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Cole v. Camelback Mountain Ski Resort

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

October 16, 2017

GYL COLE, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CAMELBACK MOUNTAIN SKI RESORT, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Robert D. Mariani, United States District Judge

         I. Introduction and Procedural History

         The above captioned matter stems from a skiing accident that occurred on March 15, 2014. Plaintiffs, Gyl and Ronald Cole, represented by counsel, filed a two count Complaint against Camelback Mountain Ski Resort ("Camelback"), and two John Doe maintenance companies concerning injuries that Plaintiff Gyl Cole sustained while skiing at Defendant Camelback's skiing facility. (Doc. 1-1). Plaintiffs'Complaint alleged that Defendant Camelback is liable both for negligence (Count I), and for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 56:8-2, (Count II). By Memorandum and Order dated June 28, 2017, this Court dismissed Count II of the Complaint, leaving only a claim of negligence pending. (Docs. 33, 34). Defendant Camelback now moves for summary judgment on this remaining claim. (Doc. 35). For the reasons that follow, this Court will grant Defendant Camelback's Motion for Summary Judgment.

         II. Statement of Undisputed Facts

         Before delving into the facts of this case, the Court must address a preliminary matter. Local Rule 56.1 of this Court provides that

A motion for summary judgment filed pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P.56, shall be accompanied by a separate, short and concise statement of the material facts, in numbered paragraphs, as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue to be tried.
The papers opposing a motion for summary judgment shall include a separate, short and concise statement of the material facts, responding to the numbered paragraphs set forth in the statement required in the foregoing paragraph, as to which it is contended that there exists a genuine issue to be tried.
Statements of material facts in support of, or in opposition to, a motion shall include references to the parts of the record that support the statements.
All material facts set forth in the statement required to be served by the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement required to be served by the opposing party.

         In accordance with this rule, in addition to submitting a Brief, (Doc. 36), Defendant Camelback submitted a Statement of Material Facts in Support of Summary Judgment, (Doc. 37). Initially, Plaintiffs submitted a Brief in Opposition, (Doc. 38), which did not contain a response to Defendant Camelback's Statement of Material Facts. Nevertheless, an additional document accompanying Plaintiffs' Brief in Opposition appeared to request an extension of discovery deadlines to allow Plaintiffs to depose two additional witnesses. (Doc. 38 at 2-4).

         By Order dated August 10, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiffs' Motion and stated that "all remaining depositions shall be taken on or before September 20, 2017, and Plaintiffs are granted leave to refile their Brief in Opposition to Defendant Camelback's Motion for Summary Judgment on or before that date." (Doc. 39). The Court further ordered that "all future filings with this Court shall be in strict compliance with the Middle District of Pennsylvania's Local Rules." (Id.). On October 3, 2017, almost two weeks after Plaintiffs' deadline to file a new brief expired, Plaintiffs filed a "Supplemental Letter Brief." (Doc. 40). The Letter Brief, however, also failed to contain a response to Defendant Camelback's Statement of Material Facts. Accordingly, because Plaintiffs have failed to respond to Defendant Camelback's Statement of Material Facts, all of those facts are now deemed admitted pursuant to Local Rule 56.1. With that in mind, the following facts are admitted:

         On March 14, 2014, Plaintiff Gyl Cole was skiing at Camelback Mountain Ski Resort in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Plaintiff Ronald Cole. (Doc. 37 at ¶¶ 1-2, 9; Dep. of Gyl Cole, Doc. 37-1 at 31). Plaintiff Gyl Cole was an experienced skier and knew that it was her responsibility to remain in control and stay on the trail. (Doc. 37 at ¶ 5). While skiing on a black diamond slope, Plaintiff Gyl Cole skied off the trail and ran into a fence. (Id. at ¶¶ 8-10; Dep. of Gyl Cole, Doc. 37-1 at 39).

         III. Standard of Review

         Through summary adjudication, the court may dispose of those claims that do not present a "genuine dispute as to any material fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "As to materiality, - [o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. ...


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