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Bader v. Roberts

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

January 2, 2020

NIMRAH BADER, Plaintiff,
v.
SARAH JOSEPHINE ROBERTS, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Charles B. Goodwin United States District Judge.

         Now before the Court is the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Sarah Josephine Roberts (Doc. No. 15). Plaintiff Nimrah Bader has responded in opposition (Doc. No. 17).

         BACKGROUND

         This case arises from an auto-pedestrian accident that occurred on September 20, 2018, at the southwest corner of Park Avenue and Hudson Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. See Compl. (Doc. No. 1) ¶¶ 3, 5. Plaintiff alleges that, while attempting to cross Hudson, she was struck by Defendant's vehicle when Defendant-who had been driving west on Park-turned south onto Hudson. Id. ¶¶ 5-7.

         Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on April 1, 2019, asserting claims against Defendant for common-law negligence and negligence per se. Id. ¶¶ 9-12. Plaintiff alleges that as a result of the accident she sustained a subdural hematoma necessitating hospitalization and has permanently lost her sense of smell and taste-a medical condition known as anosmia. Id. ¶ 13. Plaintiff seeks to recover past and future medical expenses, as well as past and future pain and suffering. Id.

         Defendant filed the instant motion on November 4, 2019, seeking summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims for “future damages”-namely, damages attributed to permanent injury, future medical expenses, and/or future pain and suffering. Def.'s Mot. (Doc. No. 15) at 1 (emphasis omitted). Defendant contends that under Oklahoma law, an award of future damages must be supported by medical expert testimony and that, having failed to designate a single expert witness, Plaintiff has not established the requisite evidentiary basis for any such recovery. Id.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment is a means of testing in advance of trial whether the available evidence would permit a reasonable jury to find in favor of the party asserting a claim. The Court must grant summary judgment when “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). “An issue is ‘genuine' if there is sufficient evidence on each side so that a rational trier of fact could resolve the issue either way.” Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998). “An issue of fact is ‘material' if under the substantive law it is essential to the proper disposition of the claim.” Id.

         A party that moves for summary judgment has the burden of showing that the undisputed material facts require judgment as a matter of law in its favor. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). To defeat summary judgment, the nonmovant need not convince the Court that it will prevail at trial, but it must cite sufficient evidence admissible at trial to allow a reasonable jury to find in the nonmovant's favor-i.e., to show that there is a question of material fact that must be resolved by the jury. See Garrison v. Gambro, Inc., 428 F.3d 933, 935 (10th Cir. 2005). The Court must then determine “whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52 (1986).

         Parties may establish the existence or nonexistence of a material disputed fact by:

• citing to “depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . ., admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials” in the record; or
• demonstrating “that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact.”

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1)(A), (B). While the Court views the evidence and the inferences drawn from the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, see Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Pittsburg, Inc. v. PepsiCo, Inc., 431 F.3d 1241, 1255 (10th Cir. 2005), “[t]he mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [nonmovant's] position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which ...


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