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Date: 09-07-2018

Case Style:

Constance M. Huff and Ray Huff v. Timothy Craig Groshans and XPO Express, Inc. and Cliffside Transportation Services LLC

Case Number: 2:16-cv-01254-BHH

Judge: Bruce Howe Hendricks

Court: United States District Court for the District of South Carolina (Charleston County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: Kevin Mitchell Barth, Craig J. Sperlazza and Vince J. Barbera

Defendant's Attorney: T. David Rheney and William T Young, III

Description:



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Charleston, SC - Jacqueline Ann McCann, deceased, by and through her Personal Representatives
personal representative Jacqueline Ann McCann, Constance M. Huff and Ray Huff v. Timothy Craig Groshans and XPO Express, Inc. and Cliffside Transportation Services LLC on personal injury, wrongful death, auto negligence and respondea superior theories.


09/04/2018 349 MEMORANDUM OF LAW supporting the admissibility of the Autopsy Report prepared by Dr. Lee Tormos by XPO Express Inc, XPO Logistics Inc. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/04/2018)
09/04/2018 350 Minute Entry. Proceedings held before Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks: Jury Trial held on 9/4/2018. Witnesses/exhibits. Court to resume at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 9/5/2018. Court Reporter Tana Hess. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/04/2018)
09/04/2018 351 TEXT ORDER granting Plaintiffs' request to withdraw their claims against Defendants XPO Express, Inc. f/k/a Express 1, Inc. and XPO Logistics, Inc. for negligent entrustment and negligent hiring, maintenance, and retention, leaving Plaintiffs' claim for negligent supervision and training as the only claim of direct liability against these Defendants. Entered at the direction of the Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks on 9/4/2018. (eswalm, ) (Entered: 09/04/2018)
09/04/2018 352 COURT EXHIBIT #2. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
09/04/2018 353 COURT EXHIBIT #3. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
09/05/2018 354 TEXT ORDER denying 346 Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law; denying 347 Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law ***Defendants XPO Express, Inc. ("Express") and XPO Logistics, Inc. ("Logistics") both filed motions for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Rule 50(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which the Court took under advisement at the close of Plaintiffs' case. *** After consideration, the Court denies Defendants' motions, as the Court believes there is sufficient evidence for the case to go to the jury on Plaintiffs' claims of direct liability for negligent supervision and training against these Defendants. The Court recognizes that this case presents difficult legal questions, as a number of South Carolina cases involving claims of negligent supervision have indicated that intentional harm is a necessary element. See, e.g., Degenhart v. Knights of Columbus, 309 S.C. 114, 420 S.E.2d 495, 496 (1992) (holding that an employer may be liable for negligently supervising an employee who, acting outside the scope of his employment, intentionally harms another while using a chattel of the employer, if the employer knew or should have known that it had the ability to control the employee and that there was the need and opportunity for it to exercise such control); Doe v. Bishop of Charleston, 407 S.C. 128, 754 S.E.2d 494 (2014). *** Here, the Court is persuaded by the reasoning in Holcombe v. Helena Chemical Co., where Judge Duffy determined that a claim for negligent supervision under South Carolina law does not depend on the existence of intentional harm, particularly where an employee causes harm while acting within the scope of employment rather than outside the scope of employment. 238 F. Supp. 3d 767 (D.S.C. 2017). In fact, the Supreme Court of South Carolina has specifically determined that a cause of action for negligence may be maintained directly against an employer for employee conduct that was within the scope of the employee's duties. James v. Kelly Trucking Co., 377 S.C. 628, 661 S.E.2d 329, 331, n.1 (2008). In James, the court did not mention intentional harm when it explained that "[i]n circumstances where an employer knew or should have known that its employment of a specific person created an undue risk of harm to the public, a plaintiff may claim that the employer itself was negligent in hiring, supervising, or training the employee...." Id. at 631, 661 S.E.2d at 330. *** In addition, the Court notes that it is a close question whether Plaintiffs have shown that the XPO Defendants knew or should have known that Groshans posed an undue risk of harm to the public. Nevertheless, the Court ultimately finds that Plaintiffs have offered sufficient evidence to permit their claims to go to the jury because, in light of the specific circumstances of this case, if a jury were to agree with Plaintiffs that Express and/or Logistics neglected its duties to supervise and train Groshans, it would certainly be reasonable for a jury to conclude that Express and/or Logistics should have known that improperly supervised or trained drivers, including Groshans, would create an undue risk of harm to the public. Finally, although the Court does not ultimately rest its decision on this (as no South Carolina court has specifically adopted this section), the Court simply notes that another judge in this District has determined that 213 of the Restatement (Second) of Agency sets forth the appropriate standard in South Carolina for a claim for negligent supervision of activities within the scope of employment. Colleton v. Charleston Water System, 225 F. Supp. 3d 362, 372 (D.S.C. 2016). Pursuant to 213, "[a] person conducting an activity through servants or other agents is subject to liability for harm resulting from his conduct if he is negligent or reckless; (a) in giving improper or ambiguous orders or in failing to make proper regulations; (b) in the employment of improper persons or instrumentalities in work involving risk of harm to others; (c) in the supervision of the activity; or (d) in permitting, or failing to prevent, negligent or other tortious conduct by persons, whether or not his servants or agents, upon premises or with instrumentalities under his control." Restatement (Second) of Agency 213 (Principal Negligent or Reckless) (1958). In all, the Court believes Plaintiffs have offered sufficient evidence to permit their claims against Express and Logistics to proceed to the jury, and the Court denies both Rule 50(a) motions. *** Entered at the direction of the Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks on 9/5/2018.(eswalm, ) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
09/05/2018 355 DEPOSITION of Kimberly Ambroggio taken on 1/19/2017 by Constance M Huff, Ray Huff. (Attachments: # 1 Part 2 of 2 of Kimberly Ambroggio's deposition)(ssam, ) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
09/05/2018 356 MOTION for Judgment as a Matter of Law by XPO Express Inc. Response to Motion due by 9/19/2018. Add an additional 3 days only if served by mail or otherwise allowed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6 or Fed. R. Crim. P. 45. No proposed order.(Young, William) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
09/05/2018 357 MOTION for Judgment as a Matter of Law by XPO Logistics Inc. Response to Motion due by 9/19/2018. Add an additional 3 days only if served by mail or otherwise allowed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6 or Fed. R. Crim. P. 45. No proposed order.(Early, Megan) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
09/05/2018 358 Minute Entry. Proceedings held before Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks: denying 356 Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law; denying 357 Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law; Jury Trial held on 9/5/2018. Witnesses and exhibits. Defendants rest. Court takes under advisement veil piercing and punitive damages cap. Court to resume at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, 9/6/2018. Court Reporter: Tana Hess. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/05/2018)
09/06/2018 359 DEPOSITION of Troy Meek taken on October 24, 2016 by Constance M Huff, Ray Huff.(ssam, ) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
09/06/2018 360 NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings. Jury Trial - Day 6 held on September 4, 2018, before Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks. Court Reporter/Transcriber Tana J. Hess, Telephone number/E-mail 843.779.0837 tana_hess@scd.uscourts.gov. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Parties have 7 calendar days from the filing of the transcript to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction.. Redaction Request due 9/27/2018. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 10/9/2018. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/5/2018. (thes, ) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
09/06/2018 361 NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings. Jury Trial - Day 4 held on August 30, 2018, before Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks. Court Reporter/Transcriber Tana J. Hess, Telephone number/E-mail 843.779.0837 tana_hess@scd.uscourts.gov. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Parties have 7 calendar days from the filing of the transcript to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction.. Redaction Request due 9/27/2018. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 10/9/2018. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/5/2018. (thes, ) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
09/06/2018 362 NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings. Jury Trial - Day 5 held on August 31, 2018, before Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks. Court Reporter/Transcriber Tana J. Hess, Telephone number/E-mail 843.779.0837 tana_hess@scd.uscourts.gov. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Parties have 7 calendar days from the filing of the transcript to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction.. Redaction Request due 9/27/2018. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 10/9/2018. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/5/2018. (thes, ) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
09/06/2018 363 NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings. Jury Trial - Day 7 held on September 5, 2018, before Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks. Court Reporter/Transcriber Tana J. Hess, Telephone number/E-mail 843.779.0837 tana_hess@scd.uscourts.gov. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Parties have 7 calendar days from the filing of the transcript to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction.. Redaction Request due 9/27/2018. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 10/9/2018. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/5/2018. (thes, ) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
09/06/2018 364 Proposed Jury Instructions by XPO Express Inc. (Young, William) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
09/06/2018 365 Proposed Jury Instructions by XPO Express Inc. (Young, William) (Entered: 09/06/2018)
09/06/2018 366 Proposed Jury Instructions by XPO Express Inc. (Young, William) (Entered: 09/06/2018)

Outcome: 09/06/2018 367 Minute Entry. Proceedings held before Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks: Jury Trial completed on 9/6/2018. Closing arguments. Jury charge. Deliberations held. Verdict published. Jury polled. Jury excused. Plaintiffs' motion for Judgment notwithstanding verdict is denied without prejudice. Court Reporter: Tana Hess. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/07/2018)
09/06/2018 368 Jury Instructions. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/07/2018)
09/06/2018 369 Exhibit List. (Attachments: # 1 Witness List)(ssam, ) (Entered: 09/07/2018)
09/06/2018 370 ORDER RETURNING EXHIBITS from motion hearing and jury trial (with receipt). Signed by Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks on 9/6/2018. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/07/2018)
09/06/2018 372 JURY VERDICT. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/07/2018)
09/07/2018 373 JUDGMENT: Plaintiffs, Jacqueline Ann McCann, deceased, by and through her Personal Representatives Constance M. Huff and Ray Huff, shall recover of Defendants, XPO Express, Inc. f/k/a Express 1, Inc. and Timothy Craig Groshans, the amount of Seven Million and 00/100 Dollars ($7,000,000.00) in actual (or compensatory) damages for the wrongful death claim. Post Judgment interest shall accrue at the rate of 2.47% as provided by law. SUMMARY JUDGMENT is entered in favor of Defendant Cliffside Transportation Services, LLC. Plaintiffs, Jacqueline Ann McCann, deceased, by and through her Personal Representatives Constance M. Huff and Ray Huff, shall take nothing of defendant Cliffside Transportation Services, LLC and this action is dismissed as to this defendant. (ssam, ) (Entered: 09/07/2018)
09/07/2018 374 NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings. Jury Trial - Day 8 held on September 6, 2018, before Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks. Court Reporter/Transcriber Tana J. Hess, Telephone number/E-mail 843.779.0837 tana_hess@scd.uscourts.gov. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER. Parties have 7 calendar days from the filing of the transcript to file with the court a Notice of Intent to Request Redaction.. Redaction Request due 9/28/2018. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 10/9/2018. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/6/2018. (thes, ) (Entered: 09/07/2018)
09/11/2018 375 NOTICE of Intent to Request Redaction by William T Young, III re 332 Transcript,, (Young, William) (Entered: 09/11/2018)
09/14/2018 377 MOTION to Alter Judgment in re 373 Judgment,,,, Summary Judgment,,, by Timothy Craig Groshans. Response to Motion due by 9/28/2018. Add an additional 3 days only if served by mail or otherwise allowed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6 or Fed. R. Crim. P. 45. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)No proposed order.(Driggers, Martin) (Main Document 377 replaced on 9/19/2018) (vdru, ). Modified to replace with document with corrected signature as provided by filer on 9/19/2018 (vdru, ). (Entered: 09/14/2018)
09/14/2018 378 DELETION OF DOCKET ENTRY NUMBER 376 Reason: Deleted per the request of the filer who refiled corrected version. Corrected Filing Document Number 377 . Modified filing date to that of original filing: 9/14/2018 Response due date modified to that of original filing: 9/28/2018. (vdru, ) (Entered: 09/19/2018)
09/20/2018 379 MOTION to Redact 332 Transcript,, by XPO Express Inc. Response to Motion due by 10/4/2018. Add an additional 3 days only if served by mail or otherwise allowed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6 or Fed. R. Crim. P. 45. No proposed order.(Young, William) (Entered: 09/20/2018)
09/28/2018 380 RESPONSE in Opposition re 377 MOTION to Alter Judgment in re 373 Judgment,,,, Summary Judgment,,, Response filed by Constance M Huff, Ray Huff.Reply to Response to Motion due by 10/5/2018 Add an additional 3 days only if served by mail or otherwise allowed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6. (Barth, Kevin) (Entered: 09/28/2018)
10/05/2018 381 REPLY to Response to Motion re 377 MOTION to Alter Judgment in re 373 Judgment,,,, Summary Judgment,,, Response filed by Timothy Craig Groshans. (Driggers, Martin) (Entered: 10/05/2018)
10/18/2018 382 ORDER denying 377 Motion to Alter Judgment. The Court orders that Defendants pay Plaintiffs within fourteen days of the date this order is filed the post-judgment interest that accrued from September 13 until September 27, which was the date of payment. Signed by Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks on 10/17/2018.(ssam, ) (Entered: 10/18/2018)
10/18/2018 383 TEXT ORDER granting as unopposed 379 Motion to Redact 332 Transcript. Entered at the direction of Honorable Bruce Howe Hendricks on 10/18/2018.(ssam, ) (Entered: 10/18/2018)
11/16/2018 384 Redaction of 332 Transcript,,. (thes, ) (Entered: 11/16/2018)

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