Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Greever v. Texas Roadhouse Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division

March 12, 2019

CATHERINE GREEVER, Plaintiff,
v.
TEXAS ROADHOUSE INC., et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         After falling in a restroom at a restaurant, Plaintiff Catherine Greever filed suit against Texas Roadhouse, LLC[1] (“Texas Roadhouse”), asserting claims for negligence (“Count One”), wantonness (“Count Two”), and negligent hiring, training, and supervision (“Count Three”). (Doc. 1-1 at 4, 7, 9; Doc. 9). Texas Roadhouse has moved for summary judgment on Counts Two and Three. (Doc. 39). The court GRANTS the motion and ENTERS SUMMARY JUDGMENT in favor of Texas Roadhouse and against Ms. Greever on Counts Two and Three because she has not presented any evidence creating a genuine dispute of material fact about Texas Roadhouse's liability on those claims. Count One will proceed to trial.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court “draw[s] all inferences and review[s] all evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.” Hamilton v. Southland Christian Sch., Inc., 680 F.3d 1316, 1318 (11th Cir. 2012) (quotation marks omitted). Taken in that light, while at Texas Roadhouse for dinner, Ms. Greever went to the ladies restroom. (Doc. 39-5 at 12, 14). The restroom had tile flooring and, at the entrance, a floor mat. (Id. at 15). Although Ms. Greever did not see this in the moment, there was water on, under, and in front of the mat. (Id. at 16-17). As she crossed the threshold to the restroom, she put part of her left foot on the mat and fell to the ground. (Doc. 39-5 at 23).

         A Texas Roadhouse employee happened to be in a stall in the bathroom when Ms. Greever fell. (Doc. 39-5 at 18). After emerging from the stall, the unidentified employee offered to call 911 and went to get Ms. Greever's boyfriend from the table. (Id. at 19; Doc. 39-4 at 4-5). Ms. Greever's boyfriend eventually took her to the emergency room. (Doc. 39-4 at 12).

         Texas Roadhouse has a policy requiring “everyone” employed there to conduct “regular[ ]” restroom checks. (Doc. 41-6 at 10, 13). Part of the restroom check involves making sure the floor is dry and that mats are in good condition. (Id.). During discovery in this case, Ms. Greever asked Texas Roadhouse for documentation “relat[ing] to any inspection of the ladies restroom.” (Doc. 41-5 at 3). Texas Roadhouse responded that it was “not in possession of any such documents.” (Id.).

         II. DISCUSSION

         Texas Roadhouse moves for summary judgment only as to Counts Two and Three. (Doc. 39). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court must first determine if the parties genuinely dispute any material facts, and if they do not, whether the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party may prevail if it can show “that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986).

         1. Count Two (Wantonness)

         Under Alabama law, “wantonness” is “the conscious doing of some act or the omission of some duty, while knowing of the existing conditions and being conscious that, from doing or omitting to do an act, injury will likely or probably result.” Galaxy Cable, Inc. v. Davis, 58 So.3d 93, 101 (Ala. 2010) (quotation marks omitted). “To establish wantonness, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant, with reckless indifference to the consequences, consciously and intentionally did some wrongful act or omitted some known duty.” Id. (quotation marks omitted).

         Texas Roadhouse contends that it is entitled to summary judgment on Ms. Greever's wantonness claim because she has not presented any evidence that Texas Roadhouse consciously disregarded her safety or that it knew its acts or omissions would make her injuries likely or probable. (Doc. 39-1 at 6-9). Ms. Greever responds that she has presented evidence that Texas Roadhouse's employees failed to inspect the restroom, establishing conscious disregard for her safety. (Doc. 42 at 16-20).

         Ms. Greever has not presented any evidence that Texas Roadhouse employees failed to inspect the restroom. Instead, she has presented evidence that when asked if Texas Roadhouse had records of such inspections, Texas Roadhouse said it did not. (See Doc. 41-5 at 3). A lack of evidence of inspections is not the same as evidence of no inspections. The court cannot make a reasonable inference from the evidence before it that employees failed to inspect the restroom.

         Ms. Greever also argues that whether Texas Roadhouse was on notice of the danger inherent in the wet tiled flooring of the restroom is a question for the jury because the court can infer from the evidence that a Texas Roadhouse employee affirmatively created the dangerous condition. (Doc. 42 at 18-23). To the contrary, Ms. Greever has presented absolutely no evidence about how the water came to be on the floor of the restroom. The court cannot make a reasonable inference from the mere existence of water on the floor that a Texas Roadhouse employee put that water there. Compare Dunklin v. Winn-Dixie of Montgomery, Inc., 595 So.2d 463 (Ala. 1992) (holding that the evidence supported an inference that the store's employee caused the dangerous condition because the plaintiff testified that she saw an employee setting out wet vegetables and then fell walking through the same area a couple minutes later).

         Because Ms. Greever has not presented any evidence from which the court could infer facts that would support a wantonness claim, the court GRANTS Texas ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.