United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
a grocery store slip-and-fall case in which plaintiff
Patricia Rodgers must present sufficient evidence for a
reasonable jury to conclude that defendant Supervalu had
knowledge- actual or constructive-of the spill in which
plaintiff slipped. As plaintiff has not done so, I will grant
defendant's motion for summary judgment.
was grocery shopping in the Save-A-Lot store in Folcroft,
Pennsylvania on July 10th, 2015 when she slipped in a
basket-ball-sized puddle of water and fell, injuring her left
knee and hip. Dkt. No. 15, Ex. B (Rodgers Dep.) at 15:1-5,
18:16-20, 19:18-21:24, 25:4-12. She did not know where the
water came from or how long it had been on the floor.
Id. at 24:4-11. There were no footprints or trails
from shopping carts through it. Id. at 25:13-17.
not clear where she was when she fell. She testified that she
slipped while she was “going to the register, ”
id. at 19:18-23, and that two people in front of
her, who were not in line but “going towards the
register as well” helped her up. Id. at
Save-A-Lot store had a policy requiring employees to conduct
a clean sweep before opening and every two hours thereafter.
See Dkt. No. 17, Ex. B (Clean Sweep Log). On the day
plaintiff fell, employees had done a clean sweep of the store
at 7:49 a.m., but did not document any other clean sweep
before plaintiff fell, around 10:15 a.m. Id.;
Rodgers Dep. at 28:10-17.
judgment will be granted “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.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of
demonstrating 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); see
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23. If the movant sustains its
burden, the nonmovant must set forth facts demonstrating the
existence of a genuine dispute. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). A dispute as to a
material fact is genuine if “the evidence is such that
a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Id. A fact is “material”
if it might affect the outcome of the case under governing
establish “that a fact cannot be or is genuinely
disputed, ” a party must:
(A) cit[e] to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials; or
(B) show[ ] 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). The “existence of disputed
issues of material fact should be ascertained by resolving
all inferences, doubts and issues of credibility
against” the movant. Ely v. Hall's Motor
Transit Co., 590 F.2d 62, 66 (3d Cir. 1978) (citations
and quotation marks omitted). However, the adverse party must
offer “more than a mere scintilla of evidence in its
favor” in order to overcome a summary judgment motion
and cannot survive by relying on unsupported assertions,
conclusory allegations, or mere suspicions. Williams v.
Borough of W. Chester, 891 F.2d 458, 460 (3d Cir. 1989).
“[T]he nonmoving party cannot rely upon conclusory
allegations in its pleadings or in memoranda and briefs to
establish a genuine issue of material fact.”
Pastore v. Bell Tel. Co., 24 F.3d 508, 511 (3d Cir.
Pennsylvania law, a plaintiff bringing a negligence claim
must present evidence on four elements in order to survive
summary judgment: (1) a duty or obligation recognized by law
requiring the actor to conform to a certain standard of
conduct for the protection of others against unreasonable
risks; (2) a breach of that duty; (3) a causal connection
between the conduct and the resulting injury; and (4) actual
damages. Estate of Swift v. Ne. Hosp., 690 A.2d 719,
722 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1997); Craig v. Franklin Mills
Assocs., LP, 555 F.Supp.2d 547, 548 (E.D. Pa. ...