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Bylo v. K-Mart Corporation

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 30, 2014

JUANITA BYLO, Plaintiff,


STEPHEN N. LIMBAUGH, Jr., District Judge.

Plaintiff filed a premises liability action in state court that was removed to this Court based on diversity jurisdiction. This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion for summary judgment (#15).

I. Background

This is a slip and fall case that plaintiff originally filed in the Circuit Court of St. Charles County against defendant K-Mart Corporation. Defendant filed its notice of removal in this Court based on diversity jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

Plaintiff's complaint alleges that she was shopping at a K-Mart store on September 9, 2008 when she attempted to try on a pair of shoes. Her complaint states that she "raised her foot to try on a shoe when she slipped and fell on the wet tiled floor of the said premises." (#3 at ¶ 5.) Plaintiff alleges that she sustained severe injuries as a result of the fall. She states that defendant was negligent in failing to provide seating for customers trying on shoes, failing to place "wet floor" signs in the area, and failing to give notice and warn persons walking over the wet flooring of its dangerous condition. ( Id. at ¶ 6.) Plaintiff claims defendant is liable to her for her damages under a theory of premises liability.

Defendant has filed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed a response brief in opposition, and defendant replied. The matter is now ripe for disposition.

II. Legal Standard

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), a district court may grant a motion for summary judgment if all of the information before the court demonstrates that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The burden is on the moving party. City of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa v. Associated Elec. Co-op. Inc., 838 F.2d 268, 273 (8th Cir.1988). After the moving party discharges this burden, the nonmoving party must do more than show that there is some doubt as to the facts. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Instead, the nonmoving party bears the burden of setting forth affirmative evidence and specific facts by affidavit and other evidence showing that there is a genuine dispute of a material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. "A dispute about a material fact is genuine' only if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'" Herring v. Canada Life Assur. Co., 207 F.3d 1026, 1030 (8th Cir. 2000) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). A party resisting summary judgment has the burden to designate the specific facts that create a triable controversy. See Crossley v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 355 F.3d 1112, 1114 (8th Cir. 2004). Self-serving, conclusory statements without support are not sufficient to defeat summary judgment. Armour and Co., Inc. v. Inver Grove Heights, 2 F.3d 276, 279 (8th Cir. 1993).

In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court must review the facts in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion and give that party the benefit of any inferences that logically can be drawn from those facts. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 587; Woods v. DaimlerChrysler Corp., 409 F.3d 984, 990 (8th Cir. 2005). The court is required to resolve all conflicts of evidence in favor of the nonmoving party. Robert Johnson Grain Co. v. Chemical Interchange Co., 541 F.2d 207, 210 (8th Cir. 1976).

The movant's statement of facts are deemed admitted if not specifically controverted by the party opposing the motion. Local Rule 4.01 (E) provides:

A memorandum in support of a motion for summary judgment shall have attached a statement of uncontroverted material facts, set forth in a separately numbered paragraph for each fact, indicating whether each fact is established by the record, and if so, the appropriate citations. Every memorandum in opposition shall include a statement of material facts as to which the party contends a genuine issue exists. Those matters in dispute shall be set forth with specific references to portions of the record, where available, upon which the opposing party relies. The opposing party also shall note for all disputed facts the paragraph number from movant's listing of facts. All matters set forth in the statement of the movant shall be deemed admitted for purposes of summary judgment unless specifically controverted by the opposing party.

(emphasis added). Even where all of movant's statements of fact are deemed admitted, the Court must look at the entire record to determine whether summary judgment is warranted.

With these principles in mind, the Court turns to ...

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