from the Third Judicial District Court for the Parish of
Lincoln, Louisiana Trial Court No. 59352 Honorable Bruce
Edward Hampton, Judge.
McKERNAN INJURY ATTORNEYS, By: Harold Dean Lucius, Jr. ,
Counsel for Appellant.
WALKER, O'QUINN & ROBERTS, By: Stacey Denise Williams
, Scott R. Wolf , Shreveport, Counsel for Appellee.
WILLIAMS, PITMAN, and STONE, JJ.
Lanette Lewis ("Ms. Lewis"), appeals the trial
court decision granting summary judgment in favor of
defendant, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ("Wal-Mart"),
finding that there are no genuine issues of material fact
with respect to the temporal period in an action to impose
merchant liability. For the following reasons, we reverse and
remand for further proceedings.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
December 27, 2017, Ms. Lewis filed suit against Wal-Mart and
its liability insurer, XYZ Insurance Company, under the
merchant theory of liability pursuant to La. R.S.
9:2800.6. Ms. Lewis alleged that on or about
January 2, 2017, she began shopping at Wal-Mart Store #23
located in Ruston, Louisiana, between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.
She completed her shopping and attempted to pay for her items
at a register in the garden center, but was redirected by a
sales associate to complete her purchase at a cash register
located at the front of the store instead. As she was walking
from the garden center toward the front of the store, she
slipped in a puddle of water on the floor in or near the
pharmacy department and sustained severe and painful
February 8, 2018, Wal-Mart filed its answer, denying any
liability for Ms. Lewis' injuries, and further alleged
that Ms. Lewis' own failure to keep a proper lookout,
observe her surroundings, and exercise reasonable care for
the safety and protection of her own person, were the causes
of her injuries. Wal-Mart filed a motion for summary judgment
on December 11, 2018, arguing that Ms. Lewis cannot carry her
burden of proving that "the defendant either created the
condition or had actual or constructive notice of the
condition which caused the damage prior to the
hearing on Wal-Mart's motion for summary judgment was
held on February 14, 2019, after which time the trial court
took the matter under advisement. On April 8, 2019, the trial
court issued its "Reasons on Ruling," finding that
based on the law and evidence presented, there remains no
genuine issues of material fact with respect to the temporal
period, and summary judgment is appropriate. The trial court
filed its written judgment to that effect on May 3, 2019. Ms.
Lewis filed this instant appeal.
single assignment of error, Ms. Lewis argues that the trial
court was incorrect in granting Wal-Mart's motion for
summary judgment, finding that there are no genuine issues of
material fact present to be decided by the trier of fact. She
contends that the trial court failed to consider the written