United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM S. DUFFEY, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendant Salem Leasing
Corporation's (“Salem”) Motion for Summary
Judgment  and Defendant Wesco Insurance Company's
(“Wesco”) Motion for Summary Judgment .
action arises from an August 8, 2014, collision (the
“Collision”) between Plaintiff Gregory Wiedeman
(“Plaintiff”) and Defendant Walter Patrick Dorn,
IV, an employee of Defendant H&F Transfer, Inc.
(“H&F”). (Salem's Statement of Undisputed
Facts [169.17] (“SSUF”) ¶ 1; Pl.'s Resp.
 (“R-SSUF”) ¶ 1). The Collision
involved a truck operated by Dorn, and a motorcycle operated
by Plaintiff. (SSUF ¶ 2; R-SSUF ¶ 2). H&F
leased the truck from Salem. (See SSUF ¶¶
9, 10; R-SSUF ¶¶ 9, 10). Wesco issued a commercial
business auto policy to Salem. ([177.2] ¶ 12; [193.1]
investigating officer at the scene of the Collision found
Plaintiff at fault for causing the Collision, because
Plaintiff failed to yield for a red light. (SSUF ¶
Plaintiff claims he had a green light at the time of the
Collision. (Pl.'s Statement of Additional Facts 
(“PSAF”) ¶ 1).
time of the Collision, Dorn was employed by H&F, and was
acting within the course and scope of his employment. (SSUF
¶¶ 4, 11; R-SSUF ¶¶ 4, 11). Dorn was
never employed by Salem and he never received any type of
training or direction regarding his duties from Salem. (SSUF
¶¶ 6-8; R-SSUF ¶¶ 6-8). Salem does not
transport passengers or property for compensation. (SSUF
¶ 15; R-SSUF ¶ 15).
claims that, on the date of the Collision, the truck was in
the exclusive control, possession, and dispatch of H&F.
(SSUF ¶¶ 12-14). Plaintiff claims that the truck
was at all times owned by Salem who also had the ability to
control and possess it as an owner or lessor. (R-SSUF
February 26, 2016, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint
. In it, Plaintiff asserts the following claims against
Salem: (1) respondeat superior liability based on
negligent hiring, retention, entrustment, and supervision of
Dorn; and (2) negligent failure to comply with federal and
state motor carrier safety regulations and trucking industry
standards of care. Plaintiff asserts a claim against Wesco,
as Salem's insurer, pursuant to Georgia's direct
action statute, O.C.G.A. § 40-1-112.
September 13, 2016, Salem filed its Motion for Summary
Judgment. Salem argues Plaintiff's negligence claims
fail, including because Salem did not owe Plaintiff a duty,
Plaintiff does not present any evidence Salem breached any
duty, and Plaintiff's own acts were the proximate cause
of his injuries. Salem moves for summary judgment on
Plaintiff's negligent hiring, retention, entrustment, and
supervision claims, arguing that Salem is not vicariously
liable for Dorn's actions because it never employed,
supervised, or trained Dorn. Salem moves for summary judgment
on Plaintiff's claim for negligent failure to comply with
motor carrier regulations, arguing that Salem is not a
“motor carrier” under federal or state motor
carrier statutes and that Plaintiff does not present any
evidence that Salem failed to comply with any regulations.
Salem also seeks attorneys' fees under O.C.G.A. §
9-15-14, arguing that Plaintiff has “refused to dismiss
the frivolous claims against [Salem] notwithstanding the
clear and convincing evidence that [Salem] is not conceivably
liable for Plaintiff's alleged damages.” ([169.16]
response brief [187.1], Plaintiff does not substantively
respond to Salem's arguments. Instead, Plaintiff argues
that, as a result of Salem's alleged spoliation of
evidence, “Salem cannot be allowed out of the case
until the Court rules on Plaintiff's upcoming sanctions
motion, and there is confirmation that Salem has not
destroyed or otherwise hidden any relevant evidence in this
case. If the Court grants Plaintiff's sanctions motion,
it can, among other things, enter judgment in favor of
Plaintiff.” ([187.1] at 9). Plaintiff also argues
sanctions under Section 9-15-14 are not available in federal
court and, even if they were, they are not warranted here.
September 23, 2016, Wesco filed its Motion for Summary
Judgment, arguing that its insured Salem was not a
“motor carrier, ” and thus Wesco is not a proper
party under Georgia's direct action statute, O.C.G.A.
§ 40-1-112. Wesco also argues that the policy it issued
to Salem covered only physical damage to the truck. Wesco,
like Salem, seeks attorneys' fees under O.C.G.A. §
9-15-14 because Plaintiff “refused to dismiss Wesco
despite the fact that there are no valid claims upon which
Plaintiff could recover against” it. ([177.1] at 13).
April 5, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Renewed Motion for
Sanctions Against Defendants H&F Transfer, Inc. and Salem
Leasing Corporation  (“Renewed Sanctions
Motion”). On June 9, ...