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Mitchem v. National Railroad Passenger Corp.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

January 8, 2020

DREW MITCHEM, Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION d/b/a AMTRAK, Defendant. DONNELL LINTON, Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION d/b/a AMTRAK, Defendant LAURA VAUGHNS and ALBERT J. VAUGHNS, individually and as Joint Guardians to AG, JR, ZL, LS and FJ, their minor children; and ZOE MARIE TOWNSEND VAUGHNS, Plaintiffs,
v.
NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION d/b/a AMTRAK, Defendant

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant National Railroad Passenger Corporation d/b/a Amtrak's (“Amtrak”) motion for summary judgment on punitive damages and the Washington Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”) claims. Dkt. 39. The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion in part and denies it in part for the reasons stated herein.

         I. PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On May 8, 2018, Plaintiff Drew Mitchem (“Mitchem”) filed a complaint against Amtrak asserting a claim for negligence and a claim for violation of the CPA and seeking actual and punitive damages. Dkt. 1.

         On July 17, 2018, Plaintiff Donnell Linton (“Linton”) filed a complaint against Amtrak asserting a claim for negligence and a claim for violation of the CPA and seeking actual and punitive damages. C18-5564BHS, Dkt. 1.

         On October 11, 2018, Plaintiffs Laura Vaughns and Albert J. Vaughns, individually and as guardians of A.G., J.C., Z.L., L.S., and B.J., and Zoe Marie Townsend Vaughns (“Vaughns”) filed a complaint against Amtrak asserting a claim for negligence and a claim for violation of the CPA and seeking actual and punitive damages. C18-5823BHS, Dkt. 1.

         On June 10, 2019, the Court granted Mitchem, Linton, and the Vaughns' (“Plaintiffs”) unopposed motion to consolidate these cases. Dkt. 30.

         On August 9, 2019, the Court granted Amtrak's motion for summary judgment on punitive damages in a related case, Wilmotte v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., C18- 0086BHS, 2019 WL 3767133 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 9, 2019), and granted in part and denied in part Amtrak's motion for summary judgment on a CPA claim in another related case, Harris v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., C18-134BHS, 2019 WL 3767140 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 9, 2019). On October 1, 2019, the Court granted in part and denied in part Amtrak's motion for summary judgment on punitive damages and a CPA claim in another related case. Garza v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., C18-5106 BHS, 2019 WL 4849489 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 1, 2019). On October 17, 2019, the Court granted Amtrak's motion for summary judgment on punitive damages in another related case. Goetz v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., C18-93 BHS, 2019 WL 5266842 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 17, 2019).

         On October 30, 2019, Amtrak filed the instant motion for summary judgment on punitive damages and Plaintiffs' CPA claims. Dkt. 39.

         On November 7, 2019, the Court granted in part and denied in part Amtrak's motion for summary judgment on punitive damages and a CPA claim in another related case. Jones v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., C18-5062 BHS, 2019 WL 5802069 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 7, 2019).

         On November 18, 2019, Plaintiffs responded to Amtrak's motion. Dkt. 45. On November 22, 2019, Amtrak replied. Dkt. 47.

         On December 20, 2019, Amtrak filed a notice that all claims in the Mitchem case were settled. Dkt. 52.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Summary ...


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