United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division
HOBART WHITE, Administrator of the Estate of Cladie Hollis PLAINTIFF
WAL-MART STORES EAST, L.P. DEFENDANT
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. Stivers, Chief Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant's unopposed
Motion for Summary Judgment (DN 32). For the reasons provided
below, Defendant's motion is GRANTED.
a premises liability action brought by Plaintiff Hobart White
(“Plaintiff”) to recover damages for injuries
sustained as the result of a slip-and-fall by Decedent Cladie
Hollis (“Decedent”) while in Defendant's
store in McCracken County, Kentucky, on September 1, 2016.
(Compl. ¶¶ 4-9, DN 1-2). Plaintiff alleges Decedent
tripped over an upturned rug and that Defendant and its
agents were negligent by failing to keep the premises in a
clean and safe condition. (Compl. ¶¶ 5, 8).
Decedent died of unrelated drug intoxication on March 16,
2017. (Def.'s Mot. Summ J. Ex. 2, ¶ 9, DN 32-2).
Plaintiff, as Administrator of the Estate, filed the present
action in McCracken Circuit Court on November 27, 2017.
(Compl. 1) On March 2, 2018, Defendant removed the matter to
this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a). (Notice
Removal ¶ 1, DN 1).
produced a store video recording of the accident showing
Decedent turn from an aisle onto two mats in front of an ice
machine. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 2, at 59:51-59, DN
32-2 [hereinafter Video]). While walking across the two mats,
Decedent can be seen raising her hand to the side of her
head. (Video 59:56-58). After taking three or four steps off
the second rug onto the tiled floor, Decedent collapses.
(Video 59:59-1:00:02). The video does not depict an upturned
rug, any foreign substances, or any other dangerous
conditions on the floor. The video shows that Decedent
remained on the floor while she was attended to by customers
and Wal-Mart staff before emergency medical services arrived
and transported her from the store on a gurney at 11:32 a.m.
motion, Defendant contends Plaintiff has failed to present
evidence necessary to support her claim. Specifically,
Defendant provides “[t]here is no genuine issue as to
the material fact that the [P]laintiff can produce no
evidence that [Decedent] encountered a foreign substance or
other dangerous condition on [Defendant's] premises that
caused her fall.” (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J.
6, DN 32-1 [hereinafter Def.'s Mot.]). Moreover, [t]here
is no evidence the [D]efendant's premises were not in a
reasonably safe condition for the use of business invitees. .
. .” (Def.'s Mot. 6).
Court has jurisdiction over “all civil actions where
the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,
000, exclusive of interest and costs, as is between . . .
citizens of different States . . . .” 28 U.S.C. §
STANDARD OF REVIEW
ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
determine whether there is any genuine issue of material fact
that would preclude entry of judgment for the moving party as
a matter of law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party
bears the initial burden of stating the basis for the motion
and identifying evidence in the record that demonstrates an
absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. See
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
If the moving party satisfies its burden, the non-moving
party must then produce specific evidence proving the
existence of a genuine dispute of fact for trial. See
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable
to the non-moving party, the non-moving party must do more
than merely show the existence of some “metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586
(1986) (citation omitted). Rather, the non-moving party must
present specific facts proving that a genuine factual dispute
exists by “citing to particular parts of the materials
in the record” or by “showing that the materials
cited do not establish the absence . . . of a genuine
dispute. . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). “The mere
existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the
[non-moving party's] position will be insufficient”
to overcome summary judgment. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
2003, Kentucky courts have applied a burden shifting analysis
to slip and fall claims.
v. Mekanhart Corp.,113 S.W.3d 95, 98 (Ky. 2003). Under
this approach, an ...