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Morgan v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

March 26, 2019

AMBER MORGAN, Plaintiff,
v.
WAL-MART STORES, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 29) and Motion to Consolidate Cases (ECF No. 26).

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         A. Undisputed Facts

         The Court finds the following facts to be undisputed.

         On March 22, 2015, Plaintiff, Amber Morgan, fell while walking in an aisleway inside of Defendant Wal-Mart's store number 2837 located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Immediately after the fall, Plaintiff reported a spill to Wal-Mart employees. She identified the location where she fell and told the employees that she had been walking fine before the fall. An incident report was generated by Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart preserved video from 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the fall. Plaintiff suffered injuries to her back and knee.

         B. Disputed Facts

         The Court finds the following facts to be disputed by the parties. First, the parties dispute whether Plaintiff fell because of a shampoo-like liquid or substance that had been on the floor for at least 30 minutes in a high traffic aisleway. Plaintiff asserts that she saw the liquid and “blue streak” on the floor where she fell. Defendant avers that Plaintiff has made contradictory statements about what happened prior to her fall as well as what she saw and did. Second, the parties dispute the location of any alleged spill in relation to where Plaintiff fell. Defendant argues that there is no video evidence to establish the existence the spill or its location. Plaintiff claims she saw the spill and its location after her fall. Third, the parties dispute, if there was a spill, whether Defendant should have been on notice of the spill and whether Defendant had sufficient maintenance procedures to address possible hazards in the store. Fourth, the parties dispute whether or not Wal-Mart intentionally erased or failed to preserve video from more than hour before and after the spill as allegedly required by its internal policies.

         III. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Defendant removed this case to federal court on August 28, 2017. ECF No. 1. filed her initial complaint in state court on September 9, 2016. ECF No. 1. Defendant filed a Motion to Consolidate on March 29, 2018. ECF No. Defendant filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment on July 16, 2019. ECF No. 29.

         IV. LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, show “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); accord Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). When considering the propriety of summary judgment, the court views all facts and draws all inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Gonzalez v. City of Anaheim, 747 F.3d 789, 793 (9th Cir. 2014). If the movant has carried its burden, the non-moving party “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts. . . . Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted) (alteration in original).

         V. ...


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