Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

White v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah Division

May 9, 2019

HOBART WHITE, Administrator of the Estate of Cladie Hollis PLAINTIFF
v.
WAL-MART STORES EAST, L.P. DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Greg N. Stivers, Chief Judge

         This 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.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This is 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).

         Discovery 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. (Video 1:00:02-1:18:06).

         In its 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).

         II. JURISDICTION

         The 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. § 1332(a)(1).

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In 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, 247-48 (1986).

         While 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.

         IV. DISCUSSION

         Since 2003, Kentucky courts have applied a burden shifting analysis to slip and fall claims.

         Martin v. Mekanhart Corp.,113 S.W.3d 95, 98 (Ky. 2003). Under this approach, an ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.