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12/15/95 NELDA LUCILLE WOODALL v. CASTNER-KNOTT DRY

December 15, 1995

NELDA LUCILLE WOODALL
v.
CASTNER-KNOTT DRY GOODS COMPANY, INC.



Appeal from Lauderdale Circuit Court. (CV-93-647). Donald H. Patterson, TRIAL JUDGE.

Released for Publication May 17, 1996.

Holmes, Retired Appellate Judge. All the Judges concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Holmes

HOLMES, Retired Appellate Judge

Nelda Lucille Woodall appeals from a summary judgment in favor of Castner-Knott Dry Goods Company, Inc. (Store). This case is before this court pursuant to Ala. Code 1975, § 12-2-7(6).

Our review of the record reveals the following pertinent facts: On November 30, 1991, Woodall and her adult daughter, Peggy Castile, were shopping at the Store's "After Thanksgiving Sale." Two boys, who appeared to be approximately five and ten years of age, were running in the aisles of the Store. The older boy ran into Woodall, causing her to fall under a counter. Woodall suffered a broken hip as a result of the fall.

Woodall filed a complaint, alleging that a Store security guard was in the area where the boys were running and that the security guard made no reasonable effort to stop the boys from running. Woodall alleged that the Store was guilty of negligent and/or wanton behavior in failing to take reasonable and appropriate measures to protect Woodall from injury. Woodall requested that she be awarded damages to compensate her for her injuries.

The Store filed an answer. Thereafter, the Store filed a summary judgment motion, along with a brief in support of the motion, the depositions of Woodall and Castile, and the affidavit of Steve McDonald, the Store's security guard.

Woodall filed a response in opposition to the summary judgment motion, along with copies of the newspaper advertisements for the "After Thanksgiving Sale," and the affidavit of Ed Todd, the Store's manager at the time of the incident.

After a hearing the trial court issued an order, granting the summary judgment motion in favor of the Store.

Woodall appeals.

Woodall contends that the trial court committed reversible error when it granted the summary judgment motion in favor of the Store because, she says, a genuine issue of a material fact existed and the Store was not entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.

Rule 56(c), Ala. R. Civ. P., provides that summary judgment is appropriate in situations where no genuine issue of any material fact exists and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. It is well settled that the moving party has the burden of establishing that no genuine issue of a material fact exists and that all reasonable uncertainties regarding the existence of a genuine issue of a material fact must be resolved against the moving party. Porter v. Fisher, 636 So. 2d 682 (Ala. Civ. App. 1994).

Once the movant makes a prima facie showing that no genuine issue of a material fact exists, then the burden shifts to the non-moving party to present substantial evidence regarding the existence of a ...


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