United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT AGAINST
DEFENDANT PL TRUCKING, LLC
REIDINGER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion
for Default Judgment against Defendant PL Trucking, LLC
pursuant to Rule 55(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. [Doc. 25].
B&W Fiber Glass, Inc. (“B&W”) filed this
civil action on August 18, 2016 in the North Carolina General
Court of Justice, Superior Court Division, Cleveland County,
North Carolina. [Doc. 1-1]. Defendant PL Trucking, LLC
(“PL Trucking”) was served with the Summons and
Complaint on August 24, 2016. [Doc. 15-1 at ¶ 3]. On
September 15, 2016, the Defendants Kerns Trucking, Inc., ELE
Logistics, Inc., and Express Brokerage, Inc., with the
consent of PL Trucking, filed a Notice of Removal to this
Court, citing as a basis for removal the existence of a
federal question, namely the application of the Carmack
Amendment, 49 U.S.C. § 14706. [Doc. 1].
removal, PL Trucking failed to appear, plead, or otherwise
defend against the claims asserted. A default was entered
against PL Trucking by the Clerk of Court on December 9,
2016. [Doc. 16].
Plaintiff reached a settlement with the non-defaulting
Defendants [see Doc. 24], and on August 14, 2017,
the Plaintiff filed a Stipulation of Dismissal as to its
claims against these Defendants [Doc. 26]. The Plaintiff now
seeks a default judgment against PL Trucking. [Doc. 25].
STANDARD OF REVIEW
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for the
entry of a default when “a party against whom a
judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead
or otherwise defend.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Once a
defendant has been defaulted, the plaintiff may then seek a
default judgment. If the plaintiff's claim is for a sum
certain or can be made certain by computation, the Clerk of
Court may enter the default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(1).
In all other cases, the plaintiff must apply to the Court for
a default judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(b)(2).
defendant, by his default, admits the plaintiff's
well-pleaded allegations of fact . . . .” Ryan v.
Homecomings Fin. Network, 253 F.3d 778, 780 (4th Cir.
2001) (quoting Nishimatsu Constr. Co., Ltd. v. Houston
Nat'l Bank, 515 F.2d 1200, 1206 (5th Cir. 1975)). A
defendant, however, “is not held . . . to admit
conclusions of law.” Ryan, 253 F.3d at 780
(quoting Nishimatsu, 515 F.2d at 1206). The Court
therefore must determine whether the facts as alleged state a
claim. GlobalSantaFe Corp. v. Globalsantafe.com, 250
F.Supp.2d 610, 612 n.3 (E.D. Va. 2003).
PLAINTIFF'S FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS
well-pleaded factual allegations of the Plaintiff's
Complaint having been deemed admitted by virtue of the
Defendant's default, the following is a summary of the
Plaintiff B&W Fiber Glass, Inc. manufactures and develops
technical fibers, including fiber glass yarn. [Id.
at ¶ 2]. The Defendants Kerns Trucking, Inc., ELE
Logistics, Inc., Express Brokerage, Inc., and PL Trucking,
LLC are all motor carriers providing motor vehicle
transportation services for compensation. [Id. at
¶¶ 4, 6, 8, 10].
October 19, 2015, the Plaintiff entered into a contract with
Kerns Trucking to transport nine beams of fiber glass yarn
from the Plaintiff's headquarters in Shelby, North
Carolina, to Intertape Polymer Group in Carbondale, Illinois.
[Id. at ¶ 14]. Under the terms of the contract,
Kerns Trucking agreed to transport the beams to Intertape
Polymer Group and bear responsibility for any damage.
[Id. at ¶ 15]. Kerns Trucking invoiced the
Plaintiff $2, 350.00 for the shipment. [Id. at
¶ 19]. Kerns Trucking then tendered the shipment to ELE
Logistics and/or Express Brokerage for transportation to
Intertape Polymer Group. [Id. at ¶ 20].
Thereafter, ELE Logistics and/or Express Brokerage tendered
the shipment to PL Trucking for transportation to Intertape
Polymer Group. [Id. at ¶ 21].
Plaintiff provided the nine beams of fiber glass yarn in good
condition, and the Bill of Lading notes that the beams were
“received in good order.” [Id. at
¶¶ 22, 23]. The nine beams, however, arrived in a
damaged condition at Intertape Polymer Group. [Id.
at ¶ 24]. The damage to the beams was not caused by: an
act of God; a public enemy; an act or omission of the
Plaintiff; an act by a public authority; or an inherent vice
of nature of the goods. [Id. at ¶ 25]. As a
result of the ...