Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cahall v. Careys Diesel, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

May 23, 2018

STEVE CAHALL Plaintiff,
v.
CAREY'S DIESEL, INC. a/k/a CAREY'S MARINA Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

         Presently before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment. (D.I. 42). For the reasons that follow, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Defendant's Motion is GRANTED, as to Counts III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, X, and XI, and is otherwise DENIED.[1]

         I. BACKGROUND

         In 2014, a fuel line in Plaintiffs vessel broke and sprayed into the engines' air intakes. (D.I. 43, Exh. 1 ¶ 3). The engines were extensively damaged, so Plaintiff hired Defendant to rebuild and repair them. (D.I. 1 ¶ 33). Plaintiff alleges that he engaged Defendant to make the repairs using genuine MAN diesel parts. (D.I. 46, Exh. 1 ¶ 6).

         To obtain reimbursement for the rebuilds and repairs, Plaintiff submitted an insurance claim to American Family Home Insurance Company. (D.I. 43, Exh. 1 ¶¶ 5-7). American Family declined to pay the claim. (Id. at ¶ 7). Plaintiff brought suit against American Family in the Delaware Superior Court in December 2015. (D.I. 43, Exh. 1). The complaint stated that the "[t]otal repair and replacement damages" resulting from the broken fuel line were "in excess of $213, 000." (Id. at ¶ 13). The complaint further stated, "Plaintiff has submitted to [American Family] reasonable and necessary repair and replacement expenses to cover damages resulting from the fractured fuel line, " and American Family's "refusal to pay the aforementioned expenses is a breach of its contractual obligations under the insurance policy." (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8). Later in December 2015, after all repairs had been completed and the Superior Court action had been filed, Plaintiff learned that Defendant had not completed the repairs using MAN parts, but rather after-market parts. (D.I. 46, Exh. 1 ¶ 9).

         On July 29, 2016, Plaintiff filed this suit against Defendant. (D.I. 1). In August 2017, Plaintiff entered into a settlement by which American Family paid him $125, 000, and the Superior Court action was dismissed by stipulation. (D.I. 43, Exh. 4). Plaintiff alleges that he has spent $435, 432, 021 to date for repairs to the engines. (D.I. 46 at 5).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         "The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party has the initial burden of proving the absence of a genuinely disputed material fact relative to the claims in question. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). Material facts are those "that could affect the outcome" of the proceeding, and "a dispute about a material fact is 'genuine' if the evidence is sufficient to permit a reasonable jury to return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Lamont v. New Jersey, 637 F.3d 177, 181 (3d Cir. 2011) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). When determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007); Wishkin v. Potter, 476 F.3d 180, 184 (3d Cir. 2007).

         III. DISCUSSION

         a. Judicial Estoppel and Quasi Estoppel

         Defendant argues that the doctrines of judicial estoppel and quasi estoppel should prevent Plaintiff from making each of his claims in this Court. (D.I. 43 at 4-6).

         The doctrine of judicial estoppel "precludes a party from assuming a position in a legal proceeding that contradicts or is inconsistent with a previously asserted position." Malascalza v. National R.R. Passenger Corp., 1996 WL 159650, at *3 (D. Del. Mar. 12, 1996). Similarly, the doctrine of quasi estoppel

precludes a party from asserting, to another's disadvantage, a right inconsistent with a position it has previously taken. Quasi-estoppel applies when it would be unconscionable to allow a person to maintain a position inconsistent with one to which he acquiesced, or from which he accepted a benefit. To constitute this sort of estoppel the act of the party against whom the estoppel is sought must have gained some advantage for himself or produced some disadvantage to another.

Pers. Decisions, Inc. v. Bus. Planning Sys., Inc., 2008 WL 1932404, at *6 (Del Ch. May 5, 2008) (internal quotations omitted), aff'd, 970 A.2d 256 (Del. 2009).

         In Superior Court, Plaintiff argued, "Plaintiff has submitted to [American Family] reasonable and necessary repair and replacement expenses to cover damages resulting from the fractured fuel line." (D.I. 43, Exh. 1 ¶ 7). Defendant argues that this position contradicts Plaintiffs present claims, because repair charges cannot be "reasonable and necessary" if the charges are for "sham work, non-conforming parts, for non-conforming repair work, for parts never replaced, for work not performed related to the non-replaced parts, " ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.