United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
MARILYN HEFFLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by
Defendants Elpizo, L.P., Ipax, R.I., Inc., and Phileo R.I.,
Inc. (“Defendants”) (Doc. No. 44), and Plaintiff
Charles Moore's (“Moore” or
“Plaintiff”) response in opposition (Doc. No.
47). Moore filed this action to recover damages as a result
of an alleged slip and fall on an icy staircase at a hotel
property owned, operated, and managed by the
Defendants. Moore asserts claims against the
Defendants for negligence and/or carelessness for their
alleged failure to clear ice from the outdoor staircase of
the building where Moore fell. For the reasons that follow,
this Court will deny Defendants' Motion.
STATEMENT OF FACTS 
are the owners and managers of a hotel property comprised of
16 separate buildings located at 7890 Penrose Avenue in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, near the Philadelphia
International Airport. Defs.' Statement of Undisputed
Facts Supp. Summ. J. (Doc. No. 44), ¶ 1 [hereinafter
“Defs.' Facts”]. The hotel operated under a
licensing agreement with Hawthorn Suites Franchising,
Id. On January 4, 2014, the date of the accident,
Moore was employed as a security officer by Executive
Shields, the hotel's third-party security vendor.
Id. ¶ 9. Moore's job duties as a security
officer consisted of touring the complex in order to report
any hazardous conditions, including weather-related hazards
and potential misconduct by hotel tenants. Pl.'s
Counter-Statement of Disputed and Undisputed Facts (Doc. No.
47), ¶¶ 39-43 [hereinafter “Pl.'s
Facts”]; Defs.' Facts Ex. M (Doc. No. 44-13), at
to the fall, from Thursday, January 2, 2014, at approximately
5:00 p.m. through Friday, January 3, 2014, at approximately
11:00 a.m., it snowed nine inches in the Philadelphia area.
Defs.' Facts Ex. I (Doc. No. 44-9); Pl.'s Ex. D.
Moore worked the overnight shift at the hotel property from
approximately 10:30 p.m. on Friday, January 3, 2014 through
7:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 4, 2014. Defs.' Facts
¶ 47; Pl.'s Facts ¶ 28. During this shift,
Moore patrolled the hotel property six times. Defs.'
Facts Ex. K (Doc. No. 44-11). After his last tour at
approximately 6:50 a.m. on January 4, 2014, he noted in his
work log that “[d]uring the co[u]rse of my tour I
notice[d] that all of the building steps are icy in
patches” and he advised the general manager of the
hotel of this issue. Id.; Defs.' Facts ¶
28. At that time, he also submitted a maintenance request
form where he wrote that “all steps on each building
need to be salted and becoming slippery.” Pl.'s
Facts ¶¶ 19-20; Defs.' Facts Ex. G (Doc. No.
44-7). The hotel property had an on-site engineering team
that was responsible for the maintenance of the buildings and
addressing any issues noted by the security team, including
snow and ice removal. Defs.' Facts ¶¶ 29, 31;
Defs.' Facts Ex. J (Doc. No. 44-10), at 20:13-21:16;
Pl.'s Facts ¶¶ 19-20.
completed his shift at approximately 7:00 a.m. on January 4,
2014 and returned to work the overnight shift at
approximately 11:00 p.m. that night. Pl.'s Facts ¶
24. During his first patrol of the property that evening,
Moore thought he smelled marijuana emanating from the second
floor of Building #7. Defs.' Facts ¶ 15. As he was
walking to the outdoor stairway of Building #7, he saw
patches of ice in the vicinity of the building which he was
able to navigate around. Id. ¶ 13. He did not
see any ice on the steps of Building #7 before he walked up
the stairs to investigate the source of the smell.
Id. ¶ 18. Moore walked approximately halfway up
the staircase when he determined that the smell was not
coming from the second floor of the building. Id.
¶ 15. When he turned to go down the stairs, he slipped
and fell as a result of ice on the stairway. Id.
¶ 11. After he fell, he called for his supervisor,
another security officer working at the hotel property that
night, to come help him because he was having difficulty
walking. Id. ¶ 17. After Moore received medical
assistance, the supervisor completed an Incident Report, in
which he stated that the stairs at Building #7 were covered
with water and thin ice. Id.; Pl.'s Facts ¶
federal court sitting in diversity must apply state
substantive law and federal procedural law.”
Chamberlain v. Giampapa, 210 F.3d 154, 158 (3d Cir.
2000) (citing Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins, 304 U.S.
64, 78 (1938)). Under the well-established summary judgment
standard, “[t]he court shall grant summary judgment 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). “Summary
judgment is appropriate when ‘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.'” Williams v. Wells Fargo Bank, No.
14-2345, 2015 WL 1573745, at *3 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 9, 2015)
(quoting Wright v. Corning, 679 F.3d 101, 105 (3d
[T]he plain language of Rule 56[a] mandates the entry of
summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon
motion, against a party who fails to make a showing
sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential
to that party's case, and on which that party will bear
the burden of proof at trial. In such a situation, there can
be ‘no genuine issue as to any material fact, '
since a complete failure of proof concerning an essential
element of the nonmoving party's case necessarily renders
all other facts immaterial. The moving party is
‘entitled to judgment as a matter of law' because
the nonmoving party has failed to make a sufficient showing
on an essential element of [his or] her case with respect to
which [he or] she has the burden of proof.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23
its very terms, this standard [that there be no genuine issue
as to any material fact] 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,
247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original). A material fact is one
that “might affect the outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Id. at 248.
ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the court shall
consider facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's
favor. Scheidemantle v. Slippery Rock Univ. State Sys. of
Higher Educ., 470 F.3d 535, 538 (3d Cir. 2006). To
prevail on summary judgment, however, “the non-moving
party must present more than a mere scintilla of evidence;
‘there must be evidence on which the jury could
reasonably find for the [non-moving party].'”
Burton v. Teleflex Inc., 707 F.3d 417, 425 (3d Cir.
2013) (quoting Jakimas v. Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc.,
485 F.3d 770, 777 (3d Cir. 2007)); see also
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252. As this case is in
federal court on diversity jurisdiction, we will apply
Pennsylvania law to this dispute. Erie R.R. Co., 304
U.S. at 78; Sheridan v. NGK Metals Corp., 609 F.3d
239, 253 (3d Cir. 2010).
Defendants Are Not Entitled to Summary Judgment on