United States District Court, D. Nevada
M. NAVARRO, CHIEF JUDGE.
before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No.
101), filed by Defendant National Security Technologies, LLC
(“Defendant”). Plaintiff Eagle Rock Contracting,
LLC (“Plaintiff”) filed a Response, (ECF No.
102), and Defendant filed a Reply, (ECF No. 103). For the
reasons discussed below, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED in
part and DENIED in part.
case arises from a subcontract between Plaintiff and
Defendant for construction services in Nevada (the
“Subcontract”). (See Mot. for Summ. J.
(“MSJ”) 1:24-25, ECF No. 101); (see also
Exs. 11, 12 (the “Subcontract”) to MSJ, ECF Nos.
101-11, 101-12). Defendant is the prime contractor for the
Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security
Administration Nevada Field Office, and Plaintiff is a
construction contractor. (MSJ ¶ 1). The Subcontract
agreed that Plaintiff would “provide
architectural-engineering design and construction services,
including installation of fiber optic cable by plowing for 18
miles along U.S. Highway 95 to Creech Air Force Base.”
(Resp. ¶ 4, ECF No. 102). Plaintiff began performing
under the Subcontract on April 11, 2011, (id. ¶
7), and completed work for the project on July 20, 2011,
(id. ¶ 18).
the project, Plaintiff subcontracted with at least four
subcontractors, including ID Consulting Solutions, LLC;
Hofsommer Excavating, Inc.; Trenching Services, Inc.; and
Cannon Services Group (collectively “Plaintiff's
Subcontractors”). (Ex. 1 ¶ 13 to MSJ, ECF No.
101-2). Plaintiff's Subcontractors later filed suit
against Plaintiff and Defendant to recover amounts Plaintiff
owed for work performed pursuant to their individual
subcontracts. (See Ex. 18 to MSJ, ECF No. 101-28).
Defendant entered into settlement agreements with
Plaintiff's Subcontractors, and the lawsuits were
eventually dismissed. (Ex. 22 to MSJ, ECF No. 101-33).
Plaintiff did not participate in the lawsuits. (MSJ ¶
brought suit against Defendant on July 25, 2014, claiming
that it “performed additional work and incurred
additional expenses . . . at [Defendant's] express
direction” and that Defendant “refuses to
pay” Plaintiff. (Sec. Am. Compl. (“SAC”)
¶¶ 20-22, ECF No. 40). Based on these allegations,
Plaintiff asserts causes of action under breach of contract
and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
(SAC ¶¶ 18-31).
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide for summary
adjudication when the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show 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).
Material facts are those that may affect the outcome of the
case. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986). A dispute as to a material fact is genuine
if there is sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to
return a verdict for the nonmoving party. See Id.
“Summary judgment is inappropriate if reasonable
jurors, drawing all inferences in favor of the nonmoving
party, could return a verdict in the nonmoving party's
favor.” Diaz v. Eagle Produce Ltd. P'ship,
521 F.3d 1201, 1207 (9th Cir. 2008) (citing United States
v. Shumway, 199 F.3d 1093, 1103-04 (9th Cir. 1999)). A
principal purpose of summary judgment is “to isolate
and dispose of factually unsupported claims.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24
determining summary judgment, a court applies a
burden-shifting analysis. “When the party moving for
summary judgment would bear the burden of proof at trial, it
must come forward with evidence which would entitle it to a
directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at
trial. In such a case, the moving party has the initial
burden of establishing the absence of a genuine issue of fact
on each issue material to its case.” C.A.R. Transp.
Brokerage Co. v. Darden Rests., Inc., 213 F.3d 474, 480
(9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted). In contrast, when the
nonmoving party bears the burden of proving the claim or
defense, the moving party can meet its burden in two ways:
(1) by presenting evidence to negate an essential element of
the nonmoving party's case; or (2) by demonstrating that
the nonmoving party failed to make a showing sufficient to
establish an element essential to that party's case on
which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.
See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323- 24. If the
moving party fails to meet its initial burden, summary
judgment must be denied and the court need not consider the
nonmoving party's evidence. See Adickes v. S.H. Kress
& Co., 398 U.S. 144, 159-60 (1970).
moving party satisfies its initial burden, the burden then
shifts to the opposing party to establish that a genuine
issue of material fact exists. See Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986). To establish the existence of a factual dispute, the
opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact
conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that “the
claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge
to resolve the parties' differing versions of the truth
at trial.” T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec.
Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 631 (9th Cir.
1987). In other words, the nonmoving party cannot avoid
summary judgment by relying solely on conclusory allegations
that are unsupported by factual data. See Taylor v.
List, 880 F.2d 1040, 1045 (9th Cir. 1989). Instead, the
opposition must go beyond the assertions and allegations of
the pleadings and set forth specific facts by producing
competent evidence that shows a genuine issue for trial.
See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 324.
summary judgment, a court's function is not to weigh the
evidence and determine the truth but to determine whether
there is a genuine issue for trial. See Anderson,
477 U.S. at 249. The evidence of the nonmovant is “to
be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn
in his favor.” Id. at 255. But if the evidence
of the nonmoving party is merely colorable or is not
significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted.
See Id. at 249-50.
seeks summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims of (1)
breach of contract and (2) breach of the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing. (MSJ 1:27-2:1, ECF No. 101).
Additionally, Defendant seeks summary judgment for its
indemnity counterclaims that would render Plaintiff liable to
Defendant for Plaintiff's Subcontractors' previous
lawsuits. (Id. 2:8-11). The Court first addresses
summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims and then considers
summary judgment on Defendant's counterclaims.