United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
REIDINGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
MATTER is before the Court on the Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment [Doc. 38] and the Defendants' Motion to
Strike and Exclude [Doc. 51].
action, the Plaintiff Shirley Teter asserts claims for (1)
defamation and (2) unfair and deceptive trade practices based
on videos published by the Defendants. The Plaintiff alleges
that these videos falsely implicate her involvement in
coordinated disruptions and violence carried out in
conjunction with the 2016 presidential election.
Defendants move for summary judgment with respect to both
claims asserted by the Plaintiff. [Doc. 38]. They also move
to strike certain evidence submitted by the Plaintiff in
support of her opposition to the summary judgment motion.
[Doc. 51]. The Court held a hearing on the Defendants'
motions on March 19, 2019.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Motion to Strike Standard
37(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure states that
“[i]f a party fails to provide information or identify
a witness as required by Rule 26(a) or (e), the party is not
allowed to use that information or witness to supply evidence
on a motion, at a hearing, or at a trial, unless the failure
was substantially justified or harmless.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
37(c)(1). The Court has “broad discretion” to
determine whether a nondisclosure of evidence is
substantially justified or harmless. United States v. $134,
750 U.S. Currency, 535 Fed.Appx. 232, 238 (4th Cir. 2013)
Summary Judgment Standard
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 fact is “material” if it “might
affect the outcome of the case.” News and Observer
Publ'g Co. v. Raleigh-Durham Airport Auth., 597 F.3d 570,
576 (4th Cir. 2010). A “genuine dispute” 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 (1986).
asserting that a fact cannot be genuinely disputed must
support its assertion with citations to the record or by
showing that the adverse party cannot produce admissible
evidence to support that fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1).
“Regardless of whether he may ultimately be responsible
for proof and persuasion, the party seeking summary judgment
bears an initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a
genuine issue of material fact.” Bouchat v. Baltimore
Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 522 (4th Cir.
2003). If this showing is made, the burden then shifts to the
non-moving party who must convince the court that a triable
issue exists. Id. Finally, in considering a
party's summary judgment motion, the Court must view the
pleadings and materials presented in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party, and must draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the non-movant as well. Adams v.
Trustees of Univ. of N.C. -Wilmington, 640 F.3d 550, 556 (4th
Motion to Strike and Exclude
Defendants move to strike and exclude the affidavits of
Fernando Romero and Joel E. Jacobson, which affidavits were
cited in support of the Plaintiff's response to the
Defendants' summary judgment motion, on the grounds that
the Plaintiff did not previously disclose these individuals
as potential witnesses. The Defendants also move to strike
any reference by the Plaintiff to any medical treatment
received or medical expenses incurred by her, as the
Plaintiff never pleaded such special damages in her Complaint
per Federal Rule of ...