The opinion of the court was delivered by: Larry R. Hicks United States District Judge
Before the court is defendants VG Pipe, LLC; Viega, LLC; and Viega NA, Inc.'s (collectively "defendants") motion for partial summary judgment number 3 concerning fraud. Doc. #128.*fn1 Plaintiff Virgin Valley Water District ("Virgin Valley") filed an opposition (Doc. #145) to which defendants replied (Doc. #161).
Also before the court is defendants motion for partial summary judgment number 2 concerning punitive damages. Doc. #126. Virgin Valley filed an opposition (Doc. #147) to which defendants replied (Doc. #162).
Virgin Valley is a political subdivision of the State of Nevada and is responsible for the care and maintenance of underground residential water service lines in and around Mesquite, Nevada. This action arises out of Virgin Valley's allegations that the high-density water pipe used in its construction of underground water service lines was defectively designed and/or manufactured by defendants.
On February 13, 2009, Virgin Valley filed a complaint against defendants for damages resulting from the leak of defendants' manufactured polyethylene pipe. Doc. #1. On February 16, 2010, Virgin Valley filed an amended complaint against defendants alleging six causes of action:
(1) products liability; (2) strict products liability; (3) breach of implied warranty; (4) breach of warranty of merchantability; (5) negligence; and (6) negligent misrepresentation. Doc. #79. Thereafter, defendants filed the present motions for partial summary judgment as to Virgin Valley's claim for negligent misrepresentation and request for punitive damages. Doc. ##126, 128.
Summary judgment is appropriate only when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In assessing a motion for summary judgment, the evidence, together with all inferences that can reasonably be drawn therefrom, must be read in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); County of Tuolumne v. Sonora Cmty. Hosp., 236 F.3d 1148, 1154 (9th Cir. 2001).
The moving party bears the burden of informing the court of the basis for its motion, along with evidence showing the absence of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). On those issues for which it bears the burden of proof, the moving party must make a showing that is "sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving party." Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th Cir. 1986); see also Idema v. Dreamworks, Inc., 162 F. Supp. 2d 1129, 1141 (C.D. Cal. 2001).
To successfully rebut a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must point to facts supported by the record which demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact. Reese v. Jefferson Sch. Dist. No. 14J, 208 F.3d 736 (9th Cir. 2000). A "material fact" is a fact "that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). Where reasonable minds could differ on the material facts at issue, summary judgment is not appropriate. See v. Durang, 711 F.2d 141, 143 (9th Cir. 1983). A dispute regarding a material fact is considered genuine "if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 248. The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient to establish a genuine dispute; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff. See id. at 252.
In their motion, defendants argue that Virgin Valley's claim for negligent misrepresentation should be dismissed because there is no evidence that they made a false representation of material fact about their polyethylene pipe. See Doc. #128. Further, defendants argue that because there is no evidence of fraud, Virgin Valley's claim for punitive damages should ...