United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
FRANK W. RAMSEY, JR., et al., Plaintiffs
BUCHANAN AUTO PARK, INC., et al., Defendants
Christopher C. Conner, Chief United States District Judge.
Frank W. Ramsey, Jr., was injured while making a workplace
delivery in September 2014. Ramsey filed this lawsuit,
together with his wife, asserting personal-injury and
breach-of-warranty claims against two defendants: Buchanan
Auto Park, Inc., which owned the property where Ramsey made
the delivery, and FCA U.S. LLC (“FCA”), which
provided the equipment Ramsey used to make the delivery.
Defendants moved for summary judgment, and Magistrate Judge
Martin C. Carlson issued separate reports recommending that
the court deny both motions. FCA objects to Judge
Factual Background & Procedural
worked as a delivery truck driver for TransForce.
(See Doc. 72-2 ¶ 7; Doc. 74-2 ¶ 5). On
September 18, 2014, Ramsey was tasked to deliver certain
wheeled cages containing Chrysler automobile parts, including
one cage to be delivered to Buchanan Auto Park. (Doc. 72-2
¶¶ 8, 11-12; Doc. 74-2 ¶¶ 1, 5). When
Ramsey arrived at Buchanan Auto Park, he unloaded the wheeled
cage from his truck and began pushing the cage to the parts
delivery location. (See Doc. 72-2 ¶¶
17-18; Doc. 79 ¶¶ 17-18). The only evidence of what
happened next comes from Ramsey's deposition testimony:
Q: Okay. So describe for me, when you were taking the cart to
the delivery location, at what point in that journey did you
have trouble with the -- with the cart?
A: Well, when I was pushing it, you know, pushing it in, you
know, to go inside of the -- and as far as I remember, too, I
think there was a bay door --
A: -- that was open. When I was pushing it, it hit something,
and now I know it was the ditch. It hit a ditch. So I had to
leave -- I had to come around on the side and -- as I was
trying to shake it for the wheel to straighten up to get out
of the ditch, it started leaning over. And so I was trying to
hold it and that's when I -- I twisted and had my hand
--see, the -- the -- it's a cage so -- and the only way
you can get a grip on it is I had to put my fingers in
between -- Q: In the holes?
A: -- in the holes. So when it hit the ditch and I was trying
to get it out the ditch, it was tilted and, you know, I just
had to go, you know, tilt, tilt back like that and twisted my
hand and strained my back, I guess. I mean, I don't know
what it did to my back but pulled something in my back. And
-- and I think that it was the wheel wouldn't straighten
up. Now, if the wheel had straightened up, it would've
rolled off, I believe, would've come right on off, you
know, out of the hole and everything. But then, I, you know,
-- I finally got it out and I -- I -- jiggled it, you know,
to get it over the -
Q: To get it out of the ditch?
A: -- threshold, yeah. Get it out of the edge and over the
(Ramsey Dep. 61:22-63:3). Ramsey eventually “jiggled”
the cage free from the ditch, completed the delivery to
Buchanan Auto Park, and continued with the rest of the
night's deliveries. (Doc. 72-2 ¶¶ 23, 26).
estimated that the ditch was “maybe” one inch
deep and eight inches wide. (Ramsey Dep. 64:1-6). He does not
recall how tall the cage's wheels were or whether the
ditch was deeper than the wheels. (See id. at
64:7-14). Ramsey testified that he did not recall having
other problems with the specific cage on the day in question,
but that, in the past, wheels on the cages would sometimes
“lock up because they're defective.” (Doc.
72-2 ¶ 24; Doc. 79 ¶ 24; Ramsey Dep. 58:22-59:14).
Ramsey conceded that “[i]t is a possibility” that
his past difficulties with pushing the cages was “not
because of any defect in the wheel, but because it's
facing the wrong way, the wheel is facing in the wrong
way.” (Ramsey Dep. 59:15-20). Ramsey also testified
that the cages were “top heavy a lot of times”
and that the one he delivered to Buchanan Auto Park on
September 18 was “kind of top heavy.”
(Id. at 59:1-59:2, 68:5-7).
filed this action, together with his wife, on September 13,
2016. The case is now proceeding on an amended complaint
which asserts five claims: negligence and loss of consortium
as to Buchanan Auto Park, and negligence, loss of consortium,
and breach of warranty as to FCA. Among other damages, Ramsey
seeks compensation for personal injuries, including ...