United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division
PEREZ-MONTES MAG. JUDGE.
the court is a motion for summary judgment (Doc. 45) filed by
Wal-Mart Louisiana, L.L.C. ("Wal-Mart") in which it
seeks dismissal of all claims asserted against it by the
plaintiff, Rebecca Riley.
"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). A dispute of material fact is genuine if
the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. See Anders on v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). We consider "all
evidence in the light most favorable to the party resisting
the motion." Seacor Holdings, Inc. v. Commonwealth Ins.
Co., 635 F.3d 680 (5thCir.2Oll)(internal citations
omitted). It is important to note that the standard for
summary judgment is two-fold: (1) there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact, and (2) the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.
facts of the case are that on July 13, 2014, Ms. Riley, her
daughter, and her granddaughter made plans generally to visit
the Wal-Mart store located on Highway 425 in Vidalia,
Louisiana, but they decided to delay the visit because of
rainy weather. Once the rain turned to a sprinkle, the three
made their way to Wal-Mart.
Riley entered the Wal-Mart vestibule through the first set of
double doors, stepped in water, slipped, and fell. Ms. Riley
was talking to her daughter as she entered the store and did
not see the water. Neither mats nor caution cones were
located in the area to alert customers of the presence of
Riley immediately notified Wal-Mart employee Pamela Johnson
that she fell. She further advised that she believed she was
fine except for pain in her knee. Ms. Riley went about her
shopping and Ms. Johnson asked a fellow employee to put mats
down for safety. Ms. Riley returned to the customer service
desk and notified Ms. Johnson that: her knee was
substantially worse and she planned to go to the emergency
Riley's claims are brought pursuant to the Louisiana
Merchant Liability Act, Louisiana Revised Statute
§9:2800.6. The relevant portion of the statute provides:
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 reasonably
(2) The merchant either created or had actual or constructive
notice of the condition which caused the damage, prior to the
(3) The merchant failed to exercise reasonable care. In
determining reasonable care, the absence of a written or
verbal uniform cleanup or safety procedure is insufficient
alone, to prove failure to exercise reasonable care.
(1) "Constructive notice" means the claimant has
proven that the condition existed for such a period of time
that it would have been discovered if the merchant had
exercised reasonable care. The presence of an employee of the
merchant in the vicinity in which the condition exists does
not, alone, constitute constructive notice unless it is shown
that the ...