From The United States District Court For The District of
Massachusetts Hon. Timothy S. Hillman, U.S. District Judge]
Stephen Gordon, with whom Kenneth Onyema was on brief, for
Matthew C. Welnicki, with whom Melick & Porter, LLP was
on brief, for appellees.
Howard, Chief Judge, Torruella and Barron, Circuit Judges.
BARRON, Circuit Judge.
case arises from a suit for negligence that the plaintiff,
Nana Amoah, brought against the driver of a tractor trailer
and the company that owned the vehicle and hired the driver,
after Amoah and the driver were involved in a vehicle
collision that occurred in Massachusetts on October 17, 2014.
The District Court granted summary judgment to the defendants
after ruling favorably for the defendants on their motion to
strike the plaintiff's statements of facts. For the
reasons that follow, we conclude that the District Court did
not abuse its discretion in ruling on the defendants'
motion to strike those statements of facts, and that summary
judgment in favor of the defendants, based on the record that
remained, was proper. We therefore affirm.
filed suit against defendants Dennis McKinney and Smith
Transport, the appellees, in November 2014, in Worcester
Superior Court, following the injuries that Amoah suffered
when his car crashed on a highway in Massachusetts. Amoah
alleges that the tractor trailer that McKinney was driving,
and which was owned by Smith Transport, struck Amoah's
car from behind and caused him to lose control and to strike
a median. Amoah brought claims for negligence against both
defendants, and negligent entrustment and negligent hiring
against Smith Transport.
defendants, who countered that Amoah first lost control of
his car and struck the median before bouncing off and hitting
McKinney's tractor trailer, removed the case to the
District Court for the District of Massachusetts based on
diversity. Both parties thereafter moved for summary judgment
and made motions to strike various statements of facts that
the other party had offered.
District Court referred all of the parties' opposing
motions to a Magistrate Judge. The Magistrate Judge
recommended granting the defendants' motions to strike
many of the facts that were set forth in Amoah's
statement of facts in support of his own summary judgment
motion, and the entirety of Amoah's statement of facts
set forth in Amoah's opposition to defendants'
summary judgment motion, including two expert reports
attached as exhibits. The Magistrate Judge did so on the
ground that Amoah, in offering those statements of facts, had
failed to comply with Local Rule 56.1, which requires
oppositions to motions for summary judgment to include
"a concise statement of the material facts of record as
to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue
to be tried." LR, D. Mass. 56.1. The Magistrate Judge
then recommended that the defendants' motion for summary
judgment be granted as there was "no contrary expert
opinion as to the cause of the accident" left in the
record that could counter the defendants' facts,
including the defendants' expert report ("the
Melcher Report") regarding the accident's cause.
filed objections to the Magistrate Judge's report and
recommendation. The District Court then adopted the
Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation and entered
summary judgment in favor of the defendants.
first consider Amoah's contention that the expert reports
attached to his opposition to defendants' motion for
summary judgment should not have been struck and thus that
the summary judgment ruling may not stand. We review a ruling
granting a motion to strike for an abuse of discretion,
see Cummings v. Standard Register Co., 265 F.3d 56,
62 (1st Cir. 2001), and we find none here.
Magistrate Judge recommended to strike the two expert reports
attached to Amoah's opposition to the defendants'
motion for summary judgment because Amoah provided the expert
reports to the defense nearly four months after the deadline
for expert disclosures as set by a scheduling order. The
Magistrate Judge found that the late disclosure was neither
"substantially justified" nor "harmless"