United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND
DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
FREDERICK P. STAMP, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
civil action arises out of a dispute regarding underinsured
motorist (“UIM”) coverage benefits. The
plaintiffs, Keith Jay Fischer and Dawn Marie Fischer,
initiated this lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Brooke County,
West Virginia against defendants State Farm Mutual Automobile
Insurance Company (“State Farm”) and William
Garvey, Jr. Insurance Agency, Inc. (the “Garvey
removed the civil action to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1446. ECF No. 1. Thereafter, this Court considered the
plaintiffs' motion to remand and defendants' motion
to dismiss. Following briefing, this Court entered a
memorandum opinion and order denying plaintiffs' motion
to remand and granting defendants' motion to dismiss as
it related to defendant William Garvey, Jr. Insurance Agency,
Inc. ECF No. 18.
pending before the Court is defendant State Farm's motion
for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 56. ECF No. 52. Defendant State Farm moves this
Court for the entry of summary judgment in its favor with
respect to the claims against it in this civil action. ECF
No. 53. Plaintiffs filed a response in opposition to the
motion. ECF No. 55. Defendant filed a reply. ECF No. 56. At
this time, the defendant's motion is fully briefed and
ripe for decision.
its review of State Farm's fully briefed motion for
summary judgment, and the memoranda and exhibits submitted by
the parties, this Court finds that, for the reasons set forth
below, the defendant's motion for summary judgment must
be granted as to Count III and denied as to Counts I, II, and
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure:
asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must
support the 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 do not establish the
absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse
party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The party seeking summary judgment
bears the initial burden of showing the absence of any
genuine issues of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). “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) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986)). However, as the United States
Supreme Court noted in Anderson, “Rule 56(e)
itself provides that 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, 477 U.S. at 256.
“The inquiry performed is the threshold inquiry of
determining whether there is the need for a trial-whether, in
other words, there are any genuine factual issues that
properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because
they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either
party.” Id. at 250; see also Charbonnages
de France v. Smith, 597 F.2d 406, 414 (4th Cir.
1979) (“Summary judgment ‘should be granted only
in those cases where it is perfectly clear that no issue of
fact is involved and inquiry into the facts is not desirable
to clarify the application of the law.'” (citing
Stevens v. Howard D. Johnson Co., 181 F.2d 390, 394
(4th Cir. 1950))).
Celotex, the Supreme Court stated that “the
plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the entry of summary
judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion,
against a party who 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.” Celotex, 477 U.S.
at 322. In reviewing the supported underlying facts, all
inferences must be viewed in the ...