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Nelson v. Horner

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division

October 31, 2017

RACHEL NELSON, Plaintiff,
v.
CASEY HORNER, individually, SOLUTIONSNMOTION, INC., an Illinois Corporation, NELS PETER CHRISTENSEN, individually, and THOMPSON LEASING, LLC, an Iowa Limited Liability Company d/b/a Thompson Idealease, Defendants.

          ORDER

          JONATHAN E. HAWLEY U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Now before the Court are Defendant Horner's (Doc. 20), Defendant Solutions N Motion, Inc.'s (Doc. 22), and Defendant Christensen's (Doc. 24) Motions to Strike pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f) various paragraphs of Plaintiff Nelson's Third Amended Complaint (Doc. 15). The Motions are fully briefed, and for the reasons set forth below, the Defendants' Motions to Strike are DENIED.[1]

         I

         On August 22, 2017, the Plaintiff filed her Third Amended Complaint under Illinois's Wrongful Death Act. She included a count against Defendant Horner, a count against Defendants Solutions N Motion (Solutions) and Christensen under a respondeat superior theory, a count for negligent entrustment against Solutions and Christensen, a count for negligent supervision/review against Defendants Solutions and Christensen, and a count for negligent entrustment against Defendant Thompson Idealease. The following allegations contained therein are those the Defendants challenge in their Motions to Strike:

         1. While being interviewed by the police shortly after the fatal collision, Defendant Horner expressed concern because he had “smoked some weed about 3 weeks ago” (which was a violation of his conditions of bond in a felony prosecution for aggravated sexual assault of a minor, then pending in Henry County, Illinois). At this time, Defendant Horner further expressed concern that alcohol he drank the night before the collision might still be in his system. Count 1, ¶17; Count 2, ¶17.

         2. Pursuant to 49 C.F.R. §391.25, it was then and there the duty of Defendant Solutions and Defendant Christensen to also conduct an annual inquiry and review of Defendant Horner's overall driving record, his regard for the public's safety, involvement in motor vehicle accidents, and violations of traffic, criminal, and other laws. Count 3, ¶33; Count 4, ¶43.

         3. In disregarding the aforesaid duties, Defendant Solutions and Defendant Christensen, and each of them, were then and there guilty of one or more of the following negligent acts and omissions and breaches by entrusting a semi-trailer truck to Defendant Horner, on their behalf, even though they knew, or by the exercise of reasonable diligence could have known, that Defendant Horner was particularly unfit to be entrusted with a semitrailer truck given his habitual disregard for the rule of law, to wit:

a. In 1996, pleading guilty and being convicted in Henry County, Illinois for driving his motor vehicle 11-14 mph over the posted speed limit;
b. In 1998, pleading guilty and being convicted in Henry County, Illinois for driving his motor vehicle 15-20 mph over the posted speed limit;
c. In 2006, pleading guilty and being convicted in Henry County, Illinois for operating a motor vehicle without insurance;
d. In 2008, having body attachment issued for failing to pay child support;
e. In 2009, being sentenced to 30 days in custody for failing to pay child support before paying in full on the morning his sentence was to begin;
f. In 2009, being ticketed in Henry County, Illinois for driving his motor vehicle 15-20 mph over the speed limit;
g. In 2012, being arrested in Marshall County, Illinois for leaving the scene of an accident, failing to report property damage, hit and run, improper lane usage, failure to ...

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