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Frazier v. Total Renal Care, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division

July 17, 2019

CHARLES FRAZIER, Plaintiff,
v.
TOTAL RENAL CARE, INC., Defendant.

          OPINION & ORDER

          ROBERT E. WIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Total Renal Care, Inc., d/b/a Raven Rock Dialysis (Raven Rock) seeks summary judgment. DE #30 (Motion). Charles Frazier opposed. DE #31 (Response). Raven Rock replied. DE #32 (Reply). The matter is ripe for consideration. For the following reasons, the Court DENIES DE #30. A jury must decide Frazier's surviving negligence claim.

         I. BACKGROUND[1]

         On February 19, 2016, Frazier went to Raven Rock, a clinic in Letcher County, to receive dialysis treatment. See DE #27 (Frazier Depo.), at 46 (Depo. p. 45). This was a frequent occurrence. See Id. at 33, 47 (Depo. pp. 32, 46); DE #26 (Stewart Depo.), at 11, 24-25. Frazier receives such treatment thrice weekly at the clinic. While entering, he observed that an entrance mat was “turned up, ” and continued toward it. As he tried to cross the mat, Frazier's foot caught it, and he fell. In Plaintiffs own words:

Q: On February 19, 2016, did you notice any problem with the mat or rug that was in the entranceway?
A: It was turned up and I - and I didn't see it. I mean I saw it but what I'm saying, I was talking to somebody. Instead of stepping over it, I hooked my foot on it.
Q: When did you notice that the rug was turned up?
A: When I walked - opened the door. It's got two doors and I pushed the door and when I saw it, what it shoulda - I just did - I didn't pick my feet up I guess and I hooked it. . . .
Q: And you walked over the rug.
A: Well, I - I thought I did but I hooked my foot on it and that's what throwed me. I thought I had my foot over it but I didn't.

DE #27, at 49-50 (Depo p. 48-49); see also Id. at 57 (Depo. p. 56) (Q: “When you opened up the door to talk into the entranceway, did you see the rug with an end folded up - A: “Yes.”); id. (“I thought I got over it but I hooked my foot on it; and when I fell, . . . it was still hung, I couldn't get it loose.”); id. (confirming that his “foot got hung on the folded part of . . . the rug”). By “turned up, ” Frazier clarified he meant “folded over on itself.” Id. at 51 (Depo. p. 50). Plaintiff estimated the fold to be about “three inches, two inches, something like that.” Id. at 106 (Depo p. 105) (characterizing the mat fold as not “big, ” but “noticeable”).

         Witness John Stewart, who regularly ferried Frazier to dialysis, described the event as follows:

Q: Well, tell us what you recall about the incident of February 19, 2016. You said you were with Mr. Frazier?
A: Yes. I take him to dialysis on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And, you know, he had got out of the truck, and he was walking in the door, and the rug was rolled up in the front of the door. And he tripped over it and landed into the other door - the swinging doors that goes in.

DE #26, at 5. Stewart later said the mat was “folded over.” Id. at 7. He estimated the fold to be “probably a good four inches” high, involving “probably a quarter of the rug.” Id. at 18. The depositions describe the extent of Plaintiff's alleged injuries resulting from the fall. Based on this incident, Frazier sued. The parties have litigated the case, and Raven Rock now seeks judgment under Rule 56.

         II. ...


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