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Aragon v. Sam's West, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 15, 2019

PEDRO ARAGON Plaintiff,
v.
SAM'S WEST, INC doing business as Sam's Club #4974 Defendant.

          ORDER

          RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Before the Court is Defendant Sam West, Inc's (“Sam's Club”) Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 14. The Court denies the motion.

         II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Pedro Aragon (“Aragon”) sued Sam's Club for negligence stemming from an accident in a Sam's Club store in state court on June 4, 2018. ECF No. 1-1. Sam's Club removed the matter to this Court on July 24, 2018. ECF No. 1. A scheduling order was entered on August 27, 2018, setting discovery to end on January 21, 2019. ECF No. 9. Defendant now moves for summary judgment. ECF No. 14. The motion was fully briefed. ECF Nos. 15, 17.

         III. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         The Court makes the following findings of undisputed and disputed facts.

         a. Undisputed Facts

         Aragon went shopping at Sam's Club on December 3, 2016. Sam's Club requires customers to form a line at the exit to allow its employees to check each customer's receipt prior to exiting the store. Video surveillance shows Aragon in line to exit the store at 12:53 pm, carrying an orange bag under his right arm and a receipt in his left hand. Another customer in front of Aragon was pushing a shopping cart. A third customer behind Aragon was pushing a flatbed cart.

         To the left of the exit line is the customer service desk where returns of merchandise are made. A customer needed to return items contained on two flatbed carts. The customer returning the products controlled one flatbed cart, while a Sam's Club employee controlled the other. Both the customer and Sam's Club employee proceeded to cut through the exit line to reach the customer service desk.

         The customer in front of Aragon suddenly stopped walking and angled her shopping cart to the side to allow the customer with the flatbed cart items to be returned to cut through the line. She then took two steps backwards. In response, Aragon also took three steps backwards, catching his heel on the corner of the flatbed cart of the customer behind him. Aragon then fell to the ground. Arin Amirkhani, another Sam's Club employee, was at Aragon's location within seconds to assist Aragon in exiting the store. On the day of the fall, Aragon wrote a Customer Incident Statement, which states in part: “[i]n line to exit, two carts with flooring came through the exit line, making the customer in front of me back up. I also backed up/ step to buckle from the cust. cart behind me, causing me to fall back and to my right.” Amirkhani, also provided a statement that states in part: “the members trying to leave backed up. [Plaintiff] stepped backwards and tripped over the flatbed.” No. warning was given to the customers in line that the flatbed carts were about to enter through the exit door. Sam's Club has no training as it pertains to pushing large flatbed carts through the exit line or to the exit line at all.

         b. Disputed Facts

         The parties primarily dispute the legal effect of the circumstances.

         IV. ...


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