Opinions

Starting April 16th 2005 the E-Government Act of 2002 requires that the court provide access to the substance of all written opinions issued by the court, regardless of whether such opinions are to be published in the official court reporter, in a text searchable format.

Written Opinions filed after April 16, 2005, are now searchable and available at no cost to ECF and PACER users.

ECF USERS: Enter your ECF login and password and click on the "Reports" option on the blue menubar. Click on the "Written Opinions" report to search for opinions or to view case specific opinions filed after April 16, 2005. You will NOT be prompted to enter your PACER login and password.

PACER USERS: Enter your PACER login and password and click on the "Reports" option on the bluemenu bar. Click on the "Written Opinions" report to search for opinions or to view case specific opinions filed after April 16, 2005. You will NOT be charged for running this report or viewing, printing or saving opinions listed on this report. To avoid billing charges, ALWAYS use the "Written Opinions" report to view, print or save court opinions.

Senior District Judge Thomas B. Russell

Case Name: Ivan Wells v. Huish Detergents, Inc.

Abstract: Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. This Court granted that motion.Defendant employed Plaintiff. While at work, Plaintiff slipped and fell injuring his knee. Approximately one month later, management allegedly discovered that Plaintiff was self-dealing in violation of company policy. Defendant fired Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that he had permission from a company supervisor to self-deal and that he was actually fired for his disability. He received knee surgery approximately two weeks after his termination. Plaintiff brings suit alleging breach of express and implied contract, breach of a covenant of good faith and fair dealing, intentional infliction of emotional distress, retaliatory termination, violation of the Kentucky Equal Opportunities Act (KEOA), and violation of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA). Defendants moved for summary judgment and this Court granted that motion. Plaintiff could be fired for self-dealing despite permission from a company supervisor. Defendant and plaintiff had an employment contract that contained explicit language that Plaintiff was an at-will employee and that no conduct by any employee short of a written, signed statement by the company president could alter his at-will status. The supervisor's permission falls short of this statement and does not alter the at-will status. As such, his first two actions fail. His last two actions fail as Plaintiff cannot demonstrate a disability under KEOA or KCRA.

Case Name: Conwood Co. v. United States Tobacco Co.

Abstract: In antitrust case, the court denied the motions for summary judgment.

 

Case Name: Harry P. and Christine M. Pilling v. Reliance Insurance Company and The Travelers Indemnity Company
 
Abstract: Under two separate policies issued by the two Defendants, Plaintiffs claimed uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to their liability limits. Defendants argued that Plaintiffs had rejected the liability limits and accepted the minimum UI/UIM coverage allowed under Ohio law. As to the Travelers policy, the Court found that whether Plaintiffs' lessee had knowingly and expressly ratified an insurance broker's rejection of the liability limits and whether the broker was the lessee's or the insurer's agent at the time of that rejection were open questions. Because discovery was not complete as to these issues, the Court denied summary judgment pending further fact-finding. As to the Reliance policy, the UI/UIM acceptance/ rejection form, although signed, was not completed until in the hands of an agent of the insurer. Thus, the purported rejection was not valid, and the Court declared the Reliance UI/UIM coverage to be at the full liability limits. Plaintiffs' motion for summary denied as to Defendant Travelers at this time and granted as to Defendant Reliance. Defendant Travelers' motion denied at this time. Defendant Reliance's motion denied.

Senior District Judge John G. Heyburn II

Case Name: Harry P. and Christine M. Pilling v. Reliance Insurance Company and The Travelers Indemnity Company

Abstract: Under two separate policies issued by the two Defendants, Plaintiffs claimed uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in an amount equal to their liability limits. Defendants argued that Plaintiffs had rejected the liability limits and accepted the minimum UI/UIM coverage allowed under Ohio law. As to the Travelers policy, the Court found that whether Plaintiffs' lessee had knowingly and expressly ratified an insurance broker's rejection of the liability limits and whether the broker was the lessee's or the insurer's agent at the time of that rejection were open questions. Because discovery was not complete as to these issues, the Court denied summary judgment pending further fact-finding. As to the Reliance policy, the UI/UIM acceptance/ rejection form, although signed, was not completed until in the hands of an agent of the insurer. Thus, the purported rejection was not valid, and the Court declared the Reliance UI/UIM coverage to be at the full liability limits. Plaintiffs' motion for summary denied as to Defendant Travelers at this time and granted as to Defendant Reliance. Defendant Travelers' motion denied at this time. Defendant Reliance's motion denied.

Case Name: AMC of Louisville, Inc. f/k/a Advanced Machinery Company, Inc. v. Cincinnati Milacron Inc., et al.

Abstract: Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment granted when Plaintiff sought court order that contract terms were clear and should be applied as written, without reference to parol evidence. Finding the terms unambiguous, the Court granted relief. Application of the contract to the facts remains a jury question.

 

Case Name: AMC of Louisville, Inc., f/k/a Advance Machinery Company, Inc. v. Cincinnati Milacron Inc., Cincinna

Abstract: After its machine tool distributorship was terminated, Plaintiff sued the terminating manufacturer, its marketing division, the new distributor in Plaintiff's former territories, and an officer of the new distributor. Plaintiff claimed that its termination was a breach of contract, and further sued for fraud and estoppel, tortious interference with contract or prospective economic advantage, unjust enrichment, promissory estoppel, and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing. The Court held that, because Plaintiff's termination was pursuant to the distributorship's terms, and because a thirty day notice provision was neither unconscionable nor unreasonable, no breach of contract resulted. Further, the claims for unjust enrichment, estoppel, and breach of good faith were all barred by the manufacturer's contractually valid termination. The Court then held that Plaintiff's fraud claim failed to allege either injury or material misrepresentation, and that, under Kentucky law, the manufacturer could not tortiously interfere with its own contract or prospective business relation. The tort claims against the new distributor and its executive failed to allege any impropriety in the negotiations for the new contract. The tort at issue was never intended to protect at will contractors from the normal processes of business competition conducted by normal, proper means. Manufacturer's motion for summary judgment granted in part and denied in part; new distributor's and executive's motions for summary judgment granted in full. Trial to follow on remaining issues.

Case Name: Gus Skip Daleure, Jr., et al. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, et al.

Abstract: Defendants' motion to dismiss antitrust claims arising from commissioned, exclusive provider contracts between each fiscal court and telephone company for the provision of collect calling services to inmates was granted in part and denied in part. Because telephone companies' rates are monitored by the Kentucky Public Service Commission, the filed rate doctrine bars monetary relief under federal antitrust laws. Plaintiffs' claims for injunctive relief survive the motion to dismiss, although no injunction can alter the legal rates. Plaintiffs' 42 USC Section 1983 Equal protection claim is dismissed because Plaintiffs cannot establish state action nor disparate treatment of similarly situated parties. While Plaintiffs may be able to prove that the fiscal courts, and therefore the state, control the rates charged to the recipients of inmate collect calls, Plaintiffs cannot prove that the fiscal courts control the rates charged to the recipient of non-inmate collect calls. Without state action directed toward both groups, the state cannot treat the two groups differently. Moreover, the recipients of inmate calls are not similarly situated to the recipients of non-inmate calls. The recipients of inmate calls are necessarily limited by the restrictions placed on the inmates for security, order and punishment.

Case Name: Ruth Ann Wuerth Trimbur v. The Kentucky Lottery Corporation, et al.

Abstract: The Court granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment as to Plaintiff's claims for false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution because Plaintiff stipulated probable cause. While Defendant was not a party to the criminal case in which Plaintiff made the stipulation, under Kentucky law, a general stipulation applies to witnesses as well as the police. Plaintiff's negligence claims against the retailer and the lottery corporation survive summary judgment because a seller has a duty to take reasonable care in recording sales and reporting thefts to prevent falsely accusing a buyer of stealing merchandise. Plaintiff has presented some evidence that the retailer and lottery knew their merchandise tracking was sometimes inaccurate. A reasonable jury could conclude that either defendant failed to take reasonable care in reporting the goods stolen in light of their allegedly inaccurate record keeping system.

Senior District Judge Charles R. Simpson III

Case Name: Hardy v. Jefferson Community College, et al

Abstract: Motion to Reconsider is DENIED. Plaintiff's alleged oral contract would be void as against public policy, and further, Plaintiff cannot maintain claim for tortious interference by Defendant with its own contractual relationship.

Case Name: Papa John's et al v. Pizza Hut

Abstract: Defendant's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings or for Summary Judgment is DENIED. Plaintiffs' claims are not moot, they do not have unclean hands, and the claims were not compulsory counterclaims in the Texas litigation. The previous stay of discovery is lifted, and discovery shall now proceed.

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