Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Woods v. Ross Dress For Less, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

September 11, 2019

ROSE WOODS, Plaintiff,
v.
ROSS DRESS FOR LESS, INC. a foreign Corporation; and MEGAN BUTLER, an individual, [1] Defendants,

          OPINION AND ORDER

          TERENCE C. KERN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by defendant Ross Dress for Less, Inc. (“Ross”). Doc. 27. Ross seeks summary judgment against Plaintiff, Rose Woods, on her premises liability claim against it.

         I. Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate “if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The movant bears the burden of showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists. See Zamora v. Elite Logistics, Inc., 449 F.3d 1106, 1112 (10th Cir. 2006). The Court resolves all factual disputes and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Id. However, the party opposing a motion for summary judgment may not “rest on mere allegations” in its complaint but must “set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). The party opposing a motion for summary judgment must also make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of those elements essential to that party's case. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-33 (1986).

         A movant that “will not bear the burden of persuasion at trial need not negate the nonmovant' claim, “but may “simply . . . point[] out to the court a lack of evidence for th nonmovant on an essential element of the nonmovant's claim.” Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 671 (10th Cir. 1998) (internal citations omitted). If the movant makes this prima facie showing, “the burden shifts to the nonmovant to go beyond the pleadings and ‘set forth specific facts' that would be admissible in evidence in the event of trial from which a rational trier of fact could find for the nonmovant.” Id. (citing Thomas v. Wichita Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 968 F.2d 1022, 1024 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 506 U.S. 1013 (1992)). “In a response to a motion for summary judgment, a party cannot rest on ignorance of facts, on speculation, or on suspicion and may not escape summary judgment in the mere hope that something will turn up at trial. The mere possibility that a factual dispute may exit, without more, is not sufficient to overcome convincing presentation by the moving party.” Conaway v. Smith, 853 F.2d 789, 794 (10th Cir. 1988) (internal citations omitted).

         II. Material Facts

         Plaintiff alleges that on October 21, 2017, she was entering the premises as a business invitee when a “for hire” sign placed in the outdoor walkway by Ross caused her to fall, resulting in serious and permanent injuries. She contends:

• Ross knew or should have known that the sign was improperly placed, making it hazardous to the public, including Plaintiff;
• Ross failed to warn her that the sign was improperly placed, making it hazardous to the public;
• Ross knew or should have known that by placing the sign in its location, it was foreseeable that Plaintiff and others could be harmed;
• Ross, through its employees, failed or refused to maintain the premises in a safe condition necessary to protect the public and invitees, such as Plaintiff; and
• The actions or inactions by Ross were in reckless disregard for the safety of others, including Plaintiff, warranting an award of punitive damages against Defendants.

Doc. 27, Statement of Fact 1.

         Surveillance video of the incident shows that the sign, which is blue and white, was clearly visible on the walkway in front of the store, and in the seven to eight minutes before Plaintiffs fall, some 58 shoppers saw the sign and avoided it without incident. Doc. 27, Ex. 2.[2] Plaintiff testified that she did not see the sign before she fell, and the only thing preventing her from seeing it was that she was “looking up to see where the entrance was, that was the only thing that I could say.” Ex. 3, Woods Dep. at 123:1-10. Plaintiff also testified that she was “window shopping” and not ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.