United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
HORNSBY, Magistrate Judge.
MAURICE HICKS, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CHIEF JUDGE.
the Court is Defendant Circle K Stores, Inc.'s
(“Circle K”) “Motion for Summary
Judgment” (Record Document 14) seeking to dismiss with
prejudice all claims asserted by Plaintiff Dorothy Kelly
(“Kelly”). For the reasons stated herein, Circle
K's Motion is GRANTED.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
was a customer at the Circle K store located at 4250
Greenwood Road in Shreveport, Louisiana, on June 21, 2015.
See Record Document 1-4 at 1. Kelly is wheelchair
bound and has been for the last four years due to the
amputation of her right leg. See Record Document
14-5 at 12. Her wheelchair is motorized and operated by a
knob on the right side, directing it to move forward,
backward, and side to side. See id. at 19-20. On the
date of the incident, Kelly visited the Circle K store alone.
See id. at 19. When she arrived, another patron
arrived at the same time. The patron pulled both doors
and held them as Kelly wheeled herself into the store without
any problems. See id. at 20-22. Upon her entry,
Kelly noted that sufficient room existed for her wheelchair
to fit through the threshold and found nothing unusual about
the doors, stating they worked as she expected them to work.
See id. at 22. There was no barrier, divider, or
pole between the two doors. See id. at 24. Rather,
if both doors were open, a person could go straight through
the middle of them. See id. She had seen doors like
this during visits to other stores. See id. at 26.
While in the store, Kelly maneuvered through the aisles,
selected a drink, and paid for it without any assistance.
See id. at 23.
was exiting, the same gentleman patron who held the doors
open for her entry assisted her on her exit. See id.
at 26. This time the patron pushed both doors open, holding
both doors open outside of the store. See id. at
26-27. Admittedly, on her exit, Kelly got so close to the
left side of the doorway that her footrest struck the wall
where it meets the door. See id. at 32. As a result,
Kelly's left leg got “caught up” behind the
doors, breaking her leg and damaging her wheelchair footrest.
See id. at 27-30, 39.
agreed that no component of the door prevented her from going
out closer to the middle or closer to the right side so that
she was not up next to the left wall. See id. at 32.
Nor could she identify anything about the door that was not
working properly. See id. at 34. The patron was
still present and holding the doors open when the incident
occurred. See id. at 36. At all relevant times,
Kelly did not ask Circle K personnel for any assistance.
See id. at 55.
filed this lawsuit on June 20, 2016, in the First Judicial
District Court of Louisiana, Caddo Parish. See
Record Document 1-4. Circle K properly removed the action to
this Court on July 7, 2016. See Record Document 1.
On February 9, 2017, Circle K filed the instant Motion for
Summary Judgment seeking to dismiss all of Kelly's
claims. See Record Document 14. Kelly filed her
opposition memorandum on February 26, 2017,  to which Circle K
replied. See Record Documents 18 and 19.
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is proper pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure when “there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.” Quality Infusion Care, Inc. v.
Health Care Serv. Corp., 628 F.3d 725, 728 (5th Cir.
2010). “Rule 56[ (a) ] mandates the entry of summary
judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion,
against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to
establish the existence of an element essential to that
party's case, and on which that party will bear the
burden of proof at trial.” Patrick v. Ridge,
394 F.3d 311, 315 (5th Cir. 2004).
party seeking summary judgment always bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
for its motion, and identifying those portions of the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue
of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553 (1986). If the moving
party fails to meet this initial burden, the motion must be
denied, regardless of the nonmovant's response. See
Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954 (5th Cir.
movant demonstrates the absence of a genuine dispute of
material fact, “the nonmovant must go beyond the
pleadings and designate specific facts showing that there is
a genuine [dispute] for trial.” Gen. Universal
Sys., Inc. v. Lee, 379 F.3d 131, 141 (5th Cir. 2004).
Where critical evidence is so weak or tenuous on an essential
fact that it could not support a judgment in favor of the
nonmovant, then summary judgment should be granted. See
Boudreaux v. Swift Transp. Co., 402 F.3d 536, 540 (5th
Cir. 2005). Where the parties dispute the facts, the Court
must view the facts and draw reasonable inferences in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 378, 127 S.Ct. 1769 (2007). In
sum, the motion for summary judgment “should be granted