Bobbitt et al v. Robinson Property Group Corp.
MEMORANDUM OPINION re 36 Order on Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Glen H. Davidson on 3/1/12. (jtm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
FRANCEEN BOBBITT AND
2.--/ 0 C. V2---oS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3.1 O-CV-OOO'2.. GHD-SAA
ROBINSON PROPERTY GROUP CORP.,
d/b/a Horseshoe Casino & Hotel
MEMORANDUM OPINION DENYING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Presently before the Court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment: . Upon due
consideration, the Court finds that the motion should be denied.
Plaintiffs bring this premises liability action in this Court, invoking the Court's diversity
Plaintiffs allege that while walking into the lobby of the hotel portion of the
Horseshoe Casino & Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi, Plaintiff Franceen Bobbitt slipped and fell in a
large puddle of water on the floor of the lobby. Plaintiffs further allege that as a result of the fall,
Plaintiff Franceen Bobbitt suffered injuries, for which she now seeks damages. :Plaintiffs allege
that due to the injuries sustained by Plaintiff Franceen Bobbitt, her husband,Plaintiff Jimmy
Bobbitt, has been forced to become his wife's caregiver and has suffered as a result.
Defendant argues in its motion for summary judgment and corresponrung brief that no
evidence supports that a large puddle of water existed at the time of Plaintiff Franceen Bobbitt's
fall, and, further, that Plaintiffs have presented no evidence as to how long the alleged water was
on the floor. Defendants also contend that black mats were placed at each of three doorways at
the hotel entrance and that a wet floor sign was in the lobby of the hotel
attached several exhibits supporting its arguments.
Plaintiffs argue in response that they have supported all elements of ~eir slip-and-fall
case. Plaintiffs further maintain that they have adequately shown that the lob~y floor was wet
through deposition testimony of Plaintiffs and Defendant's employees, Cortez Cunningham and
James Washington. Plaintiffs attach several exhibits supporting their arguments.:
This Court grants summary judgment "if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure
materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact
and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. Cry. P. 56(a); Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986); Weaver v.
CCA Indus., Inc., 529 F.3d 335, 339 (5th Cir. 2008). The rule "mandates the e.try of summary
judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a
sufficient showing to establish the existence of an element essential to that partly's case, and on
which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.
The party moving for summary judgment bears the initial responsibility Of informing the
district court of the basis for its motion and identifying those portions of the record it believes
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. ld at 323, 106 S. ¢t. 2548. Under
Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the burden then shifts to th¢ non-movant to
"go beyond the pleadings and by ... affidavits, or by the 'depositions, answers td interrogatories,
and admissions on fIle,' designate 'specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'
ld. at 324, 106 S. Ct. 2548; Littlefield v. Forney Indep. Sch. Dis!., 268 F.3d 27!5, 282 (5th Cir.
In this personal injury case, the Court finds that genuine disputes ofmaterlal fact exist
and that the Defendant has failed to show that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Further, the Court has the discretion, which it exercises here, to allow the Plailttiffs' claims to
proceed to trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2513,
91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986) ("Neither do we suggest ... that the trial court may not deny swnmary
judgment in a case where there is reason to believe that the better course would be to proceed to
a full trial.").
THEREFORE, the Defendant's motion for swnmary judgment  is DENIED.
separate order in accordance with this opinion shall issue this day.
It is SO ORDERED, this the_I_day of March, 2012.
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