United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
T. NEFF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company of America filed this
insurance subrogation action seeking recovery for a $114,
473.66 loss by Plaintiffs insured, Denso Manufacturing
Michigan, Inc., related to a shipment of blower motors
damaged in a single vehicle trucking accident that occurred
during interstate carriage by Defendant Mac R Behnke Rentals,
Ltd. Pending before the Court is Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment (Dkts 46, 47); Plaintiff has filed a
Response and Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkts 48, 49).
Defendant has filed a Reply (Dkt 51), and Plaintiff has filed
a Surreply (Dkt 52). Having fully considered the parties'
submissions, the Court concludes that oral argument would not
assist in the disposition of the issues presented.
See W.D. Mich. LCivR 7.2(d).
reasons that follow, Defendant's motion for summary
judgment is denied in part and granted in part; the motion is
denied as to Plaintiff s Carmack Amendment claim, but granted
as to Plaintiffs Bailment claim. Plaintiffs cross-motion for
summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part; the
Court concludes that Plaintiff has established the elements
of its Carmack Amendment claim, and the only issue remaining
for decision is the amount of damages to which Plaintiff is
entitled with respect to element three.
to this Court's dispositive motion procedures, the
parties have stipulated to the following Joint Statement of
Facts (JSMF) (Dkt 50) for purposes of the cross-motions:
1. This action involves a shipment of blower motors (the
"Cargo") carried by defendant, Mac R Behnke Rentals
2. Plaintiff, Mitsui Insurance Company of America
("MSI"), is a corporation engaged in the business
of providing insurance.
3. MSI and Denso Manufacturing Michigan, Inc.
("Denso") entered into a contract of insurance, a
true and accurate copy of which is submitted as
4. MSI paid a claim for loss of the Cargo to its insured,
Denso, in return for subrogation rights. A true and accurate
copy of the subrogation receipt was submitted as PageID.7.
5. Denso is engaged in the business of manufacturing and
assembling components for vehicles. For purposes of the
instant action, Denso purchased blower motors from its
supplier in North Carolina, ANSO North Carolina, for
installation into defrost systems used for trucks.
6. Mac R Behnke Rentals Ltd. ("Behnke") is a
Michigan corporation with a principal place of business in
Battle Creek, Michigan.
7. At all material times herein, Behnke was engaged in the
business of transporting goods by road in interstate commerce
pursuant to authority granted by the United States Department
8. On or about June 23, 2009, Denso and Behnke entered into a
"Transportation Services Agreement, " a true and
accurate copy of which is submitted herewith as Exhibit J-l
and made a part hereof (the "Agreement").
9. Pursuant to the Agreement, Denso engaged Behnke to carry
the shipment of blower motors that is the subject of this
action (the "Shipment") from ANSO's facility in
North Carolina to Denso's facility in Michigan.
10. The Shipment contained over 9, 000 blower motors.
11. ANSO packed the Shipment in cardboard containers.
12. Behnke provided a trailer with an air-ride suspension
system to minimize road vibration and shock during
transportation (the "Trailer").
13. On or about October 15, 2013, the Shipment was loaded
into the Trailer at ANSO's facility.
14. Upon completion of loading of the Shipment into the
Trailer, Behnke issued a bill of lading, a true and accurate
copy of which is submitted as PageID.8.
15. On October 16, 2013 at 3:03 a.m., during interstate
carriage of the Shipment, Behnke's truck traveled through
Ohio. Behnke's truck veered off the road, hit a concrete
embankment and entered a field, where it ultimately stopped
16. No other vehicles were involved in the Accident.
17. A true and accurate copy of the police report related to
the Accident is submitted herewith as PagelD. 12-14.
18. Following the Accident, a wrecker truck assisted in
extracting Behnke's Trailer from the field.
19. In the field, while attempting to extract the Trailer,
the wrecker truck pulled the Trailer such that the axles
pulled away from the frame of the Trailer.
20. As a result of the wrecker pulling the axles away from
the frame of the Trailer, the trailer was no longer suitable
for road carriage. Therefore, the wrecker hauled the Trailer
to a shop in Ohio for repair.
21. Behnke dispatched a separate trailer to the shop in Ohio
to complete the carriage of ...