United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS EQT CORPORATION, EQT
PRODUCTION COMPANY AND EQUITRANS LP'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT, DENYING DEFENDANT R.V. COLEMAN TRUCKING, INC.'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DENYING DEFENDANT ARKOS FIELD
SERVICES, LP'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DENYING
DEFENDANT R.V. COLEMAN TRUCKING INC.'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL
SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DENYING PLAINTIFF JASON FIELDER'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DENYING DEFENDANT MEC
CONSTRUCTION LLC'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AS TO
DELIBERATE INTENTION AND DENYING RULING AS TO INDEMNITY OR
CONTRIBUTION AS PREMATURE 
FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
civil action is a personal injury case that arises out of a
workplace accident. Plaintiff Jason Fielder
(“Fielder”) originally filed suit in the Circuit
Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia and this civil
action was then removed to the United States District Court
for the Northern District of West Virginia. ECF No. 1. This
civil action was then transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 455(b)(4), from United States District Judge Irene M.
Keeley, to the undersigned judge. ECF No. 34.
Jason Fielder, was employed as a laborer for MEC
Construction, LLC (“MEC”). He was working for MEC
on the construction of a compressor station near Blacksville,
West Virginia, which has been referred to as the Blacksville
Compressor Station Phase 2 site. Defendants EQT Production
Company, EQT Corporation, and Equitrans, LP, are hereinafter,
referred to as the “EQT defendants.” MEC was
hired by Equitrans as the prime/general contractor to
construct the compressor station at the Blacksville Phase 2
ordered a number of large steel pipes for the Blacksville
Phase 2 compressor station from Arkos Field Services, LP
(“Arkos”). On October 7, 2015, a number of pipes
that were ordered by EQT were loaded onto a trailer at the
Smithfield, Pennsylvania facility by an Arkos employee, Doug
Lough. On October 16, 2014, the load of pipes was picked up
by Cale Sukala, a driver for R.V. Coleman Trucking, Inc.
(“R.V. Coleman”), at the Arkos facility. R.V.
Coleman transported the load from the Arkos - Smithfield, PA
facility to the Blacksville site.
arriving at the Blacksville Phase 2 site, the pipes were to
be unloaded from the trailer. During the removal of the
pipes, two large pipes rolled from the trailer and struck the
plaintiff Jason Fielder. He was trapped beneath one of the
pipes, and eventually taken to the hospital because of his
injuries. The parties dispute whether the pipes were chocked
and/or properly secured at the Arkos facility, during
transport by R.V. Coleman, and when they arrived at the
Blacksville Phase 2 site. The parties further dispute the
manner in which the pipes were unloaded.
motions have been fully briefed and the parties' pending
motions for summary judgment are ripe for decision.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, this Court must grant a
party's motion for summary judgment if “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). A fact is “material” if it might affect
the outcome of the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute of material fact is
“genuine” if the evidence “is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving
party.” Id. If the nonmoving party
“fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the
existence of an element essential to that party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial, ” summary judgment must be granted against the
plaintiff. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322 (1986). In reviewing the supported underlying facts, all
inferences must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
party opposing the motion. See Matsushita Elec. Indus.
Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of
showing the absence of any genuine issues of material fact.
See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23. “The burden
then shifts to the nonmoving party to come forward with facts
sufficient to create a triable issue of fact.”
Temkin v. Frederick County Comm'rs, 945 F.2d
716, 718 (4th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 502 U.S.
1095 (1992). However, “a party opposing a properly
supported motion for summary judgment may not rest upon the
mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but . . . must
set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986).
before the Court are six pending motions for summary judgment
which have been fully briefed: (1) motion for summary
judgment by EQT Corporation, EQT Production Company,
Equitrans, LP (ECF No. 112); (2) motion for summary judgment
by R.V. Coleman Trucking, Inc. (ECF No. 113); (3) motion for
summary judgment by Arkos Field Services, LP (ECF No. 114);
(4) motion for partial summary judgment with respect to the
third-party complaint against MEC Construction, LLC by R.V.
Coleman Trucking, Inc. (ECF No. 115); (5) motion for summary
judgment against defendant R.V. Coleman Trucking, Inc. by
plaintiff Jason Fielder (ECF No. 116); (6) motion for summary
judgment by MEC Construction, LLC (ECF No. 117).
its review of the fully briefed motions, and the memoranda
and exhibits submitted by the parties, this Court finds that,
for the reasons set forth below, summary judgment in favor of
the EQT defendants is appropriate, there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact, and these defendants are
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The other pending
motions for summary judgment are denied.
the motion for summary judgment by EQT Corporation, EQT
Production Company, and Equitrans, LP (ECF No. 112) is
granted; the motion for summary judgment by R.V. Coleman
Trucking, Inc. (ECF No. 113) is denied; the motion for
summary judgment by Arkos Field Services, LP (ECF No. 114) is
denied; the motion for partial summary judgment with respect
to the third-party complaint against MEC Construction, LLC by
R.V. Coleman Trucking, Inc. (ECF No. 115) is denied; the
motion for summary judgment against defendant R.V. Coleman
Trucking, Inc. by Jason Fielder (ECF No. 116) is denied; the
motion for summary judgment by MEC Construction, LLC (ECF No.
117) is denied as to “deliberate intention.” A
ruling as to indemnity or contribution is denied as
motions for summary judgment are discussed, in turn, below.
Motion for Summary Judgment by EQT Corporation, EQT
Production Company, Equitrans, LP
EQT Corporation, Equitrans, LP, d/b/a EQT Midstream, and EQT
Production Company (“EQT”), filed a motion for
summary judgment (ECF No. 112) pursuant to Rule 56 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and moves this Court for
judgment as a matter of law as to (1) all claims asserted
against EQT and (2) the duty of Arkos Field Services, LP,
R.V. Coleman Trucking, Inc., and MEC Construction, LLC to
defend and indemnify EQT with respect to plaintiff's
claims. ECF No. 112 at 2. EQT asserts in its memorandum in
support, “[i]mportantly, EQT entered into Master
Service Agreements (“MSA”) with [R.V. Coleman],
MEC, and Arkos. The MSA's provide that R.V. Coleman, MEC,
and Arkos will defend and indemnify EQT from Plaintiff's
claims in this case.” ECF No. 112-1 at 5. EQT also
states that additionally, the MSAs provide that Arkos, MEC,
and R.V. Coleman are “responsible for the prevention of
accidents and injury in the vicinity of or connected with
[their] work.” ECF No. 112-1 at 8. Lastly, EQT asserts
that the MSA provides a choice of law provision
“wherein the parties agree that the MSA's shall be
construed, interpreted, and enforced in accordance with the
laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” ECF No.
112-1 at 9. EQT argues that:
Numerous depositions have been taken in this case, including
deposition of Mr. Fielder, and employees of Arkos, MEC, and
[R.V. Coleman]. No. witness testified that EQT supervised or
directed the work of Arkos, [R.V. Coleman], or MEC employees
with respect to loading, transporting, or unloading the
shipment of pipes at issue. Additionally, each party
submitted expert reports with respect to liability. No.
expert opines that ...