NEW ORLEANS – On March 16, Judge Eldon E. Fallon of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District denied a UPS worker's motion for a partial summary judgment against Weeks Marine Inc., finding that the issue of liability between the parties does not meet the necessary requirements.
John Scott Jr., the UPS worker, filed a motion for partial summary judgment to determine liability for his injuries. He argued that Marine Weeks Inc. is liable under both parties' description of events and that there is no genuine issue surrounding the material facts of the case.
The party moving for summary judgment must identify portions of the record, discovery and any affidavits which show there is no genuine issue of material fact, thereby demonstrating the basis for the motion.
Judge Fallon found significant discrepancies in the events presented by Scott and Weeks Marine Inc., leading the court to conclude that summary judgment was not right at this time.
Two material facts were found to be at issue in the discussion included where Scott was located while the piece of furniture was being moved and the manner in which the forklift was operated.
The court found these facts sufficient to meet the standards of liability and contributory negligence.
Scott contends that he was inside his truck while a disgruntled Weeks Marine Inc. employee helped him unload a 500-pound piece of industrial furniture with a forklift. The employee is accused of negligently operating the forklift, which allegedly prompted the package to fall and crush Scott's hand between the furniture and wall of the truck.
Weeks Marine Inc. argued that it was Scott's own negligence that led to his injuries. They contend that Scott committed three fatal errors in the unloading process. He was outside of his truck, did not properly communicate his location with the employee tasked to help unload the truck and improperly took control of the moving process.