United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louiseville
CHARLES R. SIMPSON III, UNITED STATES DISTRICT SENIOR JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on the motion of Defendants Dollar
General Corporation, Dollar General Partners, and DG
Strategic VI, LLC (collectively, “Dollar
General”) to alter or amend the Court's May 16,
2017 memorandum opinion and order under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e), ECF No. 20. Plaintiff Brenda Richardson
responded, ECF No. 21. Dollar General replied, ECF No. 22.
For the reasons explained below, the Court will deny Dollar
General's motion to alter or amend the May 16, 2017
memorandum opinion and order.
Court recounted the facts of this case at length in its May
16, 2017 memorandum opinion. See Mem. Op. 5/16/2017
1-2, ECF No. 18. The Court, however, believes a brief review
of the events giving rise to the claims and the procedural
history of the case would be of assistance in considering the
current motion to alter or amend the May 16, 2017 memorandum
opinion and order.
September 7, 2015, Richardson went to Dollar General's
store in Elizabethtown, Kentucky (“the store”)
around 12:00 P.M. Compl. ¶¶ 5, 10, ECF No. 1-1;
Richardson Dep. 2, ECF No. 16-2. Richardson remembered that
she parked her car in front of the store. Richardson Dep. 3,
ECF No. 16-2. She said that she began walking towards the
store's front entrance. Richardson Dep. 3, ECF No. 13-1.
The automatic doors opened. Id. Almost immediately
after entering the store, she slipped and fell to the floor.
further testified that she did not see that the floor was
slippery until she was on the ground. Richardson Dep. 6, ECF
No. 16-2. But as she was walking into the store, she saw a
yellow cone on the floor that signaled that the floor was
slippery. Richardson Dep. 5, ECF No. 13-1. Richardson stated
that the yellow cone was beyond where she slipped and fell.
Id. at 6.
filed suit against Dollar General in the Hardin County,
Kentucky Circuit Court in September 2016. Compl. 1, ECF No.
1-1. She asserts that Dollar General was negligent in
maintaining the entrance of the store, which caused her
injuries. Id. ¶¶ 6-13. She seeks
compensatory damages and all other appropriate relief.
Id. at 6. Soon after she filed suit in the Hardin
County Circuit Court, Dollar General removed the case to this
Court. Not. Removal 1, ECF No. 1.
General then moved for summary judgment. Mot. Summ. J. 1, ECF
No. 13. In relevant part, Dollar General argued that summary
judgment should be granted on Richardson's claims because
it satisfied the duty of care that a landowner owes to an
invitee under Kentucky law by placing a yellow cone near the
substance on the floor. Id. at 7-9. In its May 16,
2017 memorandum opinion, the Court explained that this
argument was unavailing because-although Dollar General had
placed a yellow cone on the floor-Dollar General did
“not provide any evidence showing that the
cone's placement relative to the substance was a
reasonable precaution to prevent invitees from being
injured.” Mem. Op. 5/16/2017 8, ECF No. 18 (emphasis in
original). The Court also noted, “If the available
evidence showed that the yellow cone had been placed
sufficiently close to the substance on the floor such that
there was no genuine dispute of fact that the cone was a
reasonable precaution to prevent injury, summary judgment
would be appropriate.” Id.
General now moves to alter or amend the May 16, 2017
memorandum opinion and order under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 59(e). Mot. Amend 1, ECF No. 20. Because Dollar
General's motion is untimely, Court will also address
whether Dollar General is entitled to relief under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b).
Whether the May 16, 2017 Memorandum Opinion and Order
Should be Altered or Amended under Rule 59(e)
59(e) provides that a party may move to alter or amend a
judgment previously issued by the court. Rule 59(e) is
intended to permit a court to “rectify its own mistakes
in the period following the entry of judgment.”
White v. N.H. Dep't of Employment Sec., 455 U.S.
445, 450 (1982). A court may alter a prior judgment under
Rule 59(e) based only on (1) “a clear error of law,
” (2) “newly discovered evidence, ” (3)
“an intervening change in controlling law, ” or
(4) “a need to prevent manifest injustice.”