United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Kroger's Motion for Summary Judgment. Doc.
26. For the reasons that follow, the Court
GRANTS Kroger's Motion.
a slip-and-fall case. The parties agree that on June 27,
2016, Plaintiff Bart Morales was shopping at a Kroger store
owned by Defendant Kroger Texas, L.P. when he slipped on a
wet, pinkish-red liquid on the floor near the frozen food
isle and suffered serious injuries to his back, hip, and
knee. Doc. 27, Kroger's Br., 3; Doc. 32-1, Morales'
App., 21, 34. Morales also describes the liquid as
“pinkish with clear, ” “like the hand
soaps, ” although Kroger has not adopted that exact
description. Doc. 32-1, Morales' App., 27. Morales did
not see the liquid until after he had fallen. Doc. 27,
Kroger's Br., 3; Doc. 32-1, Morales' App., 21. The
liquid extended approximately 5 feet into the aisle, with a
width of approximately 1 foot-as Morales also described it,
the liquid extended about halfway across the aisle. Doc. 27,
Kroger's Br., 3; Doc. 32-1, Morales' App., 24, 27.
the spill was a box of strawberries, which Morales stated
“looked dried, ” “like it had been there
all night.” Doc. 32-1, Morales' App., 22. Kroger
agrees that a box of strawberries was present. Doc. 27,
Kroger's Br., 3. No. customers or Kroger employees made
any statement to Morales regarding how long the box of
strawberries had been in the area, nor did any employee make
any statement to Morales that would indicate Kroger was aware
the liquid was on the floor prior to the incident.
Id. Likewise, Morales stated that he does not know
how long the liquid was on the floor prior to his fall, nor
when the aisle was last inspected. Id. In short, he
offers no direct evidence of how long the spill was in the
aisle, nor that Kroger knew about the spill. Id. He
relies solely on his deposition as evidence. Doc. 32,
Morales' Resp., 1.
has moved for summary judgment on Morales' single
premise-liability claim, arguing that Morales has
insufficient evidence to demonstrate a genuine issue of
material fact exists. As the Motion is fully briefed, the
Court now considers the arguments.
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows 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). The substantive law identifies which
facts are material, and only a dispute over facts that might
affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will
properly preclude summary judgment. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248(1986). “[C]ourts
are required to view the facts and draw reasonable inferences
in the light most favorable to the party opposing the summary
judgment motion.” Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S.
372, 378 (2007) (alterations incorporated and internal
the summary judgment movant has met his burden, the
non-movant must “go beyond the pleadings and designate
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d
1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994)(per curiam). A non-movant may not
simply rely on the Court to sift through the record to find a
fact issue but must point to specific evidence in the record
and articulate precisely how that evidence supports the
challenged claim. Ragas v. Tenn. Gas Pipeline Co.,
136 F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir. 1998). Moreover, the evidence the
non-movant provides must raise more than “some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.”
Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., 475 U.S. at 586. This
evidence must be such that a jury could reasonably find in
the non-movant's favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at
248. If the non-movant is unable to make such a showing, the
court must grant summary judgment. Little, 37 F.3d
moves for summary judgment on two grounds: (1) Kroger did not
have actual or constructive knowledge of an unreasonably
dangerous premises condition; and (2) Kroger did not have a
duty to Morales because ...