United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DOC. 35)
CARAM STEEH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Transport Systems filed this diversity action for breach of
contract, claim and delivery, conversion, and unjust
enrichment under Michigan law against Defendant Amazon
relating to an allegedly lost trailer. Defendant's motion
for summary judgment is now before the court. Because
Plaintiff lacks standing, Defendant's motion for summary
judgment shall be GRANTED.
is a motor carrier company that owns approximately 130
trailers and approximately 30 cabs. (Doc. 38, Ex. A at PgID
366). Transport Systems is a company wholly owned by Ali
Saleh and his wife. (Doc. 38, Ex. A at PgID 367). Ali Saleh
is also the sole owner of Sure Express, LLC (“Sure
Express”). (Doc. 38, Ex. D at PgID 400).
brought this suit against Defendant arising out of the
alleged loss of a 2016 Vanguard trailer (VIN
5V7VC5326GM607804) which it identifies as trailer No. 4029
(the “Trailer”). It is undisputed that Plaintiff
does not own the Trailer in question. (Doc. 38, Ex. A at PgID
378). The title holder is Sure Express. (Doc. 35-1, Ex. B at
PgID 277). Ali Saleh acknowledged this fact at his
deposition. (Doc. 38, Ex. A at PgID 378). During that
deposition, Mr. Saleh testified that Plaintiff entered into a
lease agreement for the Trailer but neither that lease nor
any other agreement was ever produced during discovery.
Further, no evidence of monthly payments or other forms of
reliance were produced nor any evidence that Plaintiff paid
for the use, maintenance, or repair of the Trailer. (Doc. 38,
Ex. A at PgID 380). Sure Express is not a party to this
to the scheduling order, Plaintiff had until October 31, 2018
to file a motion for leave to amend the complaint to
substitute the correct party plaintiff, Sure Express. (Doc.
15). Plaintiff failed to comply with the filing deadline.
(Doc. 41, PgID 424). On February 28, 2019, Defendant filed a
motion for summary judgment arguing in part that Plaintiff
had no standing to sue because it did not own the Trailer in
question. (Doc. 35). Plaintiff waited an additional two weeks
before finally filing a motion for leave to amend on March
19, 2019, without including a reason for the delay. (Doc. 41,
PgID 424). Magistrate Judge Patti denied Plaintiff's
untimely motion to amend, noting, the “determination of
the proper entity plaintiff was not difficult and should have
been made before this lawsuit was filed.” (Doc. 41,
PgID 424). Magistrate Judge Patti allowed Plaintiff the
opportunity to file additional briefing in opposition to
Defendant's motion for summary judgment, but Plaintiff
failed to do so. (Doc. 42, PgID 426).
Standard of Law
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) empowers the court to render
summary judgment "forthwith if the pleadings,
depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law." See Redding v. St. Eward, 241 F.3d 530,
532 (6th Cir. 2001). The Supreme Court has affirmed the
court's use of summary judgment as an integral part of
the fair and efficient administration of justice. The
procedure is not a disfavored procedural shortcut.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 327 (1986);
see also Cox v. Kentucky Dep't of Transp., 53
F.3d 146, 149 (6th Cir. 1995).
standard for determining whether summary judgment is
appropriate is "'whether the evidence presents a
sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or
whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a
matter of law.'" Amway Distributors Benefits
Ass'n v. Northfield Ins. Co., 323 F.3d 386, 390 (6th
Cir. 2003) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986)). The evidence and all reasonable
inferences must be construed in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party. Tolan v. Cotton, 572 U.S. 650,
660 (2014); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). "[T]he mere
existence of some alleged factual dispute between
the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported
motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be
no genuine issue of material fact."
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original); see also National
Satellite Sports, Inc. v. Eliadis, Inc., 253 F.3d 900,
907 (6th Cir. 2001).
movant establishes by use of the material specified in Rule
56(c) that there is no genuine issue of material fact and
that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, the
opposing party must come forward with "specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial."
First Nat'l Bank v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S.
253, 270 (1968); see also McLean v. 988011 Ontario,
Ltd., 224 F.3d 797, 800 (6th Cir. 2000). Mere
allegations or denials in the non-movant's pleadings will
not meet this burden, nor will a mere scintilla of evidence
supporting the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248, 252. Rather, there must be evidence on which a jury
could reasonably find for the non-movant. McLean,
224 F.3d at 800 (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252).
Breach of Contract Claim
II alleges breach of contract. Defendant argues it cannot be
liable for breach of contract because the parties are not
now, and never have been, parties to any contract or written
agreement with each other regarding the transportation of
Defendant's goods. Plaintiff conceded this issue in its
responses to Defendant's first set of “Requests for
Admission, ” and further waived the issue in its
response to Defendant's motion for summary judgment.
(Doc. 38, PgID 353). Accordingly, Count II shall be