ABDIGHANI K. HASHI
PARKWAY XPRESS, LLC ET AL.
Session June 4, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Rutherford County No. 70849 Howard
W. Wilson, Judge.
forklift operator suffered injuries while operating his
forklift within the confines of the trailer of a
tractor-trailer. He sued the John Doe operator of the
tractor-trailer, a trucking company, and a freight broker.
Both the trucking company and the freight broker moved for
summary judgment. The trial court granted the motions,
dismissing the claims against them. On appeal, the forklift
operator claims that some of the evidence filed in support of
the motions for summary judgment was inadmissible and that
there were disputed issues of material fact that precluded
summary judgment. We conclude that the trial court properly
granted summary judgment.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Vakessha Hood-Schneider, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Abdighani K. Hashi.
Michael J. Vetter, Sr. and Lance Thompson, Nashville,
Tennessee, for the appellees, Parkway Xpress, LLC and Total
Quality Logistics, LLC.
Neal McBrayer, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Andy D. Bennett, J.,
NEAL McBRAYER, JUDGE.
Hashi loaded and unloaded tractor-trailers at Essex
Technology Group's distribution center in La Vergne,
Tennessee. On February 2, 2015, Mr. Hashi was using a
forklift to move pallets inside a trailer when the
tractor-trailer unexpectedly moved. The movement caused Mr.
Hashi's forklift, along with Mr. Hashi, to fall from the
trailer to the ground. The fall injured his lower back and
required medical treatment.
Circuit Court for Rutherford County, Mr. Hashi filed suit
against John Doe, the unknown driver of the tractor-trailer,
Parkway Xpress, LLC, and Total Quality Logistics, LLC. The
complaint alleged that John Doe was an employee of Parkway
Xpress and that Parkway Xpress was vicariously liable for
John Doe's negligence. The complaint described Total
Quality Logistics as the "truck broker that hired
Parkway Xpress . . . for the job during which [Mr. Hashi] was
injured." The complaint alleged that Total Quality
Logistics failed "to use due diligence in its selection,
instruction, and supervision of Parkway Xpress." The
complaint further alleged that Total Quality Logistics was
vicariously liable for its agent Parkway Xpress.
Xpress and Total Quality Logistics filed separate motions for
summary judgment. Parkway Xpress argued that summary judgment
was appropriate because it was not the owner or operator of
the tractor-trailer in which Mr. Hashi was working when he
was injured. Parkway Xpress acknowledged making a delivery to
the distribution center on February 2, but it claimed to have
arrived at 6:00 a.m. and departed at 7:08 a.m. Mr. Hashi
admitted that his accident occurred at 1:20 in the afternoon.
Parkway Xpress also contended that the driver of the
tractor-trailer in which Mr. Hashi was working was Jeremy
Kie, who was not an employee of Parkway Xpress.
support of its motion, Parkway Xpress filed the affidavit of
Benjamin Kadic, the president of Parkway Xpress. He declared
on personal knowledge that Parkway Xpress made its delivery
to the distribution center at 6:00 a.m., departing at 7:08
a.m. Mr. Kadic also denied that Mr. Kie was a Parkway Xpress
employee. Attached to the affidavit was a bill of lading
showing the Parkway Xpress truck arriving at the distribution
center at 6:00 a.m. and departing at 7:08 a.m. Parkway Xpress
also provided business records produced by Essex Technology
Group in response to a subpoena. The subpoenaed records
included several incident reports identifying the driver of
the tractor-trailer in which Mr. Hashi was working as Mr.
Kie. Finally, Parkway Xpress provided a portion of the
transcript from Mr. Hashi's deposition in which he was
unable to identify the trucking company or the
tractor-trailer involved in his accident.
motion, Total Quality Logistics claimed to be a freight
broker. It explained that freight brokers contract with motor
carriers to arrange for the transportation of freight at the
request of customers needing such services. So "even
assuming all allegations as true[, ]" Total Quality
Logistics would have "at most, merely contracted with
the alleged John Doe truck driver's employer." It
also explained that it "did not employ, control, select,
or hire" the John Doe driver. Total Quality ...