United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
M. MUNLEY JUDGE
the court for disposition is Defendant Lowe's Home
Center, Inc.'s (hereinafter “Lowe's”)
motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 63). For the reasons that
follow, we will grant the motion.
matter arises out of a June 8, 2012 personal injury incident
at Lowe's Home Center Store in Bartonsville,
Pennsylvania. At that time, Lowe's subcontracted with
Third-Party Defendant We Do That Construction and its owner,
Todd Romanczuk (collectively “WTDC”), to perform
home construction and installation of decking and siding.
(Doc. 76, Def. Lowe's Statement of Uncontested Facts
(hereinafter “SOF”) ¶¶ 2, 5,
Lowe's also generally contracted with Third-Party
Defendant Kitchen & Flooring Contractor, Inc. and its
owner, Jerome Saylor (collectively “Kitchen &
Flooring”), to perform interior installation and
remodeling work. (SOF ¶¶ 16, 20). Kitchen &
Flooring never subcontracted work to WDTC. (SOF ¶ 15).
contacted WDTC and Kitchen & Flooring to build a display
house for its store. Lowe's did not pay Kitchen &
Flooring's owner, Defendant Saylor, for work on the
display. (SOF ¶ 27). Similarly, WDTC agreed to work on
the display voluntarily with the goal of obtaining future
sales from Lowe's. (SOF ¶ 41). Plaintiff Matthew
Hannon, an employee of WDTC, worked on the display house.
(SOF ¶¶ 1, 51, 65). While lifting the roof of the
display house, plaintiff broke his wrist when the roof fell
on his arm. (SOF ¶¶ 65, 68). No Lowe's
employees were present at the time of plaintiff's injury.
(SOF ¶ 66).
November 14, 2014, plaintiff filed a complaint against
Lowe's advancing one claim of negligence for failing to
supervise, instruct, or otherwise monitor construction of the
display house. (Doc. 1, Compl.). On January 16, 2015,
Lowe's filed a third-party negligence complaint against
WDTC and Kitchen & Flooring. (Doc. 9, Third-Party
October 12, 2016, Lowe's filed the instant motion for
summary judgment on plaintiff's complaint. The parties
have briefed their respective positions and the matter is
ripe for disposition.
court has jurisdiction pursuant to the diversity statute, 28
U.S.C. § 1332. Plaintiff is a citizen of Pennsylvania.
(Doc. 1, Compl. ¶ 1). Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff
Lowe's “is incorporated under the laws of a state
or jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
” with its principal place of business in North
Carolina. (Doc. 9, Third-Party Compl. ¶ 1). Third-Party
Defendants WDTC and Kitchen & Flooring are citizens of
Pennsylvania. (Id. ¶¶ 2-5). Because
complete diversity of citizenship exists between the parties
and the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, the court has
jurisdiction over the case. See 28 U.S.C. §
1332 (“[D]istrict courts shall have original
jurisdiction of all civil actions where the matter in
controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75, 000, exclusive
of interest and costs, and is between . . . citizens of
different States[.]”). As a federal court sitting in
diversity, the substantive law of Pennsylvania shall apply to
the instant case. Chamberlain v. Giampapa, 210 F.3d
154, 158 (3d Cir. 2000) (citing Erie R.R. v.
Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64, 78 (1938)).
summary judgment is proper 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. See Knabe v.
Boury, 114 F.3d 407, 410 n.4 (3d Cir. 1997) (citing
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). “[T]his standard provides that the
mere existence of some alleged factual dispute
between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly
supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is
that there be no genuine issue of material
fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
considering a motion for summary judgment, the court must
examine the facts in the light most favorable to the party
opposing the motion. Int'l Raw Materials, Ltd. v.
Stauffer Chem. Co., 898 F.2d 946, 949 (3d Cir. 1990).
The burden is on the moving party to demonstrate that the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could not return a
verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson, 477 U.S.
at 248. A fact is material when it might affect the outcome
of the suit under the governing law. Id. Where the
nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial, the
party moving for summary judgment may meet its burden by
establishing that the evidentiary materials of record, if
reduced to admissible evidence, would be insufficient to
carry the nonmovant's burden of proof at trial.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
Once the moving party satisfies its burden, the burden shifts
to the nonmoving party, who must go beyond its pleadings, and
designate specific facts by the use of affidavits,
depositions, admissions, or answers to interrogatories
demonstrating that there is a genuine issue for trial.
Id. at 324.
previously stated, plaintiff filed a single-count negligence
complaint against Lowe's asserting that Lowe's
negligently failed to supervise, instruct, or otherwise
monitor construction of the display house. Presently,
Lowe's moves for summary judgment on plaintiff's
negligence claim, contending that it cannot be held liable
for injuries ...