United States District Court, D. New Jersey
LIPMAN, ANTONELLI, BATT, GILSON, ROTHMAN & CAPASSO By:
Steven L. Rothman, Esq.; Jane B. Capasso, Esq. Counsel for
Stags Leap Ranch Development, LLC.
MCELROY, DEUTSCH, MULVANEY & CARPENTER, LLP By: Scott A.
Levin, Esq.; Jeffrey L. Petit, Esq. Counsel for Sevenson
Environmental Services, Inc.
& KARAVAN, P.C. By: Frank Guaracini, Esq. Counsel for
Borough of Stone Harbor.
RENÉE MARIE BUMB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court upon the filing of a motion for
summary judgment by Defendant Sevenson Environmental
Services, Inc. (“Defendant” or
“Sevenson”) seeking dismissal of the
above-captioned matter in its entirety, and a cross-motion
for partial summary judgment by Plaintiff Stags Leap Ranch
Development, LLC (“Plaintiff” or “Stags
Leap”). For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
deny both Defendant's motion and Plaintiff's
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
February 15, 2017, the parties entered into a Service
Purchase Order (the “Agreement”), which states
that Stags Leap “shall accept dredge spoils from the
Stone Harbor project that meet NJAC 7:26D criteria for
residential material” at a price of $9.50 per ton.
(Plaintiff's Response to Local Civil Rule 56.1 Statement
on Behalf of Defendant ¶¶ 2-3 (“Pl's.
Resp.”)[Dkt. No. 39]). The Agreement also states, in
relevant part, that “[n]o waiver or change by
[Sevenson] of any term hereof shall be effective unless in
writing subscribed by an officer of [Sevenson].”
(Id. ¶ 19).
February 16, 2017 and March 6, 2017, Defendant delivered
approximately 19, 498.84 tons of dredge material, all of
which was accepted by Plaintiff. Defendant paid Plaintiff a
total of $185, 239.01, representing payment at a price of
$9.50 per ton for all dredge material. (Id. ¶
Defendant paid the price set forth in the initial Agreement,
Plaintiff claims that the parties modified the Agreement, on
February 27, 2017, to reflect an increased price for the
disposal of dredge materials after tests allegedly indicated
that Defendant's earlier deliveries failed to meet NJDEP
“clean fill” residential soil samples. On March
24, 2017, Plaintiff filed a complaint against Defendant based
upon Sevenson's refusal to pay the increased price in the
allegedly modified contract. The matter was removed to this
Court on April 26, 2017, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1332 and 1141 (diversity of citizenship).
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
judgment shall be granted 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” only if
it might impact the “outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Gonzalez v. Sec'y of Dept of
Homeland Sec., 678 F.3d 254, 261 (3d Cir. 2012). A
dispute is “genuine” if the evidence would allow
a reasonable jury to find for the nonmoving party.
determining the existence of a genuine dispute of material
fact, a court's role is not to weigh the evidence; all
reasonable inferences and doubts should be resolved in favor
of the nonmoving party. Melrose, Inc. v. City of
Pittsburgh, 613 F.3d 380, 387 (3d Cir. 2010). However, a
mere “scintilla of evidence, ” without more, will
not give rise to a genuine dispute for trial. Saldana v.
Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 2001). Moreover,
a court need not adopt the version of facts asserted by the
nonmoving party if those facts are “utterly discredited
by the record [so] that no reasonable jury” could
believe them. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380
(2007). In the face of such evidence, summary judgment is
still appropriate “where the record taken as a whole
could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the
nonmoving party.” Walsh v. Krantz, 386
Fed.Appx. 334, 338 (3d Cir. 2010).
movant has the initial burden of showing through the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories,
admissions on file, and any affidavits “that the
non-movant has failed to establish one or more essential
elements of its case.” Connection Training Servs.
v. City of Phila., 358 Fed.Appx. 315, 318 (3d Cir.
2009). “If the moving party meets its burden, the
burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish that
summary judgment is inappropriate.” Id. In the
face of a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the
nonmovant's burden is rigorous: he “must point to
concrete evidence in the record”; mere allegations,
conclusions, conjecture, and speculation will not defeat
summary judgment. Orsatti v. New Jersey State
Police, 71 F.3d 480, 484 (3d Cir. 1995); accord.
Jackson v. Danberg, 594 F.3d 210, 227 (3d Cir. 2010)
(citing Acumed LLC. v. Advanced Surgical Servs.,
Inc., 561 F.3d 199, 228 (3d Cir. 2009)
(“[S]peculation and conjecture may not defeat summary
judgment.”). However, “the court need only
determine if the nonmoving party can produce admissible
evidence regarding a disputed issue of material fact at
trial”; the evidence does not need to be in admissible
form at the time of summary judgment. FOP v. City of
Camden, 842 F.3d 231, 238 (3d Cir. 2016).