United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
REBECCA BOYCE, ET AL.
CUSA, LLC, ET AL.
L. HORNSBY Judge.
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Plaintiffs Rebecca Boyce and Bao HO
(“Plaintiffs”) [Doc. No. 38] on the issue of
liability. Defendants CUSA, LLC d/b/a Baymont Inn and Suites,
Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation and Citizens Bank
(“Defendants”), have filed an opposition [Doc.
No. 46]. Plaintiffs have filed a reply to the opposition
[Doc. No. 47]. The matter is fully briefed and the Court is
prepared to rule.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
case arises from a slip and fall accident. Plaintiffs contend
that Rebecca Boyce suffered injuries to her left big toe,
right wrist, and left hip on June 16, 2017, when she tripped
and fell on a piece of rebar protruding from the cement deck
area of a swimming pool at a Baymont Inn and Suites Hotel
(“the Hotel”) located in Shreveport, Louisiana.
December 18, 2017, Plaintiffs filed suit against Defendants
in the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo,
State of Louisiana. Defendants removed the lawsuit to this
Court on February 7, 2018.
LAW AND ANALYSIS
judgment “shall [be] grant[ed] . . . 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 fact is
“material” if proof of its existence or
nonexistence would affect the outcome of the lawsuit under
applicable law in the case. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute about a
material fact is “genuine” if the evidence is
such that a reasonable fact finder could render a verdict for
the nonmoving party. Id.
moving party can meet the initial burden, the burden then
shifts to the nonmoving party to establish the existence of a
genuine issue of material fact for trial. Norman v.
Apache Corp., 19 F.3d 1017, 1023 (5th Cir. 1994). The
nonmoving party must show more than “some metaphysical
doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
586 (1986). In evaluating the evidence tendered by the
parties, the Court must accept the evidence of the nonmovant
as credible and draw all justifiable inferences in its favor.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
brought suit under Louisiana Civil Code articles 2317 and
2371.1. They contend that they are entitled to summary
judgment because Defendants failed to exercise reasonable
care to discover and remedy the tripping hazard. Defendants
respond, first, that the rebar presented an open and obvious
condition which precludes a finding of liability, and second,
that liability cannot be determined at this stage because
Plaintiff Rebecca Boyce bears some comparative fault.
Open and Obvious Condition
assert that it is undisputed that the rebar protruding from
the pool deck was present when Citizens Bank acquired the
hotel in November 2015 and engaged CUSA, LLC to manage the
property; that the rebar as depicted in the photographs was
discoverable upon simple inspection; that Defendants had the
obligation to inspect both in law and fact as set forth in
Defendants' policies; that the rebar presented a hazard;
that Rebecca Boyce was injured by this hazard; and that the
hazard could have been eliminated by exercising reasonable
care as the rebar was cut flush with the ...