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McCallister v. Saibaba International, LLC

United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama, Northern Division

February 13, 2015

CAROL MCCALLISTER, Plaintiff,
v.
SAIBABA INTERNATIONAL, LLC, a corporation, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

W. HAROLD ALBRITTON, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

I. INTRODUCTION

This cause is before the court on Defendant Saibaba International, LLC’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. # 18). Also before the court are Plaintiff Carol McCallister’s Response to the Motion (Doc. # 27) and the Defendant’s Reply thereto (Doc. # 30). The Defendant has also filed a Motion to Strike (Doc. # 23) an electronically filed notice regarding a CD it has submitted as evidence (Doc. # 21), on the grounds that it later filed a similar notice manually.

The Plaintiff filed her original Complaint in this court on December 2, 2013, alleging the court has diversity jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332. Specifically, the Plaintiff alleged that the amount in controversy exceeds $75, 000, that she is a citizen of Illinois, and that the Defendant is a citizen of Alabama. The Defendant has not challenged the court’s jurisdiction, and the court finds it has proper diversity jurisdiction over this case.

All of the Plaintiff’s claims are based upon injuries she sustained on April 19, 2012, after falling down in a hallway outside the lobby restroom of a Best Western Motel owned by the Defendant and located in Clanton, Alabama. The Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant “failed to adequately light the hallway leading to the restroom near the lobby at the time of the incident, ” that this constituted a “defective and/or unreasonably dangerous condition, ” and that the Defendant’s “negligence and wantonness” caused the Plaintiff’s injuries and damages. (Doc. # 1 at 2 ¶ 5, 4 ¶¶ 8–9.)

For the reasons to be discussed, the Motion for Summary Judgment is due to be GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper “if there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).

The party asking for summary judgment “always bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, ” relying on submissions “which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Id. at 323. Once the moving party has met its burden, the nonmoving party must “go beyond the pleadings” and show that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324.

Both the party “asserting that a fact cannot be, ” and a party asserting that a fact is genuinely disputed, must support their assertions by “citing to particular parts of materials in the record, ” or by “showing 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)(A)–(B). Acceptable materials under Rule 56(c)(1)(A) include “depositions, documents, electronically stored information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations (including those made for purposes of the motion only), admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials.”

To avoid summary judgment, the nonmoving party “must do more than show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). On the other hand, the evidence of the non-movant must be believed and all justifiable inferences must be drawn in its favor. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

After the nonmoving party has responded to the motion for summary judgment, the 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).

III. FACTS

The submissions of the parties establish the following facts, construed in a light most ...


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