United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
KATHLEEN KAY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
the court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by defendant
Golden Nugget Lake Charles, LLC (“Golden
Nugget”). Doc. 44. The Motion is opposed by plaintiff
Philip Cassidy. Doc. 68. For the following reasons, the
motion is GRANTED.
and Procedural History
case arises from an altercation between plaintiff and a
former Golden Nugget employee. On October 23, 2015,
Shaydriana Rhodes (hereafter “Rhodes”), was
performing her duties as a porter in housekeeping. Doc. 72,
p. 6. According to Golden Nugget's VP of Human Resources,
her duties included cleaning up the public areas of the
gaming floor, public areas and public restrooms.
Doc. 70, p. 25. On the day in question plaintiff
alleges he was gambling at Golden Nugget's casino when
Rhodes came to pick up his beverage. Doc. 1. att. 1, p. 3.
The particulars of the exchange that ultimately led to
plaintiff's complaint are in dispute but the fact that an
assault occurred directed toward plaintiff by Rhodes is not.
Doc. 1, att. 1, p. 4; Doc. 44, att. 5. Security video of the
incident shows Rhodes struck plaintiff multiple times. Doc.
44, att. 5. Golden Nugget characterizes Rhodes's actions
as “an intentional tort against plaintiff.”
Doc. 44, att. 4, p. 2.
July, 27, 2016, plaintiff, filed suit in the 11th Judicial
District Court, Harris County, Texas. Doc. 1, att. 1. He
named as defendants, Golden Nugget, and Fertitta
Entertainment, Inc. (“Fertitta”). Id. He
alleges Golden Nugget is vicariously liable for the assault
in its capacity as Ms. Rhodes' employer. Doc. 1, att. 1,
pp. 7-6. Additionally, plaintiff claims that Golden Nugget
committed negligence in that it provided inadequate security,
and that it engaged in negligent practices in the hiring,
training and retention of Rhodes. Doc. 1, att. 1, pp.
August 13, 2016, defendants removed the action to the
Southern District of Texas based on diversity jurisdiction
between Golden Nugget and plaintiff, alleging Feritta, a
corporation organized under Texas law with its primary place
of business in Texas, was a fraudulently joined as a
defendant. Doc. 1. On September 15, 2016, all claims against
Fertitta were dismissed by agreement of the parties. Doc. 9.
November 7, 2016, the case was transferred to the Western
District of Louisiana pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a)
for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the
interest of justice. Doc. 16. On November 28, 2017, Golden
Nugget filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment alleging
that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and
that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on all
claims. Doc. 44. Plaintiff opposes the motion. Doc. 68.
should grant a motion for summary judgment when it is shown
“that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); see also Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553 (1986). The party moving
for summary judgment is initially responsible for
demonstrating the reasons justifying the motion for summary
judgment by identifying portions of pleadings and discovery
that show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact for
trial. Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954
(5 Cir. 1995). The court must deny the moving party's
motion for summary judgment if the movant fails to meet this
the movant makes this showing, the burden then shifts to the
non-moving party to set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510 (1986). The burden
requires more than mere allegations or denials of the adverse
party's pleadings. Instead, the nonmovant must submit
“significant probative evidence” in support of
his claim. State Farm Life Ins. Co. v. Gutterman,
896 F.2d 116, 118 (5 Cir. 1990). If the evidence is merely
colorable or is not significantly probative, summary judgment
may be granted. Anderson, 106 S.Ct. at 2511.
may not make credibility determinations or weigh the evidence
in ruling on a motion for summary judgment. Reeves v.
Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 120 S.Ct. 2097, 2110
(2000). The court is also required to draw all inferences
based on underlying facts in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Clift v. Clift, 210 F.3d 268, 270
(5 Cir. 2000). There is no genuine issue of material fact if,
viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the