United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Florence Division
Georgeanna Benjamin, as Guardian ad Litem for Curtis Dolford, Plaintiff,
Adrian Shaw, Defendant.
Bryan Harwell United States District Judge
matter is before the Court for a ruling on Defendant Adrian
Shaw's Motion for Summary Judgment. See ECF No.
29. The Court denies the motion for the reasons
judgment is appropriate when no genuine issue of material
fact exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. Reyazuddin v. Montgomery Cty., Md.,
789 F.3d 407, 413 (4th Cir. 2015); see Fed. R. Civ.
P. 56(a) (“The court shall grant summary judgment if
the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.”). “A party 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
. . .; 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)(1). The facts and
inferences to be drawn from the evidence must be viewed in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party,
Reyazuddin, 789 F.3d at 413, but the Court
“cannot weigh the evidence or make credibility
determinations.” Jacobs v. N.C. Admin. Office of
the Courts, 780 F.3d 562, 569 (4th Cir. 2015).
“the mere existence of some alleged factual
dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise
properly supported motion for summary judgment; the
requirement is that there be no genuine issue of
material fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). “A dispute of
material fact is ‘genuine' if sufficient evidence
favoring the non-moving party exists for the trier of fact to
return a verdict for that party.” Seastrunk v.
United States, 25 F.Supp.3d 812, 814 (D.S.C. 2014). A
fact is “material” if proof of its existence or
nonexistence would affect disposition of the case under the
applicable law. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.
summary judgment stage, “the moving party must
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.
Once the moving party has met his burden, the nonmoving party
must come forward with some evidence beyond the mere
allegations contained in the pleadings to show that there is
a genuine issue for trial.” Baber v. Hosp. Corp. of
Am., 977 F.2d 872, 874-75 (4th Cir. 1992) (internal
citation omitted). Summary judgment is not warranted unless,
“from the totality of the evidence, including
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
affidavits, the [C]ourt believes no genuine issue of material
fact exists for trial and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Whiteman v.
Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C., 729 F.3d 381, 385 (4th
Cir. 2013); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
The Prior Case: Dolford I
January 31, 2013, Defendant Adrian Shaw (“Defendant
Shaw”) was driving north on U.S. Highway 17 in a 1999
Mack dump truck when he crossed the center line and collided
head-on with a 1989 Lincoln Sedan occupied by Curtis Dolford
(“Plaintiff”), Maurice Dolford, and Brent
O'Neal (the driver). See ECF No. 23 [Amended
Complaint] at ¶¶ 7-9. Plaintiff and his companions
filed a negligence action in state court against both
Defendant Shaw and his employer Willard Locklear Trucking,
LLC (“Locklear Trucking”); the lawsuit was
removed to this Court in January 2014. See Dolford v.
Willard Locklear Trucking, LLC, No. 4:14-cv-00062-RBH
(D.S.C. filed Jan. 8, 2014) (hereinafter, “Dolford
I”). On March 24, 2014, O'Neal's and
Maurice Dolford's cases were dismissed with prejudice
from Dolford I after they stipulated to the
dismissal of all claims against both Defendant Shaw and
Locklear Trucking; Plaintiff's lawsuit continued against
both Defendant Shaw and Locklear Trucking. Dolford I
at ECF No. 13. On January 6, 2015, this Court entered an
order dismissing Defendant Shaw without prejudice for failure
to serve pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m);
Plaintiff and Locklear Trucking remained the only parties in
Dolford I. Id. at ECF No. 35. On January
12, 2015, Locklear Trucking filed in this Court a Confession
of Judgment consenting to entry of judgment in
Plaintiff's favor in the amount of $2.5 million dollars,
and the Clerk entered the confessed judgment the next day.
Id. at ECF Nos. 39 & 40.
The Instant Case
18, 2015, Plaintiff (a South Carolina resident) filed the
present action solely against Defendant Shaw in state court,
and after having difficulty locating Defendant Shaw (a North
Carolina resident), served him on November 30, 2015, through
the Director of the South Carolina Department of Motor
Vehicles. See ECF No. 1-1. Defendant Shaw
removed the case to this Court on December 30,
2015. See ECF No. 1. Plaintiff filed an
amended complaint on September 22, 2016, and Defendant Shaw
filed an answer admitting liability on October 6, 2016.
See ECF Nos. 23 & 24. On November 17, 2016,
Defendant Shaw filed a motion for summary judgment.
See ECF Nos. 24 & 29. Plaintiff filed a response
in opposition to the motion for summary judgment, and
Defendant Shaw filed a reply to Plaintiff's response.
See ECF Nos. 30 & 31.
Shaw moves for summary judgment on two grounds, arguing (1)
Plaintiff's claims are barred by the doctrine of laches
and (2) Plaintiff received consideration for the entire
judgment against Locklear Trucking by virtue of the
Confession of Judgment. See ECF No. 29-1 at 4-8.