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Clark v. River Metals Recycling, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

May 9, 2017

RICHARD A. CLARK and JENNIFER CLARK, Plaintiffs,
v.
RIVER METALS RECYCLING, LLC, and SIERRA INTERNATIONAL MACHINERY, LLC, Defendants, SIERRA INTERNATIONAL MACHINERY, LLC, Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
BECKENHOUSE TRADING, LTD, CLARK SALVAGE YARD, LLC, F.LLI TABARELLI S.P.A. and THORTON AUTO CRUSHING, LLC, Third-Party Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the court on defendant River M s Recycling, Inc.'s (“River M s”) Motion (Doc. 85) for Summary Judgment. Plaintiffs filed a timely response (Doc. 86) and River M s filed Motion (Doc. 89) for Leave to File Reply Out of Time. Also before the Court is defendant/third-party plaintiff Sierra International Machinery, LLC's (“Sierra”) Motion (Doc. 87) for Joinder in Plaintiffs' Response to defendant River M s' Motion for Summary Judgment.

         1. Background.

         This matter was initially filed in the Circuit Court for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, Illinois and removed to this Court based on diversity. The complaint (Doc. 1-1) alleges that the plaintiff Richard A. Clark was an employee of Thornton Auto Crushing, LLC when he was refiling the hydraulic fluid on Sierra International Machinery car logger/baler[1] (“baler”) when he slipped and fell. Plaintiffs allege that the baler was defective and had an unreasonably dangerous condition that caused plaintiff Richard Clark to fall and resulted in his injuries. The complaint further alleges that River M s was the owner of the baler and that Sierra was also the owner and/or lessor of the baler.

         2. Standard.

         a. Motion for Leave to File Reply Out of Time.

         Local Rule 7.1 states that reply briefs, in any, shall be filed within 14 days of the service of a response. It also states that reply briefs are not favored and should be filed only in exceptional circumstances and that the party filing the reply brief shall state the exceptional circumstances. Plaintiffs filed their response on April 13, 2017 and River M s' reply was due on or before April 28, 2017.

         There are no exceptional circumstances stated within the reply that would justify the delay in replying. The motion for leave only states that, “[i]n light of concession by the plaintiff that this case involves only strict products liability against River M s, movant has prepared its Reply.” (Doc. 89 at 1). The plaintiffs' “concession” was clear in its response and a reply, if any, should have been prepared within the time allotted.

         As such, River M s' Motion (Doc. 89) for Leave to File Reply Out of Time is denied. River M s may still file a dispositive motion, if appropriate, prior to the dipositive motion deadline set forth in the amended scheduling order (Doc. 73).

         b. Motion for Summary Judgment.

         Summary judgment must be granted, “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes Wheels Int'l-Ind., Inc., 211 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir. 2000). The reviewing court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Chelios v. Heavener, 520 F.3d 678, 685 (7th Cir. 2008); Spath, 211 F.3d at 396.

         The initial summary judgment burden of production is on the moving party to show the Court that there is no reason to have a trial. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323; Modrowski v. Pigatto, 712 F.3d 1166, 1168 (7th Cir. 2013). Where the non-moving party carries the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may satisfy its burden of production in one of two ways. It may present evidence that affirmatively negates an essential element of the non-moving party's case, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A), or it may point to an absence of evidence to support an essential element of the non-moving party's case without actually submitting any evidence, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(B). Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-25; Modrowski, 712 F.3d at 1169. Where the moving party fails to meet its strict burden, a court cannot enter summary judgment for the moving party even if the opposing party fails to present relevant evidence in response to the motion. Cooper v. Lane, 969 F.2d 368, 371 (7th Cir. 1992).

         In responding to a summary judgment motion, the nonmoving party may not simply rest upon the allegations contained in the pleadings, but must present specific facts to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-26; Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57; Modrowski, 712 F.3d at 1168. A genuine issue of material fact is not demonstrated by the mere existence of “some alleged factual dispute between the parties, ” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247, or by “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, ” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists only if “a fair-minded jury could return a verdict for the [nonmoving party] on the evidence presented.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         Finally, “[i]t is, of course, well established that, as a general matter, a district court exercising jurisdiction because the parties are of diverse citizenship must apply state substantive law and federal procedural law.” Windy City M Fabricators & Supply, Inc. v. CIT Tech. Fin. Servs., Inc., 536 F.3d 663, 670 (7th Cir. 2008) (citing Erie R.R. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938)). As this court is ...


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