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Miracle Mile Trucking and Logistics, LLC v. Progressive Mountain Insurance Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

September 16, 2019

MIRACLE MILE TRUCKING AND LOGISTICS LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
PROGRESSIVE MOUNTAIN INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          CLARENCE COOPER, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 44]. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.

         I. FACTS[1]

         Plaintiff Miracle Mile Trucking and Logistics, LLC (“Plaintiff” or “Miracle Mile”) is a commercial trucking business. (Plaintiff's Statement of Material Facts to Which There is No. Genuine Issue to be Tried “PSMF” ¶ 1.) Miracle Mile has been in business since November 13, 2010, and Miracle Mile's sole owner is Steven Cantrell. (Id. ¶¶ 2-3.)

         On March 9, 2016, Miracle Mile entered into an agreement (the “Agreement”) for Defendant Progressive Mountain Insurance Company (“Defendant” or “Progressive”) to provide one year of liability coverage insurance to Miracle Mile beginning on March 10, 2016. (Id. ¶ 4.) In March 2016, Progressive made BMC91x and MCS90 filings with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”) showing that Miracle Mile had $750, 000 in coverage. (Id. ¶ 5.)

         Around March 22, 2016, Miracle Mile reviewed its mail and received a letter from the FMCSA revoking Miracle Mile's authority to continue as a commercial trucking business. (Id. ¶ 7.) The letter from the FMCSA, dated March 16, 2016, stated that since Miracle Mile failed to comply with the terms of a letter from the FMCSA dated February 12, 2016, Miracle Mile's authority was going to be revoked. (Id. ¶ 9.) During the course of discovery, Miracle Mile failed to produce any letter from the FMCSA from February 12, 2016. (Id. ¶ 10.) That letter was written by the FMCSA about one month before Progressive provided any insurance to Miracle Mile. (Id. ¶ 11.)

         On March 22, 2016, Miracle Mile (or its agent) communicated to Progressive that Progressive made improper filings. (Id. ¶ 12.) Miracle Mile's business was allegedly shut down about ten days in March 2016. (Id. ¶ 13.) Miracle Mile was back in business no later than March 29, 2016, as the evidence shows that Miracle Mile did a truck run from March 29, 2016 through April 8, 2016. (Id. ¶ 14.) The only run that Miracle Mile had scheduled and confirmed while its authority was revoked was on March 22, 2016. (Id. ¶ 15.) That run was for only $284.07. (Id. ¶ 16.) On June 2, 2016, Progressive wrote a letter to Miracle Mile stating that Progressive had improperly filed certain documents with the FMCSA. (Id. ¶ 6.)

         On August 21, 2018, Progressive, through its attorneys, sent the FMCSA a request under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). (Id. ¶ 17.) The FOIA request sought documents related to the purported revocation of Miracle Mile's authority with regard to the FMCSA. (Id. ¶ 18.) The FMCSA responded on August 31, 2018, attaching the only document that it had responsive to Progressive's FOIA request. (Id. ¶ 19.) The FMCSA's FOIA response did not include any documents pertaining to a March 16, 2016, revocation of authority related to Miracle Mile. (Id. ¶ 20.) The only document included was a Notice of Investigation of Miracle Mile for Revocation of Authority, which was dated January 5, 2015. (Id. ¶ 21.) In fact, the FMCSA did not include any document showing that Miracle Mile's registration was ever revoked. (Id. ¶ 22.)

         In any event, not only did Miracle Mile miss just one run in March 2016, but Miracle Mile's overall business improved from 2015 to 2016. (Id. ¶ 23.) Also, Miracle Mile's net income increased each year from 2014 through 2016. (Id. ¶ 24.) In fact, 2016, the year of revocation, was the year that Miracle Mile had its highest net income ever to that point. (Id. ¶ 25.) Miracle Mile's sole owner and manager, Mr. Cantrell, could not testify in his deposition as to the amount of damages sustained by Miracle Mile. (Id. ¶ 26.)

         Following the revocation, Miracle Mile contacted numerous companies, including companies with whom Miracle Mile has never done business. (Id. ¶ 27.) Almost all of the companies stated that they would continue to do business with Miracle Mile, even with an alleged revocation on Miracle Mile's record. (Id. ¶ 28.) Only two companies informed Miracle Mile that they would not do business with Miracle Mile because of the revocation of authority on its record. (Id. ¶ 29.) Miracle Mile had never done business with at least one of those two companies prior to the March 2016 alleged revocation. (Id. ¶ 30.)

         While Evans Transportation purportedly declined to do business with Miracle Mile, Miracle Mile is unaware how much it would have made from any work for Evans Transportation. (Id. ¶ 31.) Miracle Mile had never attempted to do business with Evans Transportation until after the Complaint was filed. (Id. ¶ 32.) There were dozens of other companies that indicated they would do business with Miracle Mile for which Miracle Mile never did business. (Id. ¶ 33.)

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 requires the entry of summary judgment when no genuine issue as to any material fact is present and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In seeking summary judgment, the moving party bears the initial responsibility to demonstrate that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that summary judgment is appropriate. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 157, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970); Allen v. Bd. of Public Educ., 495 F.3d 1306, 1313 (11th Cir. 2007). “Only when that burden has been met does the burden shift to the non-moving party to demonstrate that there is indeed a material issue of fact that precludes summary judgment.” Clark v. Coats & Clark, Inc., 929 F.2d 604, 608 (11th Cir. 1991).

         When evaluating the merits of a motion for summary judgment, the court must view all evidence and factual inferences raised by the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and resolve all reasonable doubts concerning the facts in favor of the non-moving party. Burton v. City of Belle Glade, 178 F.3d 1175, 1187 (11th Cir. 1999) (citation omitted). The court is not permitted to make credibility determinations, weigh conflicting evidence to ...


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