Price v. Yellow CAB Co. of Louisville, 2010-CA-001894-MR

CourtCourt of Appeals of Kentucky
Writing for the CourtLAMBERT
PartiesRACHEL PRICE APPELLANT v. YELLOW CAB CO. OF LOUISVILLE APPELLEE
Docket NumberNO. 2010-CA-001894-MR,2010-CA-001894-MR
Decision Date20 January 2012

RACHEL PRICE APPELLANT
v.
YELLOW CAB CO.
OF LOUISVILLE APPELLEE

NO. 2010-CA-001894-MR

Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals

RENDERED: JANUARY 20, 2012


TO BE PUBLISHED

APPEAL FROM JEFFERSON CIRCUIT COURT
HONORABLE MITCHELL PERRY, JUDGE
ACTION NO. 10-CI-000132

OPINION
AFFIRMING

BEFORE: CLAYTON, DIXON, AND LAMBERT, JUDGES.

LAMBERT, JUDGE: Rachel Price has appealed from the opinion and order of the Jefferson Circuit Court granting summary judgment in favor of Yellow Cab Co. of Louisville and dismissing her complaint on the basis of res judicata. We have carefully considered the record as well as the parties' arguments in their briefs, and

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we find no merit in Price's appeal. Therefore, we affirm the circuit court's opinion and order.

The present appeal arises from a lawsuit filed by Price against Yellow Cab based upon alleged misrepresentations Yellow Cab made in a prior lawsuit regarding the whereabouts of its cab driver, Rosa Garcia. To put the present matter in context, we shall briefly set forth the procedural history of the prior suit which we have gleaned from the record in the present appeal.1 While Garcia was driving a Yellow Cab, she and Price were involved in a motor vehicle accident on January 9, 1999. Price and her infant were passengers in a car Price owned which was being driven by another person at the time of the accident. Price, individually and as next friend of her infant child, as well as the driver of her car, filed suit against Yellow Cab and Garcia in January 2001 seeking damages for personal injuries they sustained in the accident.2 While able to serve Yellow Cab, Price was unable to locate Garcia in order to serve her with process. The circuit court dismissed the action for failure to prosecute in February 2004, but later set that order aside due to lack of notice on the part of Price's counsel. Yellow Cab then moved to dismiss the action in June 2004, again for Price's failure to prosecute the case. In a reply memorandum filed in September 2004, Yellow Cab stated that it could not find Garcia, noting that she had never been personally served and that it had ordered an

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investigative report to determine her whereabouts. However, in October 2004, Price located Garcia in Indiana, where she was working for Yellow Cab of Southern Indiana, a subsidiary of Yellow Cab. At a hearing in November 2004, Price argued to the circuit court that Yellow Cab had defrauded the court based upon the statements of its attorney that no one with the company had any information about where to find Garcia. Despite Price's argument, the circuit court dismissed the suit in January 2005.

Price subsequently appealed the dismissal of her lawsuit to the Court of Appeals. This Court, in an unpublished opinion, reversed the order of dismissal and remanded the matter to the circuit court for reinstatement of Price's lawsuit. Price v. Garcia, 2006 WL 1360822 (2005-CA-000562-MR) (Ky. App. 2006). In so ruling, the Court considered Yellow Cab's failure to disclose the fact that Garcia, who had been in Mexico for a time following the 1999 accident but had since returned to the area, was working for its subsidiary. The Court agreed with Price that Yellow Cab (and Garcia) used improper techniques and withheld knowledge of Garcia's whereabouts to prevent the prosecution of Price's case, which resulted in the dismissal of the lawsuit. Upon finality, the matter returned to the circuit court and was tried before a jury in May 2007. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Yellow Cab, finding that Price had failed to meet the $1,000.00 threshold in reasonably necessary medical expenses pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statues (KRS) 304.39-060(2)(b) to maintain the lawsuit. The judgment was affirmed in a subsequent appeal to this Court. Price v. Garcia, 291 S.W.3d 728

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(Ky. 2009). The sole issue raised on appeal related to evidence admitted concerning fault, an issue that the jury did not ultimately reach.

On January 7, 2010, Price filed a second complaint against Yellow Cab alleging claims of fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conspiracy due to the misrepresentations Yellow Cab made in the prior lawsuit regarding Garcia's whereabouts during the pendency of this suit. Price claimed to have sustained damages due to mental anguish as well as a monetary loss as a result of Yellow Cab's fraudulent actions.

Yellow Cab immediately moved to dismiss Price's suit, arguing that she was attempting to resurrect issues that had been disposed of during the course of the prior lawsuit. It pointed out that while the circuit court had rejected her claim that Yellow Cab had concealed Garcia's whereabouts in the prior lawsuit, the Court of Appeals accepted this argument in the earlier appeal and reversed the order of dismissal. Yellow Cab argued that the allegations set forth in the 2010...

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