Allen et al v. K-MAC Enterprises, Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER denying 20 Motion for Summary Judgment. The jury trial in this matter remains set to begin the week of July 29, 2013 at 9:00 am in Hot Springs, Arkansas. See Order for further deadlines. Signed by Honorable Robert T. Dawson on June 11, 2013. (adw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
HOT SPRINGS DIVISION
CAROL ALLEN and
Case No. 6:12-CV-6093
K-MAC HOLDINGS CORP.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court are Defendant K-Mac Enterprises, Inc.1,
Frank Allen’s Response and supporting briefs (docs. 24-27), and
Defendant’s Reply (doc. 28).
For the reasons set out below
Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 20) is DENIED.
On June 8, 2012, Plaintiffs filed their Complaint in the
Circuit Court of Garland County, Arkansas, case number CV-2012473-I.
Plaintiffs’ Complaint asserts a negligence claim against
Defendant related to Carol Allen’s trip and fall at a Golden
Plaintiffs’ Complaint also asserts a loss of consortium claim on
Defendant removed this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441(a).
On September 6, 2012, the Court entered a Final Scheduling
Defendant K-Mac Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Golden Corral states that it is
incorrectly identified as K-Mac Holdings Corp. See Doc. 1.
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Order (doc. 8) setting this matter for a jury trial to begin the
week of July 29, 2013.
On April 17, 2013, Defendant filed its
Motion for Summary Judgment and supporting briefs (docs. 20-22).
On May 13, 2013, Plaintiffs filed their Response and supporting
briefs (docs. 24-27).
On May 15, 2013, Defendant filed its
Reply (doc. 28).
Standard of Review
In determining whether summary judgment is appropriate, the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact and that it is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(c); Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
Dorado, Ark. v. Dow Chem. Co., 165 F.3d 602 (8th Cir. 1999).
The Court must review the facts in a light most favorable to the
party opposing a motion for summary judgment and give that party
the benefit of any inferences that logically can be drawn from
Canada v. Union Elec. Co., 135 F.3d 1211, 1212-13
(8th Cir. 1998) (citing Buller v. Buechler, 706 F.2d 844, 846
(8th Cir. 1983)).
Once the moving party demonstrates that the record does not
disclose a genuine dispute on a material fact, the non-moving
party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his
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provided in Rule 56, must set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial.
Ghane v. West, 148 F.3d
979, 981 (8th Cir. 1998) (citing Burst v. Adolph Coors Co., 650
F.2d 930, 932 (8th Cir. 1981)).
In order for there to be a
produce evidence “such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Allison v. Flexway Trucking,
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)).
In its motion for summary judgment Defendant argues that
Plaintiffs failed to present any proof of two essential elements
of their negligence claim, i.e., (1) that Defendant breached a
duty of care to Carol, and (2) that Defendant was under a duty
to protect Carol from unforeseen injury.
In the alternative,
Defendant argues there is no proof that its actions were the
proximate cause of Carol’s fall.
Plaintiffs argue in response
that Defendant’s floor mat constituted a hazard that Defendant
should have known about, that foreseeability is not an issue
hazard, and that under Arkansas law it is always a jury question
when there is doubt of what caused a fall.
Having reviewed the pleadings and the evidence on file,
considering the facts in a light most favorable to the party
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opposing a motion for summary judgment and giving that party the
benefit of any inferences that logically can be drawn from those
facts, the Court finds there are issues of material fact that
dispute include, but are not limited to, the following: (1)
entrance edge had been curled to a raised position; (2) whether
Defendant knew or should have known that the mat was curled to a
raised position; (3) whether Carol tripped on the alleged curled
quality of life being diminished. These determinations should be
made by a jury after benefitting from the ability to weigh the
evidence presented by both sides at a trial.
For the reasons set out above, Defendant K-Mac Enterprises,
Inc. d/b/a Golden Corral’s Motion for Summary Judgment (doc. 20)
is hereby DENIED.
Jury trial in this matter remains set to
begin the week of July 29, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Hot Springs,
Pretrial disclosure sheets are due no later than 30
days before the trial date.
Jury instructions are due no later
than 14 days before the trial date.
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IT IS SO ORDERED this 11th day of June, 2013.
/s/ Robert T. Dawson
Honorable Robert T. Dawson
United States District Judge
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