United States District Court, D. Arizona
Five Points Hotel Partnership; Paragon Hotel Corporation, Plaintiffs,
Joe Pinsonneault, et al., Defendants.
JAMES A. TEILBORG, Sr., District Judge.
Currently pending before the Court are Defendant Joe Pinsonneault's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 49) and Plaintiffs Five Points Hotel Partnership and Paragon Hotel Corporation's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 51).
The Court has previously summarized the factual and procedural background of this case:
Plaintiff Five Points Hotel Partnership ("Five Points") is an Arizona general partnership that owned a Holiday Inn in Casa Grande Arizona (the "Hotel"). Plaintiff Paragon Hotel Corporation ("Paragon, " collectively with Five Points, "Plaintiffs") is the managing general partner of Five Points.
In March 2005, Five Points sold the Hotel to Casa Grande Resort Living, LLC ("Casa"), an Arizona limited liability company. Defendant Joe Pinsonneault ("Defendant") is the sole manager and a member of Casa. Mr. Pinsonneault is a California real estate developer who formed Casa for the purpose of purchasing the Hotel.
Five Points and Casa agreed that Casa would purchase the hotel for $3.8 million. Pursuant to the purchase contract, Casa paid nothing at the time of the closing, but assumed the Hotel's bond debt. Casa planned to immediately resell the Hotel.
Five Points Hotel P'ship v. Pinsonneault, 835 F.Supp.2d 753, 755 (D. Ariz. 2011). Plaintiffs and Defendant agree that after the resale took place and the bond debt was paid off, a "second closing" would take place. (Doc. 58 ¶ 14; Doc. 60 ¶ 38). However, the Parties disagree as to who was owed compensation at the second closing, and each contends the other owed them money. (Doc. 58 ¶ 22; Doc. 60 ¶ 38). The Court continued:
Casa resold the Hotel to Peter Nagra in June 2005 for $6.1 million. After Five Points provided the bond payoff amounts to the title agency, Five points[sic] requested the escrow documents related to the re-sale, believing the re-sale to be the anticipated "second closing" that would reconcile the Hotel's operating and bond reserve accounts. But the title agency informed Five Points that because Five Points was not a party to the resale, Five Points would not be receiving any supporting documents. The title agency refused to pay any sums or provide a reconciliation of the accounts and reserves to Five Points. Defendant had the resale proceeds transferred directly from the escrow account into a personal bank account, bypassing Casa.
Because of the failure to reconcile the bond reserve and operating accounts, Five Points brought suit in Arizona Superior Court against Casa, Defendant Pinsonneault, and the title agency in December of 2005. The trial court granted the title agency's motion for summary judgment and Defendant Pinsonneault's motion for summary judgment [on fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims]. After a bench trial in September 2009, the state court found in favor of Five Points on its remaining claims against Casa [and affirmed the trial court grant of summary judgment for Defendant Pinsonneault]. On April 26, 2010, the state court entered a judgment in favor of Plaintiffs and against Casa in the amount of $300, 000 and awarded Plaintiffs $200, 000 in costs and attorneys[sic] fees plus pre- and post-judgment interest.
Pinsonneault, 835 F.Supp.2d at 755-56. After being unable to collect on the judgment, Plaintiffs filed an alter ego claim in this Court. (Doc. 1 at 8). Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case (Doc. 12), and the Court denied that motion. (Doc. 19 at 11). In denying the motion to dismiss, the Court noted that Defendant did not argue that the case should be dismissed because alter ego was not an independent cause of action. (Doc. 19 at 8). Defendant now asserts this argument, and both parties have moved for summary judgment.
II. LEGAL STANDARD
Summary judgment is appropriate when "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 party asserting that a fact cannot be or is genuinely disputed must support that assertion by "citing to particular parts of materials in the record, " including depositions, affidavits, interrogatory answers or other materials, or by "showing that 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." Id. 56(c)(1). Thus, summary judgment is mandated "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 Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
Initially, the movant bears the burden of pointing out to the Court the basis for the motion and the elements of the causes of action upon which the non-movant will be unable to establish a genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 323. The burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish the existence of material fact. Id. The non-movant "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts" by "com[ing] forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e) (1963) (amended 2010)). A dispute about a fact is "genuine" if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The non-movant's bare assertions, standing alone, are insufficient to create a material issue of fact and ...