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Zuber v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

November 7, 2019

Zachary Zuber, Plaintiff,
v.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          CAMERON McGOWAN CURRIE SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff, Zachary Zuber (“Plaintiff”), brings this action against Defendant The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (“Goodyear”), claiming negligence, recklessness, and breach of warranty in servicing Plaintiff's vehicle, allegedly causing an accident. See ECF No. 14, Sec. Am. Compl.[1]The matter is before the court on Defendant's motion for summary judgment, filed October 7, 2019. ECF No. 33. Plaintiff filed a response in opposition (ECF No. 34) and Goodyear filed a reply (ECF No. 35). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.

         BACKGROUND[2]

         This case arises out of a single car accident that occurred on September 12, 2017, when Plaintiff was driving his 1990 Ford Bronco. ECF No. 14 at ¶ 12. Plaintiff alleges the left rear tire “disengaged and came off of the vehicle, ” causing Plaintiff to lose control of the vehicle, which flipped, causing him injury. Id. at ¶¶ 12-13.

         On September 7, 2017, five days before the accident, Plaintiff had Goodyear install a new set of wheels and tires, provided by Plaintiff, on the Bronco. Id. at ¶ 9; ECF No. 33-1 at 6 (Plaintiff dep. at 56:11-22). Plaintiff alleges Goodyear “failed to properly install the tires, ” leading to the accident on September 12, 2017. Id. at ¶¶ 11, 15.

         STANDARD

         Summary judgment should be granted 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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). It is well established that summary judgment should be granted “only when it is clear that there is no dispute concerning either the facts of the controversy or the inferences to be drawn from those facts.” Pulliam Inv. Co. v. Cameo Properties, 810 F.2d 1282, 1286 (4th Cir. 1987). The party moving for summary judgment has the burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, and the court must view the evidence before it and the inferences to be drawn therefrom in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655 (1962).

         Rule 56(c)(1) provides as follows:

(1) 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, 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)(1).

         A party “cannot create a genuine issue of material fact through mere speculation or the building of one inference upon another.” Beale v. Hardy, 769 F.2d 213, 214 (4th Cir. 1985). Therefore, “[m]ere unsupported speculation . . . is not enough to defeat a summary judgment motion.” ...


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