United States District Court, D. Arizona
Honorable John J. Tuchi United States District Judge.
issue is Defendants Randy Wayne Eads, Joyce Eads, and Eads
Enterprises Inc.'s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 39,
Mot.), to which Plaintiffs Betsy Hall and Wade Hall filed a
Response (Doc. 43, Resp.), and Defendants filed a Reply (Doc.
47, Reply). No. party requested oral argument, and the Court
finds the Motion appropriate for resolution without such
argument. See LRCiv 7.2(f). For the reasons that
follow, the Court grants Defendants' Motion for Summary
factual premise of this case is simple and not subject to
reasonable dispute.On the night of December 16, 2014, Randy
Eads turned off of Frank Lloyd Wright Boulevard in
Scottsdale, Arizona, to begin merging southbound on State
Route 101. (Doc. 40, Defendants' Separate Statement of
Facts (“Defs' SSOF”) ¶ 1.) However, Eads
never reached the 101, as he rear-ended a Chrysler driven by
Betsy Hall (“Hall”) during his attempt to merge.
(Defs' SSOF ¶ 7.)
August 18, 2016, Plaintiffs filed their Complaint in Maricopa
County Superior Court. (Doc. 1-1, Compl.) Defendants
subsequently removed the matter to this Court on November 7,
2016. (Doc. 1, Notice of Removal.) Defendants now move for
summary judgment, arguing that Plaintiffs cannot demonstrate
that (1) that Mrs. Hall will incur future medical expenses;
(2) that Mrs. Hall will lose future wages; and (3) that
Plaintiffs are entitled to punitive damages.
Rule 56(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary
judgment is appropriate when: (1) the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact; and (2) after
viewing the evidence most favorably to the non-moving party,
the movant is entitled to prevail as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322-23 (1986); Eisenberg v. Ins. Co. of N. Am.,
815 F.2d 1285, 1288-89 (9th Cir. 1987). Under this standard,
“[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the
outcome of the suit under governing [substantive] law will
properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A “genuine issue” of material fact arises
only “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury
could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
considering a motion for summary judgment, the court must
regard as true the non-moving party's evidence, if it is
supported by affidavits or other evidentiary material.
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Eisenberg, 815
F.2d at 1289. However, the non-moving party may not merely
rest on its pleadings; it must produce some significant
probative evidence tending to contradict the moving
party's allegations, thereby creating a material question
of fact. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256-57 (holding that
the plaintiff must present affirmative evidence in order to
defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment);
First Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v. Cities Serv. Co.,
391 U.S. 253, 289 (1968).
summary judgment motion cannot be defeated by relying solely
on conclusory allegations unsupported by factual data.”
Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989).
“Summary judgment must be entered ‘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.'” United States v. Carter, 906 F.2d
1375, 1376 (9th Cir. 1990) (quoting Celotex, 477
U.S. at 322).
Motion, Defendants do not contest any aspect of their
liability. Rather, Defendants seek summary judgment
as to two measures of damages that Plaintiff alleges: future
medical expenses and future lost income. (Mot. at
3-5.) The Court addresses each remedy in turn.
Future Medical Expenses
Complaint, Plaintiffs allege that, as a consequence of the
car accident, Mrs. Hall suffered injuries that “may be
permanent in nature” and that may cause her to incur
medical expenses in the future. (Compl. ¶ 5.)
the evidence supports a finding that a plaintiff's injury
is permanent, this “does not in itself constitute a
sufficient basis for the award of future medical
expenses.” Valley Nat'l Bank of Ariz. v.
Haney, 558 P.2d 720, 722 (Ariz.Ct.App. 1976). Thus, to
survive summary judgment, “the need for future care
must be reasonably probable and there must be some evidence
of the probable nature and cost of the future
treatment.” Saide v. Stanton, 659 P.2d 35, 36
(Ariz. 1983); see also Valley Nat'l Bank, 558
P.2d at 722 (“[T]here must be some evidence of the
probable nature of future treatment, the duration thereof and
the cost.”). “Whether future medical expenses are
reasonably probable or certain is determined ‘from all
the relevant circumstances which are before the
court.'” Id. at 37 (quoting Besch v.
Triplett, 532 P.2d 532, 878 (Ariz. Ct. App ...