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Odom v. Sorey Tire Company, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division

October 22, 2014

TOMIKO ODOM, Plaintiff,
v.
SOREY TIRE COMPANY, INC.; JOHN DOE TRUCKING COMPANY; and JOHN DOES I THRU X, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

LOUIS GUIROLA, Jr., Chief District Judge.

BEFORE THE COURT is the [40] Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Sorey Tire Company, Inc. ("Defendant" or "Sorey Tire"). Having reviewed the submissions of the parties and the relevant law, the Court is of the opinion that the Motion should be denied because, construing the facts in the light most favorable to the non-movant, (1) Plaintiff Tomiko Odom ("Plaintiff" or "Odom") was not merely a bystander to the accident that he alleges caused his injuries, and (2) there are genuine issues of material fact surrounding the cause of Odom's injuries.

BACKGROUND

This is a diversity action governed by Mississippi law. Odom sues Sorey Tire for negligence and gross negligence related to an August 26, 2010 incident at Sorey Tire in Forest, Mississippi. Odom claims that while at Sorey Tire to have repairs performed on his tractor trailer truck, a tire which was being repaired by a Sorey Tire employee for another vehicle exploded, killing the Sorey Tire employee. According to the testimony of Odom, he was knocked down by the force of the explosion and temporarily lost consciousness:

Q: And how long after the - after the incident did you come to?
A: Maybe - a minute, maybe. Two minutes, something like that. I don't know, because I had a bad concussion.
Q: What knocked you down?
A: Either the impact from the - from the tire. Because it move him, so, I mean, it wasn't impossible. Or maybe the impact - the air or something - picking something up and hit me in the head with it - just with the force, I guess.
Q: Do you know whether you were hit by anything?
A: I don't know.
Q: So you don't know exactly how you were knocked down?
A: No.
...
Q: When you said, it hit you in the head.' What hit ...

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