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Davis v. 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

December 3, 2014

CHRIS A. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
24 HOUR FITNESS WORLDWIDE, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant

Page 636

For Chris A. Davis, Plaintiff, Counter Defendant: Lisa A. Schmidt, LEAD ATTORNEY, Kelly E. Farnan, Richards, Layton & Finger, PA, Wilmington, DE; Kathryn K. George, PRO HAC VICE; Michael J. Faris, PRO HAC VICE; Nicholas J. Siciliano, PRO HAC VICE.

For 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc., a Delaware corporation, Defendant, Counter Claimant: Amy S. Lee, PRO HAC VICE; Kenneth J. Nachbar, Kevin Michael Coen, Leslie A. Polizoti, Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP, Wilmington, DE; Philip Inglima, PRO HAC VICE.

Page 637

MEMORANDUM

GREGORY M. SLEET, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

I. INTRODUCTION

The plaintiff, Chris A. Davis (" Davis" ), filed this diversity action on October 29, 2012, against the defendant, 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide, Inc. (" 24HFW" ), alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. (D.I. 1.) On November 21, 2012, 24HFW filed its Answer, along with counterclaims against Davis--seeking declaratory judgment and alleging breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, equitable fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and fraudulent concealment--and affirmative defenses. (D.I. 7.) 24HFW voluntarily dismissed its counterclaims for fraud and equitable fraud on May 1, 2014. (D.I. 73.) On September 30, 2014, the court granted Davis' motion for summary judgment and held that the remainder of 24HFW's counterclaims were time-barred by statute of limitations. (D.I. 110-11.) Presently before the court is Davis' letter request for summary judgment on 24HFW's affirmative defenses as well. (D.I. 118.) For the reasons stated below, the court will grant Davis' request for summary judgment.

II. BACKGROUND

The court outlined the background facts in its memorandum and order addressing Davis' previous motion for summary judgment. (D.I. 110 at 1-3.) These facts were drawn primarily from 24HFW's pleadings. The court incorporates this background to address the instant summary judgment request as well.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), summary judgment is appropriate " 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 a judgment as a matter of law." See also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). The moving party bears the burden of proving that no genuine issue of material fact exists. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 585 n. 10, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). A fact is material if it " could affect the outcome" of the proceeding. Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181 (3d Cir. 2011). There is a genuine issue " if the evidence is sufficient to permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the non-moving party." Id. When determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the district court must view the evidence in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw inferences in that party's favor. Wishkin v. Potter, 476 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2007). If the moving party is able to demonstrate an absence of disputed material facts, the nonmoving party must then " come forward with 'specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587 (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)).

Importantly, the mere existence of some evidence in support of the nonmoving party will not prove sufficient for denial of a summary judgment motion. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Rather, the nonmoving party must present enough evidence to enable a jury to reasonably find for it on that issue. Id. Specifically, the party opposing summary judgment " must present more than just 'bare assertions, conclusory allegations or suspicions' to show the existence of a genuine issue." Podobnik v. U.S. Postal Serv., 409 F.3d 584, 594 (3d Cir. 2005) (quoting Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 325).

Page 638

Thus, a nonmoving party asserting that a material fact is in dispute must support this assertion by: " (A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record, including depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations, . . . admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or (B) showing that the materials cited [by the opposing party] do not establish the absence . . . of a genuine dispute. . . ." See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). If the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of its ...


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