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Bias v. Advantage International, Inc. (1986-1990): 905 F.

2d 1558 (1990) Facts: April 7, 1986 P (deceased) and D enter into representation agreement at end of Ps
college basketball career. June 17, decedent first round pick for Boston Celtics. June 19 decedent dies of cocaine intoxication. Ps claim they asked D to take out a $1 million life insurance policy of decedents life and in reliance thereof, did not do so independently. D failed to take out such a policy. Procedural History: Ps sue for value of life insurance. D affirms summary judgment (that decedent would not have been able to receive jumbo policy as a cocaine user unless he misrepresented that fact, which would void the policy anyway).

1. Whether there was a genuine issue as to Biass insurability, sufficient to survive summary judgment. Holding: No, affirmed 1. In order to withstand a summary judgment motion once the moving party has made a prima facie showing to support its claims, the non-moving party must come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. 2. The Estate is not entitled to reach the jury merely on the supposition that the jury might not believe the defendants witnesses. Held that the more specific evidence of Ds testimony did not contradict the generalized evidence provided by Ps, there was no genuine issue to the fact that he was a drug user. Majority Opinion: (Sentelle) 1. Rule for non-moving party in summary judgment motions: Must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts but must come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Court makes all inferences in favour of the nonmovant. 2. District court made two conclusions; there was no general issue as to decedent being a drug user and that there was no dispute as to whether decedent could obtain a jumbo life insurance policy as a drug user. 3. Ds presented testimony of decedents former teammates that he regularly used and provided others with cocaine, testimony which P failed to depose or discredit. 4. P submitted testimony of decedents parents and coach that they never knew decedent to use cocaine. P also submitted negative drug tests. 5. The District Court properly held that rebuttal testimony either must come from persons familiar with the particular events to which the defendants witnesses testified or must otherwise cast more than metaphysical doubt on the credibility of that testimony. 6. Ds provided evidence that every insurance company inquired about prior drug use of an applicant for a jumbo policy at some point in the application process. 7. Ps only provided evidence that some insurance companies in 1986 did not inquire about drug use at particular phases (some point) in the process. 8. The Estate failed to name a single particular company or provide other evidence that a single company existed which would have issued a jumbo policy in 1986 without inquiring about the applicants drug use.

1. Estate could have deposed or impeached Ds witnesses or offered testimony of others present at the gatherings described by those witnesses, who went out with decedent frequently, or were otherwise familiar with his social habits.

1. 2.

Fact Patterns to Consider:


Bias v. Advantage International, Inc. (1986-1990): 905 F.2d 1558 (1990) Notes and Definitions:
1. Federal summary judgment trilogy: 1) Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. V. Zenith Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986): nonmoving party, must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts. The nonmovign party, must come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. (emphasis in original) 2) Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986): In evaluating the nonmovants proffer, a court must of course draw from the evidence all justifiable inferences in favour of the nonmovant. 3) Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986): The burden on the moving party may be discharged by showing that is, pointing out to the District Court that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving partys case 2. This is probably a case where Ps lawyers failed their duty to depose and impeach the witnesses or provide other evidence to refute the testimony. However, it is unlikely that this would have been successful, and may in fact have added more negative evidence to the record.