United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana
RULING AND ORDER
W. deGRAVELLES UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant
Wal-Mart Louisiana, LLC. (“Motion, ” Doc. 12).
Plaintiff Donna Fuselier has filed an Opposition, (Doc. 14),
and Defendant has filed a Reply in further support, (Doc.
reasons set forth below, the Motion is denied.
about February 27, 2016, Plaintiff slipped and fell in a
puddle of pink liquid while shopping at a Wal-Mart store in
Zachary, Louisiana. (Doc. 1-2 at 1; Doc. 12-2 at 18-19).
Plaintiff did not see the liquid before falling. (Doc. 1-2 at
1; Doc. 12-2 at 11-12). Plaintiff does not know how the
liquid got on the floor or what the substance was, and she
did not see open containers in the area. (Doc. 12-2 at
20-21). During her deposition, Plaintiff testified that she
was unable to determine how the liquid got on the floor even
after viewing video footage of the fall and that the only
tracks in the liquid were made by Plaintiff's own
shopping cart. (Id. at 21, 23). Plaintiff has
“no clue” whether any Wal-Mart employee knew that
the substance was on the floor, and she did not see any
“wet floor” or “caution” signs in the
area. (Id. at 12, 21).
court shall grant summary judgment 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). If the mover bears his burden of showing
that there is no genuine issue of fact, “its opponent
must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts . . . [T]he nonmoving party
must come forward with ‘specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial.'” See
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475
U.S. 574, 586-587 (1986) (internal citations omitted). The
non-mover's burden is not satisfied by “conclusory
allegations, by unsubstantiated assertions, or by only a
‘scintilla' of evidence.” Little v.
Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994)
(citations and internal quotations omitted). “Where the
record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of
fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no
‘genuine issue for trial.'” Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co., 475 U.S. at 587. Further:
In resolving the motion, the court may not undertake to
evaluate the credibility of the witnesses, weigh the
evidence, or resolve factual disputes; so long as the
evidence in the record is such that a reasonable jury drawing
all inferences in favor of the nonmoving party could arrive
at a verdict in that party's favor, the court must deny
International Shortstop, Inc. v. Rally's, Inc.,
939 F.2d 1257, 1263 (5th Cir. 1991).
Revised Statute Section 9:2800.6 governs this case because
Plaintiff seeks recovery for injuries resulting from a fall
occurring due to a condition existing on Wal-Mart's
premises. (Doc. 12-1 at 3-5). Section 2800.6 provides:
A. A merchant owes a duty to persons who use his premises to
exercise reasonable care to keep his aisles, passageways, and
floors in a reasonably safe condition.
This duty includes a reasonable effort to keep the premises
free of any hazardous conditions which reasonably might give
rise to damage.
B. In a negligence claim brought against a merchant by a
person lawfully on the merchant's premises for damages as
a result of an injury, death, or loss sustained because of a
fall due to a condition existing in or on a merchant's
premises, the claimant shall have the burden of proving, in
addition to all other elements of his cause of action, all of
(1) The condition presented an unreasonable risk of harm to
the claimant and that risk of harm was ...