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Navagium Vectorium, LLC v. Sutton

United States District Court, D. Oregon, Medford Division

May 19, 2015

NAVAGIUM VECTORIUM, LLC, a California limited liability company; OUTFITTER ROTARY LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; and OUTFITTER AVIATION, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; Plaintiffs;
v.
ROGER SUTTON and OUTFITTER AVIATION OREGON, LLC, an Oregon limited liability company; Defendants. HADLEY & PECH, INC, a Nevada corporation, Joined Counterclaim Plaintiff,
v.
OUTFITTER AVIATION, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Counterclaim Defendant.

ORDER

MARK D. CLARKE, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiffs Navagium Vectorium LLC, Outfitter Rotary LLC, and Outfitter Aviation LLC (collectively, "Plaintiffs") bring this action against Defendants Roger Sutton ("Sutton") and Outfitter Aviation Oregon LLC (collectively, "Defendants"). Currently before the Court is Defendants' motion (#84) for summary judgment on Plaintiffs' second and third claims for relief which allege negligence and breach of contract in relation to an airplane crash. For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

Sutton managed aircrafts owned by Plaintiffs, including a Cirrus SR22 N155ZS ("Cirrus"). Sutton Aff. ¶ 1. Plaintiffs fell behind in their payments to Sutton. Sutton Aff. ¶ 3. On October 7, 2009, Plaintiffs instructed Sutton to sell the Cirrus in a "fire sale" and apply the proceeds to Plaintiffs' delinquent account. Sutton Aff. Ex. 1.

Sutton located a buyer, Stan Leigh Investments ("SLI"), and negotiated the sale of the Cirrus on Plaintiffs' behalf. Sutton Aff. ¶ 5; Wilson Decl. Ex. 3. The sale was memorialized in a contract between Plaintiffs and SLI dated January 25, 2010. Sutton Aff. Ex. 2. In pertinent part, the contract provided:

4.1 The buyer will also wire a deposit of $4, 000 directly to the seller for the movement of the airplane to the buyer's location, the Stuart Airport in Florida, prior to the aircraft departing.... It is agreed that the seller will move the aircraft to the buyer's airport after closing on or before February 8th, 2010 with the expectation of weather or circumstances beyond the pilot's control....
6... It is agreed that the delivery location will be at the KMFR[1] airport.... Title and risk of loss or damage to the Aircraft shall pass to Buyer at the time of delivery....

Sutton Aff. Ex. 2, at 2. Sutton signed the escrow instructions as the seller's broker/agent and arranged for the disbursement of funds received from the sale. Wilson Decl. Ex. 6-7.

SLI arranged with Sutton to transport the Cirrus from Medford to Florida. Sutton Aff. ¶ 8. SLI agreed to pay Sutton $4, 000 in ferrying fees. Sutton Aff. ¶ 9. Sutton piloted the Cirrus from Medford to Florida. Sutton Aff. ¶¶ 10-11. While in transit, Sutton made an unsuccessful emergency landing. Sutton Aff. ¶ 12. The plane was destroyed. Sutton Aff. ¶ 12. SLI filed suit against Sutton and Plaintiffs to recover the value of the destroyed plane plus the ferrying fee. Sutton Aff. Ex. 5.

STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate if "the movant shows 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). Summary judgment is not proper if material factual issues exist for trial. Warren v. City of Carlsbad, 58 F.3d 439, 441 (9th Cir. 1995).

The moving party bears the initial burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Devereaux v. Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 1076 (9th Cir. 2001). An issue of 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). If the moving party fulfills its burden, the burden shifts to the non-moving party who must go beyond the pleadings to identify genuine issues of fact. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324. Conclusory allegations, unsupported by factual material, are insufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Taylor v. List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the opposing party must, by affidavit or as otherwise provided by FED. R. CIV. P. 56, designate specific facts which show there is a genuine issue for trial. Devereaux, 263 F.3d at 1076.

The court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Szajer v. City of Los Angeles, 632 F.3d 607, 610 (9th Cir. 2011). All reasonable doubt as to the existence of a genuine dispute of material fact should be resolved against the moving party. Hector v. Wiens, 533 F.2d 429, 432 (9th Cir. 1976). Where different ultimate inferences may be drawn, summary judgment is inappropriate. Sankovich v. Life Ins. Co. of North America, 638 F.2d 136, 140 (9th Cir. 1981). However, facts must be "viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a genuine' dispute as to those facts." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). "Where the record taken as a whole could not ...


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