United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. TEILBORG SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant Aramark Services, Inc.'s
(“Defendant”) Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc.
67). The Court now rules on the motion.
February 16, 2018, Defendant filed the pending Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 67). Plaintiff filed a timely Response
on February 26, 2018 (Doc. 69). Defendant then filed a Reply
on March 12, 2018 (Doc. 73).
brings a premises liability claim against Defendant in her
First Amended Complaint (Doc. 1-2).
brought this action against Defendant and other unknown
entities. (Doc. 1-2 at 2). The following facts are either
undisputed or recounted in the light most favorable to the
January 5, 2015, Plaintiff was in an office cafeteria located
at 1820 East Sky Harbor Circle South, Phoenix, AZ 85034.
(Defendant's Statement of Facts (“DSOF”),
Doc. 68 ¶ 2; Plaintiff's Statement of Facts
(“PSOF”), Doc. 72 ¶ 2). Aramark operates the
cafeteria pursuant to a food services agreement, but does not
own the property. (DSOF ¶ 3; PSOF ¶ 3). Plaintiff
allegedly slipped on an unidentified “clear liquid
substance” and fell on the cafeteria floor near a
self-service soft drink dispenser. (DSOF ¶ 4; PSOF
¶ 4; Doc. 72-1 at 4). Plaintiff was injured as a result
of the fall, hitting her head and arm on a nearby counter,
(Doc. 72-1 at 3). She incurred medical care and treatment
expenses as a result. (Doc. 1-2 at 5). There is no evidence
regarding how the liquid got onto the floor or how long it
was on the floor before the incident. (Doc. 68-4 at 1-2). It
is unknown who or what caused the condition. (Id. at
3). Discovery closed on January 26, 2018. (Doc. 42).
set forth the pertinent factual and procedural background,
the Court turns to Defendant's Motion for Summary
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
diversity case, a federal court applies state substantive
law, but federal procedural law. See Erie R.R. Co. v.
Tompkins, 304 U.S. 64 (1938). The federal summary
judgment standard is procedural, therefore it controls in a
diversity case in federal court. Gasaway v. Nw. Mut. Life
Ins. Co., 26 F.3d 957, 960 (9th Cir. 1994) (“In
diversity cases, procedural issues related to summary
judgment are controlled by federal law.”).
judgment is appropriate when “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).
“A party asserting that a fact cannot be or is
genuinely disputed must support that assertion by . . .
citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits, or declarations, stipulations . . .
admissions, interrogatory answers, or other materials,
” or by “showing that materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute, or
that an adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to
support the fact.” Id. 56(c)(1)(A), (B). Thus,
summary judgment is mandated “against a party who fails
to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an
element essential to that party's case, and on which that
party will bear the burden of proof at trial.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986).
the movant bears the burden of demonstrating to the Court the
basis for the motion and the elements of the cause of action
upon which the non-movant will be unable to establish a
genuine issue of material fact. Id. at 323. The
burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish the
existence of material fact. Id. A material fact is
any factual issue that may affect the outcome of the case
under the governing substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The non-movant
“must do more than simply show that there is some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts” by
“com[ing] forward with ‘specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.'”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp.,
475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). A
dispute about a fact is “genuine” if the evidence
is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the
non-moving party. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at
248. The non-movant's bare assertions, standing alone,
are insufficient to create a material issue of fact and
defeat a motion for summary judgment. Id. at 247-48.
In the summary judgment context, however, the Court construes
all disputed facts in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Ellison v. Robertson, 357 F.3d
1072, 1075 (9th Cir. 2004).
summary judgment stage, the Court's role is to determine
whether there is a genuine issue available for trial. There
is no issue for trial unless there is sufficient evidence in
favor of the non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict
for the non-moving party. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. at 249-50. “If the evidence is merely colorable,
or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be
granted.” Id. (citations omitted). “[A]
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of
his pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Id.
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
PREMISES LIABILITY CLAIM
Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant acted negligently
by causing and/or failing to remedy a dangerous condition
which led Plaintiff to slip, fall, and become injured. (Doc.
1-2 at 4-5). In its Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendant
argues that Plaintiff cannot prove that: (1) Defendant had
notice of the condition that caused her fall, or (2)
Defendant acted unreasonably under the circumstances. (Doc.
67 at 1). Defendant argues that Plaintiff therefore cannot
establish a prima facie case for premises liability, making
summary judgment appropriate in favor of Defendant.
(Id. at 3).