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.

Estate of Leavell v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP

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

January 6, 2020

THE ESTATE OF DESMOND LEAVELL, James Leavell and Nancy Watkins, Administrators; and DEANDRE QUARLES PLAINTIFFS
v.
WAL-MART STORES EAST, LIMITED PARTNERSHIP DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Greg N. Stivers, Chief Judge.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (DN 34). The matter is now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons that follow, the motion is GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Statement of Facts

         On July 9, 2017, two African-American males shoplifted electronic merchandise from a Hopkinsville, Kentucky Wal-Mart store operated by Defendant Wal-Mart Stores East, Limited Partnership (“Wal-Mart”). (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 3, DN 34-1). These men were seen carrying out the act by the store's video surveillance system. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 3; Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 2, DN 34-3). Wal-Mart Asset Protection Associate Melanie Beard (“Beard”) reviewed this footage, but she was unable to identify the two men. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 4).

         On approximately July 13, 2017, Beard was at the Hopkinsville Police Department and showed Police Lieutenant Kyle Spurlin (“Lt. Spurlin”) photographs of the men from the surveillance footage. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 4). Lt. Spurlin told Beard the men from the photographs looked like Plaintiffs Deandre Quarles (“Quarles”) and Desmond Leavell (“Leavell”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”).[1] (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 4).

         Following up on this lead, Beard reviewed Plaintiffs' Facebook pages and driver's license photographs and determined, incorrectly so, that Plaintiffs were the men shown in the surveillance footage. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 5, 10-11). On August 1, 2017, Beard completed criminal complaints alleging that Plaintiffs shoplifted from Wal-Mart on July 9, 2017. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 5; Def.'s Mot. Summ. J. Ex. 4, DN 34-5). On August 7, 2017, Quarles turned himself into police and was bonded out that day. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 5). On August 8, 2017, Leavell turned himself in and was bonded out that same day. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 5). After the arrests, Lt. Spurlin obtained and reviewed the Wal-Mart surveillance footage and determined that he previously misidentified Plaintiffs as the men in the video. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 5). The charges against Plaintiffs were dropped on September 1, 2017. (Def.'s Mem. Supp. Mot. Summ. J. 5).

         B. Procedural History

         On April 6, 2018, Plaintiffs filed suit against Wal-Mart in Christian Circuit Court. (Compl., DN 1-2). On May 11, 2018, Wal-Mart removed this matter to this Court on federal question jurisdiction grounds. (Notice Removal ¶¶ 3-4, DN 1). On January 17, 2019, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint to substitute Leavell's estate as a plaintiff. (Am. Compl., DN 20). The Amended Complaint asserts claims for discrimination, false arrest, false imprisonment, false search, and false charges. (Am. Compl. ¶ 6). On July 31, 2019, Wal-Mart moved for summary judgment on all claims. (Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., DN 34). Plaintiffs responded, and Wal-Mart replied. (Pl.'s Resp. Def.'s Mot. Summ. J., DN 37; Def.'s Reply Mot. Summ. J., DN 38).

         II. JURISDICTION

         The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action via federal question pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331. The Amended Complaint appears to allege violations of Title II of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(a), which presents a federal question.[2] (See Am. Compl. ¶ 6). The Court has supplemental jurisdiction over the state claims because they arise from the same case and controversy as the federal claim. 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a).

         III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment is appropriate if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Judgment as a matter of law should be granted if “a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 50(a)(1). 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, 323 (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. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (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 ...


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.