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Jenkins v. Duffy Crane & Hauling, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

October 27, 2017

DUFFY CRANE AND HAULING, INC., a Colorado corporation, DUFFY HOLDINGS, LLC, a Colorado limited liability company, DUFFY CRANE, INC., a Colorado corporation, and IMMEDIA, INC., a Minnesota corporation, Defendants.


          CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration (Doc. # 260) of the Court's previous Order Granting Defendant Immedia's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 180). Because the Court inadvertently did not consider an applicable statutory provision, Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration is granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises from injuries Plaintiff Franklyn A. Jenkins sustained on February 12, 2010, when he was unloading a heavy printing press from his truck. Plaintiff is an experienced commercial truck driver and was hired to transport part of the press from Colorado to Minnesota.

         Defendant Immedia, Inc. (“Defendant Immedia”) purchased the large printing press from a seller in Colorado in late 2009. Defendant Duffy Crane and Hauling, Inc. (“Defendant Duffy”) loaded the equipment onto Plaintiff's truck at the seller's facility on February 10, 2010. Plaintiff then drove the load from Colorado to Minnesota, stopping twice to add additional securement devices to the load. When Plaintiff arrived at Defendant Immedia's Minnesota facility on February 12, 2010, the third party whom Defendant Immedia had hired to unload the truck directed Plaintiff to remove the securement devices from the load. As Plaintiff released the straps and chains, a steel cart rolled off the truck's top deck and injured Plaintiff. See (Doc. # 134.)

         In 2011, Plaintiff filed suit in Minnesota state court against Defendant Immedia, Defendant Duffy, and other defendants, alleging negligence and negligence per se. The state trial court dismissed Defendant Duffy for lack of personal jurisdiction. The state trial court later denied Defendant Immedia's motion for summary judgment because it determined Defendant Immedia, as the owner of the property being unloaded from Plaintiff's truck, owed Plaintiff the duty to use reasonable care for Plaintiff's safety. (Doc. # 103-1.)

         Plaintiff filed suit in this Court against Defendant Duffy on February 6, 2013. (Doc. # 1.) On June 19, 2015, Plaintiff moved to join Defendant Immedia as a defendant. (Doc. # 94.) On October 27, 2015, United States Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix granted this motion because she concluded joinder was proper pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 20. (Doc. # 119.) Relevant here, Defendant Duffy had attempted to argue that Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Immedia were barred by the statute of limitations and collateral estoppel. (Id.) Magistrate Judge Mix stated that Defendant Immedia, not Defendant Duffy, would be the proper defendant to raise these affirmative defenses. (Id.) Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint, naming Defendant Immedia as an additional defendant, on November 19, 2015. (Doc. # 120.)

         Defendant Immedia moved for summary judgment on all of Plaintiff's claims against it on August 11, 2016. (Doc. # 161.) Defendant made four arguments: (1) Plaintiff's claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations; (2) Plaintiff was engaging in improper forum shopping, in violation of the Colorado River doctrine; (3) Plaintiff's claims were precluded by collateral estoppel; and (4) Plaintiff was solely responsible for securing the load on his truck as a matter of law. (Id.)

         The Court granted Defendant Immedia's Motion for Summary Judgment on October 17, 2016, concluding that Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Immedia were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. (Doc. # 180.) The Court first addressed the parties' disagreement regarding which statute of limitations Colorado law would apply to the case. (Id.) It agreed with Defendant Immedia that Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-80-101(1)(k)[1] was the appropriate statute of limitations. (Id.) Because Minnesota (where the action accrued) would apply a six-year statute of limitations-longer than Colorado's three-year statute of limitations-section 13-80-101(1)(k) applied and required that the action be brought within three years of its accrual. (Id.)

         The Court rejected Plaintiff's argument that Colorado's borrowing statute, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-8-110[2], required that Minnesota's six-year statute of limitation apply. (Doc. # 180.) The Court disagreed with Plaintiff's reliance on Jenkins v. Panama Canal R.R., 208 P.3d 238 (Colo. 2009), and determined that the borrowing statute was inapplicable where a party seeks to “borrow” a longer statute of limitation from another jurisdiction. (Id.) The Court also rejected Plaintiff's assertions that his claim against Defendant Immedia did not accrue until 2014 and that the doctrine of equitable tolling should save his claim. (Id.) For these reasons, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Immedia. (Id.)

         On September 18, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Reconsideration. (Doc. # 260.) Defendant Immedia opposed the motion on October 9, 2017. (Doc. # 266.) Plaintiff replied on October 19, 2017. (Doc. # 267.)



         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not explicitly authorize a motion for reconsideration. However, the Rules allow a litigant who was subject to an adverse judgment to file a motion to change the judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) or a motion seeking relief from the judgment pursuant to Rule 60(b). Van Skiver v. United States, 952 F.2d 1241, 1243 (10th Cir. 1991). In this case, Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration was not served within ten days of the Court's previous order. Therefore, Plaintiff's motion must be construed as one pursuant to Rule 60(b). Id.

         Relief under Rule 60(b) “is extraordinary and may only be granted in exceptional circumstances.” Bud Brooks Trucking, Inc. v. Bill Hodges Trucking Co., Inc., 909 F.2d 1437, 1440 (10th Cir. 1990). A litigant shows exceptional circumstances by satisfying one or more of Rule 60(b)'s six ...

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