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Baldridge v. Amica Mutual Insurance Company

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania

June 30, 2017

CARLOS M. BALDRIDGE, Plaintiff,
v.
AMICA MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.

         ELECTRONICALLY FILED

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          Arthur J. Schwab United States District Judge

         Before the Court are Cross Motions for Partial Summary Judgment on a discrete issue in this insurance coverage dispute. See doc. nos. 26 and 28. The issue to be determined by this Court at this juncture of the proceedings is whether underinsured motorist coverage is available to Plaintiff for stacking purposes on one of his four personal vehicles which Defendant insured.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment may be granted if, drawing all inferences in favor of the non-moving party, “the movant shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Melrose, Inc. v. City of Pittsburgh, 613 F.3d 380, 387 (3d Cir. 2010).

         A fact is “material” if proof of its existence or non-existence might affect the outcome of the suit under applicable law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); see also Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181 (3d Cir. 2011). Disputes must be both: (1) material, meaning concerning facts that will affect the outcome of the issue under substantive law, and (2) genuine, meaning there is sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute “to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth at trial.” In re Lemington Home for Aged, 659 F.3d 282, 290 (3d Cir. 2011).

         A party moving for summary judgment has the initial burden of supporting its assertion that fact(s) cannot be genuinely disputed by citing to particular parts of materials in the record - i.e., depositions, documents, affidavits, stipulations, or other materials - or by showing that: (1) the materials cited by the non-moving party do not establish the presence of a genuine dispute, or (2) that the non-moving party cannot produce admissible evidence to support its fact(s). Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). The moving party may discharge its burden by “pointing out to the district court” the “absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case” when the nonmoving party bears the ultimate burden of proof for the claim in question. Conoshenti v. Public Service Elec. & Gas Co, 364 F.3d 135, 140 (3d Cir. 2004), quoting Singletary v. Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections, 266 F.3d 186, 192 n. 2 (3d Cir. 2001), quoting Celotex, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986).

         Conversely, in order to defeat a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must support its assertion that fact(s) are genuinely disputed by citing to particular parts of materials in the record, or by showing that: (1) the materials cited by the moving party do not establish the absence of a genuine dispute, or (2) the moving party cannot produce admissible evidence to support its fact(s). Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). When determining whether there are any genuine issues of material fact, all inferences should be drawn in favor of the non-moving party. Berckeley Inv. Group, Ltd. v. Colkitt, 455 F.3d 195, 201 (3d Cir. 2006).

         In reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court does not make credibility determinations, and summary judgment is “inappropriate when a case will turn on credibility determinations.” El v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Authority, 479 F.3d 232 (3d Cir. 2007), citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.

         In the instant case, the parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. It is well established in this Circuit that the filing of contradictory motions for summary judgment “does not constitute an agreement that if one is rejected the other is necessarily justified or that the losing party waives judicial consideration and determination whether genuine issues of material fact exist.” Lawrence v. City of Philadelphia, Pa., 527 F.3d 299, 310 (3d Cir. 2008), quoting Rains v. Cascade Indus., Inc., 402 F.2d 241, 245 (3d Cir. 1968).

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Because the Court writes primarily for the Parties, this section will be truncated so that only the facts relevant to the adjudication of the narrow issue presented shall be set forth.

         Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident on June 10, 2014, when his vehicle was rear-ended by another vehicle. See Complaint at doc. no. 1-2, ¶ 4-7. Plaintiff settled the underlying accident for the limits of the tortfeasor's insurance policy with Defendant's consent.

         Plaintiff has averred that the injuries he sustained as a result of the underlying motor vehicle accident have rendered him unable to work as a professional truck driver, have caused him to expend money for medical treatment and care, and will ...


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