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Coyle v. Crown Enterprises

March 19, 2009

THOMAS H. COYLE, AND LINDA SUE COYLE, C/O MARY ANN AND THOMAS COYLE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CROWN ENTERPRISES, INC., DEFENDANT.
CROWN ENTERPRISES, INC., THIRD PARTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
CON-WAY TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, INC., THIRD PARTY DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leslie G. Foschio United States Magistrate Judge

(consent)

ORDER and DECISION

JURISDICTION

On April 11, 2006, the parties to this action consented to proceed before the undersigned. The matter is presently before the court on Plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment (Doc. No. 45), filed February 19, 2008, and to preclude expert witness evidence (Doc. No. 58), filed April 28, 2008, and on Defendant and Third Party Plaintiffs' motions for summary judgment (Doc. No. 51), filed April 4, 2008, for sanctions (Doc. No. 56), filed April 22, 2008, and to strike Plaintiffs' affidavit (Doc. No. 69), filed June 6, 2008.

BACKGROUND

On September 9, 2005, Plaintiffs Thomas H. Coyle ("Coyle"), and his wife, Linda Sue Coyle ("Mrs. Coyle") (together, "Plaintiffs"), commenced a personal injury action in New York Supreme Court, Erie County ("Coyle I"), seeking monetary damages for injuries sustained as a result of a February 7, 2003 incident ("the incident"), occurring at 850 Aero Drive, Cheektowaga, New York ("the Premises"). Named as Defendants in Coyle I are GLS Leasco, Inc. ("Leasco"), as the alleged owner of the Premises, C.C. Eastern, Inc. ("C.C. Eastern"), the alleged operator of a trucking terminal at the Premises, Central Transport International, Inc., ("Central Transport"), the holding company of Leasco and C.C. Eastern, and Centra, Inc. ("Centra"), the holding company of Central Transport (together, the "Coyle I Defendants"). According to Plaintiffs, the Coyle I Defendants are all Michigan corporations. Coyle I Complaint ¶ 3.

On October 20, 2005, the Coyle I Defendants removed the action to this court (Coyle I, Doc. No. 1) ("Removal Notice"), asserting diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 as the basis for subject matter jurisdiction,*fn1 and filed an answer to the Complaint.

On December 8, 2005, Plaintiffs commenced in New York Supreme Court, Erie County the instant personal injury action ("Coyle II") seeking monetary damages for injuries sustained as a result of the February 7, 2003 incident. Named as the sole Defendant in Coyle II is Crown Enterprises, Inc. ("Crown" or "Coyle II Defendant"), an entity Plaintiffs allege was hired by Leasco to maintain and control the Premises. On December 22, 2005, Crown removed the action to this court asserting diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332 as the basis for subject matter jurisdiction. Crown's answer was filed on December 23, 2005.

On February 6, 2006, Crown moved to consolidate Coyle I and Coyle II in light of the fact that both actions seek recovery of monetary damages for personal injuries Plaintiffs sustained as a result of the February 7, 2003 incident. On April 7, 2006, Crown filed a third-party complaint ("the Third Party Complaint") against Con-Way Central Express, a part of Con-Way Transportation Services, Inc. ("Third-Party Defendant" or "Con-Way").*fn2 Con-Way's answer to the Third Party Complaint was filed on May 8, 2006.

On September 28, 2006, the undersigned denied the motion to consolidate Coyle I and Coyle II. Accordingly, Coyle I is before the undersigned on referral from Chief District Judge Arcara, whereas Coyle II is before the undersigned on consent. Despite the undersigned's denial of Crown's motion to consolidate Coyle I with Coyle II, the parties filed a series of duplicate motions, with identical supporting papers, in both Coyle I and Coyle II.

On February 19, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment (Coyle II, Doc. No. 45) ("Plaintiffs' Summary Judgment Motion"), identical to a summary judgment motion Plaintiff filed in Coyle I on February 14, 2008 (Coyle I, Doc. No. 31). The motion is supported by the attached Affirmation of John Lloyd Egan, Esq. ("First Egan Affirmation"), and Exhibits A through H ("Plaintiffs' Exh(s). __"). In opposition to Plaintiffs' Summary Judgment Motion, on April 4, 2008, the Crown filed the Affidavit of William C. Altreuter, Esq. (Coyle II, Doc. No. 50) ("First Altreuter Affidavit"), and an identical affidavit in Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 37).

On April 4, 2008, Crown filed a motion for summary judgment (Coyle II, Doc. No. 51) ("Coyle II Defendant's Summary Judgment Motion), supported by the attached Affidavit of William C. Altreuter, Esq. ("Second Altreuter Affidavit"), exhibits, the Affidavit of Larry Jacobs ("Jacobs Affidavit"),*fn3 the Affidavit of Tommaso Briatico ("Briatico Affidavit"), a Statement of Uncontested Facts ("Coyle II Defendant's Uncontested Facts Statement"), and a Memorandum of Law ("Coyle II Defendant's Memorandum"). Crown seeks summary judgment against both Plaintiffs and Third Party Defendant Con-Way.

On April 4, 2008, the Coyle I Defendants filed the same motion with identical supporting papers Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 38).

On April 17, 2008, Plaintiffs filed in support of Plaintiffs' Summary Judgment Motion and in response to Coyle II Defendant's Summary Judgment Motion the Affidavit of John Lloyd Egan, Esq. (Coyle II, Doc. No. 54) ("First Egan Affidavit"), with attached exhibits. Plaintiffs also filed the same motion with identical supporting papers in Coyle I on April 17, 2008. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 42).

On April 22, 2008, the Coyle II Defendant filed a motion to preclude Plaintiffs from offering expert evidence (Coyle II, Doc. No. 56) ("Coyle II Defendant's Sanctions Motion"), supported by the attached Affidavit of William C. Altreuter, Esq. ("Third Altreuter Affidavit"), and exhibits. Coyle I Defendants filed the same motion with identical supporting papers in Coyle I on April 22, 2008. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 43).

On April 25, 2008, Con-Way joined in the consent to proceed before the undersigned filed by Plaintiffs and the Coyle II Defendants on April 11, 2006 in Coyle II. (Coyle II, Doc. No. 57).

On April 28, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a motion to preclude the Coyle II Defendant from offering expert evidence (Coyle II, Doc. No. 58) ("Plaintiffs' Sanctions Motion"), supported by the attached Affirmation of John Lloyd Egan, Esq. ("Second Egan Affirmation"), and also filed the same motion with identical supporting papers in Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 44).

On May 5, 2008, the Coyle II Defendant filed in opposition to Plaintiffs' Sanctions Motion the Affidavit of William C. Altreuter, Esq. (Coyle II, Doc. No. 61) ("Fourth Altreuter Affidavit"), with attached exhibits. Coyle I Defendants filed the same papers in Coyle I also on May 5, 2008. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 47).

On May 6, 2008, Plaintiffs filed in support of Plaintiffs' Summary Judgment Motion the Affidavit of Thomas Coyle (Coyle II, Doc. No. 62) ("Coyle Affidavit"), with an attached exhibit, and filed the same papers in Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 48). On May 8, 2008, Third-Party Defendant Con-Way filed a Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Crown's Motion for Summary Judgment (Coyle II Doc. No. 63) ("Con-Way Memorandum").

On May 13, 2008, Plaintiffs filed a document (Coyle II, Doc. No. 64) containing the Affidavit of John Lloyd Egan, Esq, in further support of Plaintiffs' Sanctions Motion ("Second Egan Affidavit"), the Affidavit of John Lloyd Egan, Esq. in opposition to Coyle II Defendant's Sanctions Motion ("Third Egan Affidavit"), with attached; Plaintiffs filed the same papers in Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 49). On May 15, 2008, Third-Party Defendant Con-Way Central Express, a part of Con-Way Transportation Services, Inc. ("Con-Way"), a foreign corporation,*fn4 filed the Affirmation of Lisa T. Sofferin, Esq., in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Preclude Expert Testimony (Coyle II, Doc. No. 65) ("Sofferin Affirmation"), with attached exhibits. On May 20, 2008, Coyle II Defendant filed in opposition to Plaintiffs' Sanctions Motion the Reply Affidavit of William C. Altreuter, Esq. (Coyle II, Doc. No. 66) ("Fifth Altreuter Affidavit"), and Coyle I Defendants filed an identical affidavit in Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 50).

On May 30, 2008, the Coyle II Defendant filed in further support of Coyle II Defendant's Sanctions Motion the Reply Affidavit of William C. Altreuter, Esq. (Coyle II, Doc. No. 67) ("Sixth Altreuter Affidavit"), with attached exhibits, and Coyle I Defendants filed identical papers in Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 51).

On June 5, 2008, Plaintiffs filed the Reply Affidavit of John Lloyd Egan, Esq. (Coyle II, Doc. No. 68) ("Fourth Egan Affidavit"), with attached exhibits, and also filed an identical affidavit in Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 52). On June 6, 2008, the Coyle II Defendant filed a motion to strike the Fourth Egan Affidavit (Coyle II, Doc. No. 69) ("Coyle II Defendant's Motion to Strike"), supported by the attached Affidavit of William C. Altreuter, Esq. ("Seventh Altreuter Affidavit"), and Coyle I Defendants filed an identical motion with the same supporting papers in Coyle I. (Coyle I, Doc. No. 53). On June 23, 2008, Plaintiffs filed in opposition to Coyle II Defendant's Motion ...


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