United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
MICHAEL P. MILLS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is John Scarbrough's
(“John”) Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment . Rachel and Kimberly Holloway
(collectively “the Holloways”) have filed a
response in opposition, to which John filed his reply. The
Court has given due consideration to the parties'
submissions, in conjunction with relevant authorities and
evidence, and is now prepared to rule.
the parties' extensive motion practice, the Court has set
forth multiple times the facts and procedural maneuvers that
have led this action to its current posture. For the sake of
brevity, the Court will refrain from again reciting the facts
in their entirety and will instead provide only those
relevant to this motion.
action pending before this Court commenced when Allstate
Insurance Company (“Allstate”) filed its
complaint, wherein it requested that the Court issue a
declaratory judgment that two insurance policies it issued to
Robert and Denise Scarbrough did not provide coverage when
John-Robert and Denise's son-was involved in an
automobile accident. At the time of that accident, the
Holloways were passengers in John's truck. They allegedly
suffered multiple injuries and ultimately filed suit against
John in state court. Originally, Allstate was not named as a
defendant in the state court action.
Allstate filed its declaratory judgment complaint in this
Court, the Holloways filed multiple counterclaims against
Allstate, crossclaims against John, and a third party
complaint against multiple other parties. Those claims mirror
the claims they originally filed in state court, creating a
parallel track in both state and federal court.
present motion concerns the Holloways' crossclaims
against John. Although stated in a convoluted manner, the
Holloways assert that John engaged in fraud and other
wrongful conduct in order to conceal the existence of the
Allstate policies. The Holloways' claims are essentially
based upon a single affidavit that John signed. In the
affidavit, John stated under oath that he was unaware of any
other insurance that may be available outside of his GEICO
liability policy. Specifically, the affidavit was a letter
that John received from a GEICO agent which stated:
We are writing you at this time to determine whether you or
any other member of your household had excess or umbrella
coverage or any other automobile insurance policy. Please
check one response.
Yes ___ No ___
checked “No”, signed the letter, got it
notarized, and returned it to GEICO, complying with the
instructions he received. The Holloways assert that his
parents' Allstate policies were available to John and,
thus, his affidavit indicating that he was unaware of any
other applicable insurance was false and part of a fraudulent
scheme to hide the existence of those policies from them. In
the present motion, John argues that the Holloways have not
and cannot provide sufficient evidence to support their fraud
claims and that the claims should therefore be dismissed.
judgment is proper “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). A genuine dispute of material fact exists “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, 106 S.Ct. 2505,
91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). At the summary judgment stage, the
court must “draw all reasonable inferences in favor of
the nonmoving party, and it may not make credibility
determinations or weigh the evidence.” Reeves v.
Sanderson Plumbing Prods., 530 U.S. 133, 150, 120 S.Ct.
2097, 147 L.Ed.2d 105 (2000). Once the moving party shows
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact, the
nonmoving party “must come forward with specific facts
showing a genuine factual issue for trial.” Harris
ex rel. Harris v. Pontotoc Cty. Sch. Dist., 635 F.3d
685, 690 (5th Cir. 2011). “[A] party cannot defeat
summary judgment with conclusory allegations, unsubstantiated
assertions, or ‘only a scintilla of
evidence.'” Turner v. Baylor Richardson Med.
Ctr., 476 F.3d 337, 343 (5th Cir. 2007) (quoting
Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th
Cir. 1994)). However, “[s]ummary judgment is 
improper where the court merely believes it unlikely that the
non-moving party will prevail at trial.” U.S v.
Miss. Dep't of Pub. Safety, 309 F.Supp.2d 837, 840
(S.D.Miss. 2004) (citing Nat'l Screen Serv. Corp. v.
Poster Exch., Inc., 305 F.2d 647, 651 (5th Cir. 1962)).
Court, as in many of its prior orders in this action, begins
its analysis with the choice-of-law clause contained in the
Allstate policies, which provide that “any and all
claims or disputes in any way related to this policy shall be
governed by the laws of Georgia.” In its previous
orders, the Court has conducted a choice-of-law ...