United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Western Division
G. Carr Sr. U.S. District Judge
a breach-of-contract suit in which one of the defendants,
Luis M. Latour, has again moved for summary judgment. (Doc.
plaintiff alleges that Latour and one of his companies,
co-defendant VR-12, LLC, contracted to sponsor
plaintiff's race car during the 2011 season of the
Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). Plaintiff claims,
inter alia, that Latour, at the urging of ARCA
representatives, personally guaranteed VR-12's alleged
obligation to plaintiff (which amounted to $950, 000).
previously held there was sufficient evidence to permit a
jury to find that Latour made a collateral or secondary
promise to answer for VR-12's alleged debt. Tony
Marks Racing, LLC v. VR-12, LLC, 2017 WL 1328769, *6-8
(N.D. Ohio). That evidence consisted of the sworn testimony
of Tony Marks, the owner of Tony Marks Racing, LLC, that
Latour had made such a promise in Daytona, Florida, in the
presence of an ARCA representative.
the entry of that order, the parties undertook additional
discovery, including the deposition of Mark Gundrum,
ARCA's Vice President of Business Development and
Corporate Partnerships. (Doc. 79-3). Gundrum testified that
he was present during the Daytona conversation between Latour
and Marks, and that: 1) Latour never personally guaranteed
VR-12's obligation to the plaintiff; and 2) Gundrum never
asked Latour to make such a guarantee. (Id. at 5).
basis of this evidence, Latour again argues that he is
entitled to summary judgment on plaintiff's
breach-of-contract and promissory-estoppel claims. According
to Latour, no genuine factual dispute exists as to whether he
made the guarantee because both he and Gundrum deny the
existence of the guarantee, whereas plaintiff's evidence
consists of nothing but “unsupported, self-serving
statements which are belied by independent record
evidence[.]” (Doc. 77-11 at 11).
argument has no merit.
summary judgment to Latour on the basis of Gundrum's
testimony (and Latour's own “self-serving”
assertion that he never made a guarantee) would require me to
believe their testimony over that of Marks's. But that
gets summary-judgment practice exactly backwards:
Despite the lack of corroborating evidence, Plaintiff's
testimony is sufficient to create a genuine dispute of
material fact that forecloses summary judgment at this
* * *
On summary judgment, all reasonable inferences must be made
in favor of the non-moving party and, as we have held in the
past, a plaintiff's testimony alone may be sufficient to
create a genuine issue of material fact thereby defeating a
defendant's motion for summary judgment.
Moran v. Al Basit LLC, 788 F.3d 201, 206 (6th Cir.
Marks was a participant in the disputed conversation, and he
obviously has the personal knowledge needed to testify about
what Latour said. Accordingly, I cannot “disregard
[plaintiff's] status as an appropriate fact witness
simply because he is a party to this case . . . The lack of
corroboration goes to his testimony's ultimate weight,
not its sufficiency under Rule 56.” Golden v. Met.
Gov't of Nashville and Davidson Cnty., 263 F.Supp.3d
684, 694 (M.D. Tenn. 2017).
Latour cites no controlling authority requiring me to ignore
or discredit Marks's testimony on the ground it is