United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
Stephanie Favorite, individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Guy Favorite, IV, Plaintiff,
Aleksandar Sakovski, deceased, BB Wolf, Inc., and Compass Truck Rental and Leasing, LLC Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Thomas M. Durkin United States District Judge.
Stephanie Favorite brings this action against Aleksandar
Sakovski, BB Wolf, Inc., and Compass Truck Rental and Leasing
following her husband's death in a tractor-trailer
collision on Interstate 39 in McLean County, Illinois.
Compass moved to dismiss the claim against it for negligent
entrustment. For the following reasons, Compass's motion
12(b)(6) motion challenges the “sufficiency of the
complaint.” Berger v. Nat. Collegiate Athletic
Assoc., 843 F.3d 285, 289 (7th Cir. 2016). A complaint
must provide “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), sufficient to provide defendant with
“fair notice” of the claim and the basis for it.
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555
(2007). This standard “demands more than an unadorned,
the-defendant-unlawfully- harmed-me accusation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). While
“detailed factual allegations” are not required,
“labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. The complaint must
“contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true,
to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570). “‘A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.'” Boucher v. Fin. Sys. of Green Bay,
Inc., 880 F.3d 362, 366 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). In applying this standard,
the Court accepts all well-pleaded facts as true and draws
all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Tobey v. Chibucos, 890 F.3d 634, 646 (7th Cir.
2018, Guy Favorite IV and Aleksandar Sakovski were driving
tractor trailers in opposite directions on Interstate 39 in
McClean County, Illinois when Sakovski crossed the median and
crashed into Favorite. R. 1 ¶¶ 14-16. Both Favorite
and Sakovski died from injuries they sustained in the crash.
Id. ¶ 16.
time of the accident, Sakovski was transporting a load of
auto parts on behalf of his employer, BB Wolf. Id.
¶¶ 13, 16. The truck Sakovski was driving, a 2016
Freightliner Cascadia, had been leased to BB Wolf by Compass
Truck Rental. Id. ¶ 11.
Favorite brings this action against Sakovski, BB Wolf, and
Compass for her husband's death. Count VIII of the complaint
is against Compass for negligent entrustment. Favorite
alleges that Compass knew or should have known that leasing
the truck to BB Wolf presented an unreasonable risk of harm
to Favorite and others because BB Wolf had a poor safety
record and employed unqualified and inadequately trained
commercial truck drivers, including Sakovski. Id.
¶ 40. Compass moved to dismiss Favorite's negligent
Compass's Late Filing
argues that the Court should deny the motion to dismiss
because Compass missed the filing deadline. A district court
“has the discretion to permit the defendants to file
their answer late ‘when the failure to act was the
result of excusable neglect.'” Lewis v. School
Dist. #70, 523 F.3d 730, 740 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)). The determination of excusable neglect is
“at bottom an equitable one, taking account of all
relevant circumstances surrounding the party's
omission.” Id. (quoting Pioneer Inv.
Servs. Co. v. Brunswick Assoc. Ltd., 507 U.S. 380, 395
(1993)). The factors to consider include “the danger of
prejudice, the length of the delay and its potential impact
on judicial proceedings, the reason for the delay, and
whether the movant had acted in good faith.”
filed its motion to dismiss 12 days after the deadline. At
the May status hearing, Compass provided no reasons for its
tardiness other than that it was one of the first parties
served in the lawsuit. That is not a good reason for delay
and weighs against considering its motion. Nevertheless, the
delay resulted in minimal impact on the judicial proceedings,
and there is no reason to believe that Favorite has been
prejudiced or that Compass acted in bad faith. As such, the
Court will consider Compass's motion on the merits.
See Peoria Tazewell Pathology Grp., SC v. Messmore,
2011 WL 4498937, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 23, 2011)
(“[T]o disregard Defendants' Motion to Dismiss in
its entirety as a penalty for not filing it before the date
the answer was due (six days earlier) would not serve the
interests of justice.”).