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Armour v. BCS

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

July 25, 2018

SHEILA ARMOUR, Plaintiff,
v.
BCS, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          GREG KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE

         This case arises out of pro se Plaintiff Shelia Armour's injuries from using a security wand she alleges was manufactured by Defendant BCS (“BCS”). Now before the Court is BCS's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 29) and Plaintiff's motions for summary judgment (Docs. 33 & 38).[1] As explained below, BCS's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and Plaintiff's motions for summary judgment are DENIED.

         Undisputed Material Facts[2]

         In January 2017, Plaintiff worked as a security guard in Kansas City, Missouri. Her duties involved handling a security wand she alleges was manufactured by BCS. A security wand is a small, plastic stick used by security guards to conduct checkpoints. BCS describes the wand as consisting of a computer chip and a 3-volt battery. Plaintiff alleges that one day while working, she touched the exterior tip of a security wand and received an electric shock.

         Plaintiff alleges she suffered burns immediately after she was shocked by the device. Additionally, she alleges she now suffers from permanent medical conditions stemming from the electric shock. To substantiate her injuries, Plaintiff provided images of her purporting to indicate the burns she suffered from the electric shock. Also, she includes images of medical reports but they do not provide her name, nor are they otherwise traceable to her or this incident.[3]

         BCS offers an affidavit from the engineer and product designer of the security checkpoint wand at issue in this case. This witness states that the exterior tip of the wand is incapable of producing electric shock, and incapable of injuring a person by electric shock (Doc. 30-4 at 1). Further, the witness states the product is safe for its intended use, is not defective, and neither unreasonably dangerous, nor dangerous at all. Id. at 3.

         Plaintiff sued BCS seeking $5, 000, 000.00 for her injuries on a theory that the BCS security wand was defective.

         Standard

         Because Plaintiff is pro se, the Court is bound to liberally construe her filings in order to do substantial justice. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). However, a litigant's pro se status does not excuse her from compliance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or Local Rules. McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).

         In reviewing a summary judgment motion, the Court is bound to resolve any doubt as to the existence of any material fact against the moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986). The Court must scrutinize the evidence presented in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and accord to it the benefit of every reasonable factual inference. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 588-89 (1986). A moving party is entitled to summary judgment on a claim only if there is a showing that “there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 330 (1986). A party opposing a motion for summary judgment “may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the . . . pleadings, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).

         Discussion

         I. BCS's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.

         BCS moves for summary judgment arguing Plaintiff has not submitted any evidence that BCS is liable for her injuries. After reviewing the record and all supporting exhibits, the Court finds there are no disputes of material fact and Plaintiff's claim fails as a matter of law.

         Plaintiff's complaint asserts the BCS security wand is defective. She states “I have reason to believe BCS is not properly guarding the electricity inside the device.” (Doc. 7 at 3). In a later filing she asserts “the device is not properly manufactured.” (Doc. 34 at 1). The Court construes these two statements, along with ...


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