United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Charleston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
R. GOODWIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is the third-party defendant Engel Welding,
Inc.'s (“Engel”) Motion for Summary Judgment
[ECF No. 273]. Mountaineer Gas Company (“Mountaineer
Gas”), the third-party plaintiff, filed a Response [ECF
No. 286], and Engel filed a Reply [ECF No. 294]. The matter
is now ripe for adjudication. For the following reasons,
Engel's Motion is DENIED in part and
GRANTED in part.
case involves a boiler explosion at St. Mary's Medical
Center in Huntington, West Virginia. Although Engel was not
initially named a defendant, Mountaineer Gas later brought it
in as a third-party defendant, alleging contribution,
negligent performance of services, and implied indemnity.
See Third-Party Compl. [ECF No. 80]. Engel now moves
this court for summary judgment on claims against it.
obtain summary judgment, the moving party must show that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). In considering a motion for
summary judgment, the court will not “weigh the
evidence and determine the truth of the matter.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249
(1986). Instead, the court will draw any permissible
inference from the underlying facts in the light most
favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587-88 (1986).
the court will view all underlying facts and inferences in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, the
nonmoving party nonetheless must offer some “concrete
evidence from which a reasonable juror could return a
verdict” in his or her favor. Anderson, 477
U.S. at 256. Summary judgment is appropriate when the
nonmoving party has the burden of proof on an essential
element of his or her case and does not make, after adequate
time for discovery, a showing sufficient to establish that
element. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322-23 (1986). The nonmoving party must satisfy this burden
of proof by offering more than a mere “scintilla of
evidence” in support of his or her position.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. Likewise, conclusory
allegations or unsupported speculation, without more, are
insufficient to preclude the granting of a summary judgment
motion. See Dash v. Mayweather, 731 F.3d 303, 311
(4th Cir. 2013); Stone v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 105
F.3d 188, 191 (4th Cir. 1997).
seeks summary judgment on all claims against it. First, Engel
asserts that the negligence and contribution claims against
it must be dismissed because Mountaineer Gas failed to
present evidence that Engel was a causal factor in the
explosion at issue in this case. Mountaineer Gas, in turn,
argues that a litany of evidence sufficiently proves
reviewing the evidence presented on the issues raised by the
parties, I FIND that contested issues of
material fact remain as to Mountaineer Gas's negligence
and contribution claims. Accordingly, I DENY
Engel's Motion as to the negligence and contribution
next argues that I should dismiss Mountaineer Gas's
implied indemnity claim because there is no special
relationship between the parties giving rise to an implied
indemnity claim. Mountaineer Gas failed to address this
of whether any special relationship exists between the
parties, the implied indemnity claim asserted against Engel
must fail as a matter of law because Mountaineer Gas cannot
prevail on its implied indemnity claim. The only sort of
indemnity claim Mountaineer Gas asserted against Engel is an
implied indemnity claim-a claim that requires a showing that
Mountaineer Gas is entirely without fault. Hager v.
Marshall, 505 S.E.2d 640, 648 ( W.Va. 1998).
(“[T]he right to seek implied indemnity belongs only to
a person who is without fault.”). Were Mountaineer Gas
to prove that it was entirely without fault, then it would
have no need to recover from Engel. If, on the other hand,
Mountaineer Gas were proven to be partially at fault for the
incident, then Mountaineer Gas could not recover under an
implied indemnity claim. Previously, where a party asserting
an implied indemnity claim against another was placed in this
no-win situation, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West
Virginia recognized that dismissal of the claim was proper.
See Schoolhouse Liab. Co. v. Creekside Owners
Ass'n, No. 13-0812, 2014 WL 1847829, at *4 ( W.Va.
May 8, 2014). Similarly, I FIND that it is
impossible for Mountaineer Gas to prevail on its implied
indemnity claim against Engel and GRANT
Engel's Motion as to the implied indemnity claim.
foregoing reasons, the court ORDERS that
Engel's Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 273] is