the reasons discussed above, it is ORDERED that the plaintiff ’s Partial
Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 96] is GRANTED to the extent that the
affirmative defenses are based on the comparative and/or contributory fault of
plaintiff ’s physicians.
The Court DIRECTS the Clerk to send a copy of this Order to counsel of record
and any unrepresented party.
January 6, 2017
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