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United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
January 31, 2022, Filed
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This case is before the undersigned pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636, the Rules of this Court, and Standing Order 13-02.
Now before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions against Defendant Nandleen and Reginald James ("Motion for Sanctions") [Doc. 90]. Defendants Nandleen, LLC d/b/a Nandleen Logistics and Reginald Devin James filed a Response [Doc. 107] in opposition. Plaintiff did not file a reply. The Motion is ripe for adjudication. Accordingly, [*2] for the reasons explained below, the Court DENIES Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions [Doc. 90].
The instant action arises from a vehicular incident. Defendant Ahmed Elmehalawy ("Elmehalawy") is the truck driver for Defendant Splash Transport, Inc. ("Splash"). [Doc. 83 at ¶ 6]. Defendant Reginald Devon James ("James") is the truck driver for Defendant Nandleen, LLC, doing business as Nandleen Logistics ("Nandleen"). [Id. at ¶ 7].
Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that on July 27, 2020, Defendant James was driving his freight truck southbound on I-75 when he pulled over into the emergency lane for a nonemergency. [Id. at ¶¶ 11-12]. Plaintiff states that Defendant Elmehalawy was also operating a freight truck, heading southbound on I-75 and nearing Defendant James and his freight truck. [Id. at ¶ 17]. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Elmehalawy merged from the middle lane to the right lane and then into the emergency lane that was occupied by Defendant James's freight truck. [Id.]. Plaintiff states Defendant Elmehalawy corrected to try to veer out of the emergency lane and back onto the highway, but he ended up hitting Defendant James's truck. [Id. at ¶ 18]. Plaintiff states that [*3] such caused Defendant Elmehalawy's truck to swerve and veer into traffic in the adjacent lanes, leading him to hit a third freight truck. [Id.]. Defendant Elmehalawy jack-knifed, and both Defendant Elmehalawy's truck and the third truck hit a guardrail before coming to rest past the area where Defendant James's truck was parked. [Id. at ¶ 19]. Plaintiff states that he was injured as a result of crash. [Id. at ¶ 20].
Relevant to the instant issue, the parties dispute the reason why Defendant James pulled into the emergency lane and whether his reason for doing so was lawful. Defendant James claims that he pulled into the emergency lane because he felt nauseous. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant James pulled into the emergency lane to call his boss for permission to drive home instead of his assigned destination. During discovery, Plaintiff requested that Defendant Nandleen produce text messages between it and Defendant James. Plaintiff states that the text messages will reveal the true purpose of why Defendant James pulled over into the emergency lane. Plaintiff argues, however, that Nandleen's owner, Ailende Omozokpea ("Omozokpea"), testified that he wiped the data from his (Omozokpea's) [*4] phone. Specifically, the following exchange occurred during Omozokpea's deposition:
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16881 *; 2022 WL 291894
GRANT HAMRICK, Plaintiff, v. SPLASH TRANSPORT, INC., et al., Defendants.
pulled, text message, emergency, phone, truck, Sanctions, freight truck