State Line Metals, Inc. v. Aluminum Co. of America, A94A2069

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Citation453 S.E.2d 474,216 Ga.App. 14
Docket NumberNo. A94A2069,A94A2069
Decision Date09 December 1994

Page 474

453 S.E.2d 474
216 Ga.App. 14
No. A94A2069.
Court of Appeals of Georgia.
Dec. 9, 1994.
Reconsideration Denied Jan. 5, 1995.

Page 475

[216 Ga.App. 19] Wiggins & Camp, S. James Tuggle, Kelley C. Park, Carrollton, for appellant.

McGee & Oxford, James C. Carr, Atlanta, Kicklighter & Mayer, Claude M. Kicklighter, Jr., Marietta, Raymond C. Mayer, Atlanta, for appellee.

[216 Ga.App. 14] BEASLEY, Presiding Judge.

Jecon Metals Corporation ("Jecon") contracted with the Aluminum Company of America ("Alcoa") to sell certain scrap metal known in the trade as "pot pads," which Jecon was to recycle into other usable metal units and return to Alcoa. Jecon contracted with State Line Metals, Inc. ("SLM") to perform the actual processing of the scrap metal and arranged for Alcoa to ship the metal to SLM f.o.b. SLM contends that when the shipments arrived they were too contaminated with other materials to be processed in their normal manner. SLM did, however, accept the shipments and piled all the scrap material together. It did not convert the pot pads and Jecon sued for breach of contract.

[216 Ga.App. 15] SLM moved for permission to implead Alcoa on June 24, 1993. Its original third-party complaint alleged that SLM was a third-party beneficiary of the contract between Alcoa and Jecon, breached by Alcoa when it made its shipments of metal to SLM between August 9, 1988 and March 3, 1989. It also alleged that Alcoa was negligent when it shipped the scrap metal with the amount of debris found. Alcoa moved for summary judgment, arguing in part that any contract claim against it was barred by the four-year statute of limitation found in OCGA § 11-2-725. It also asserted that any negligence claim, the exact nature of which was unspecified in the complaint, was similarly barred by the statute of limitation found in OCGA §§ 9-3-30, 9-3-31, or 9-3-32. In response to Alcoa's motion, SLM argued that any third-party claims it had against Alcoa would not be barred if based on the doctrine of contribution, and it amended its third-party complaint to include a claim for contribution. 1

Page 476

Alcoa was granted summary judgment and SLM appeals. Jecon is also a party to the appeal pursuant to OCGA § 5-6-37.

1. Alcoa asserts that any basis for impleading it that is based upon contract or tort is barred by the various statutes of limitation. Although the court did not address the issue of the statutes of limitation in its order, the issue was raised and thoroughly addressed by Alcoa in its motion for summary judgment and "[a] grant of summary judgment must be affirmed if it is right for any reason. [Cit.]" Ben Farmer Realty Co. v. Woodard, 212 Ga.App. 74, 78, 441 S.E.2d 421 (1994). Following oral argument in this court, leave was granted under Rule 12 for SLM and Jecon to file supplemental briefs addressing the statutes of limitation. Jecon filed a supplemental brief, but SLM did not.

SLM asserts that by shipping debris-laden material, Alcoa breached a duty owed to SLM as a third-party beneficiary of the Alcoa-Jecon contract, and that the shipments breached other duties based in tort. Under OCGA § 9-11-14, SLM may assert any basis for secondary liability on the part of Alcoa and is not confined to a breach of contract theory simply because that is the basis for the underlying claim; " ' "[i]t is immaterial that the liability of the third-party rests on a different theory from that underlying plaintiff's claim." (Cit.)' [Cits.]" Mayor etc. of Savannah v. Southern Bulk Indus., 198 Ga.App. 867, 868(1), 403 S.E.2d 447 (1991). Although any claim for secondary liability in contract or tort can be asserted under [216 Ga.App. 16] OCGA § 9-11-14, that does not relieve SLM of the responsibility to assert those claims within the applicable statute of limitation. See Safeco Ins. Co. of America v. Clay-Ric, Inc., 191 Ga.App. 592, 383 S.E.2d 138 (1989); Waddey v. Davis, 149 Ga.App. 308, 309-310(1), 254 S.E.2d 465 (1979); PPG Indus. v. Genson, 135 Ga.App. 248, 250(1), 217 S.E.2d 479 (1975).

The shipments ended in March 1989 and Jecon filed suit on September 3, 1992. SLM received permission to implead Alcoa on June 24, 1993, with summons executed the next day. Thus, Alcoa was not brought into the action until more than four years had passed after the alleged breaches of contractual and tort duties. See OCGA §§ 9-3-30, 9-3-31, 9-3-32, and 11-2-725.

SLM has also asserted a right to recover from Alcoa under the theory of contribution. The right to contribution, codified at OCGA § 51-12-32, provides that one joint tortfeasor may gain contribution from another even though the second tortfeasor was not brought into the main suit. OCGA § 51-12-32(a). The right to contribution does not accrue until judgment is...

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7 cases
  • Insituform Techs., Inc. v. Amerik Supplies, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:08–cv–333–TCB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • March 29, 2012
    ...indemnity action is properly maintained while the underlying suit is pending. See State Line Metals, Inc. v. Aluminum Co. of Am., 216 Ga.App. 14, 16, 453 S.E.2d 474, 476 (1994). Therefore, the Court will not take up the issue of AMerik's right to recover until later in this order. For now, ......
  • Thyssen Elevator Co. v. Drayton-Bryan Co., No. 400CV002.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of Georgia)
    • June 30, 2000 contribution, even where no judgment has been entered against any of the tortfeasors. State Line Metals, Inc. v. Aluminum Co. of Am., 216 Ga.App. 14, 15 n. 1, 453 S.E.2d 474 (1995) ("Contribution is a right afforded a joint tortfeasor and is not affected by any settlement between plainti......
  • Jsl v. Acceptance Indem. Ins. Co., A04A2138.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • April 13, 2005
    ...Davis & Easley Ins. Agency v. Tile Technology, 217 Ga.App. 809, 810, 459 S.E.2d 450 (1995). 7. State Line Metals v. Aluminum Co. &c., 216 Ga.App. 14, 16(1), 453 S.E.2d 474 (1995); North Ga. Elec. Membership Corp. v. Thomason & Holsomback Constr. Co., 157 Ga.App. 719, 720(1), 278 S.E.2d 433 ......
  • Daimlerchrysler Motors v. Clemente, A08A0870.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • September 25, 2008
    ...emphasis supplied.) Mitchell v. Gilson, 233 Ga. 453, 454, 211 S.E.2d 744 (1975). See also State Line Metals v. Aluminum Co. of America, 216 Ga.App. 14, 18(2), 453 S.E.2d 474 (1994) (the fact that the harm suffered by the plaintiff was "single and indivisible" was insufficient to make the de......
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