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Carolina Navarro v. Target Corporation and Does 1 Through 50

July 11, 2012

CAROLINA NAVARRO,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
TARGET CORPORATION AND DOES 1 THROUGH 50,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. Senior United States District Judge

ORDER

Defendant moves for summary judgment on Plaintiff's premises liability claim, arguing "[P]laintiff cannot demonstrate that [Defendant] breached a duty to [Plaintiff.]" (Def.'s Mot. 2:5-6.) Plaintiff opposes the motion, arguing "there is a genuine dispute as to a material fact as to whether an inspection occurred within a reasonable time period prior to the incident . . . ." (Pl.'s Opp'n 2:6-8.)

I. LEGAL STANDARD

A party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "A fact is 'material' when, under the governing substantive law, it could affect the outcome of the case." Thrifty Oil Co. v. Bank of Am. Nat. Trust & Sav. Ass'n, 322 F.3d 1039, 1046 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). An issue of material fact is "genuine" when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Id.

When the defendant is the moving party and is seeking summary judgment on one or more of a plaintiff's claims,

[the defendant] has both the initial burden of production and the ultimate burden of persuasion on [the motion]. In order to carry its burden of production, the [defendant] must either produce evidence negating an essential element of the [plaintiff's claim] or show that the [plaintiff] does not have enough evidence of an essential element to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion at trial. In order to carry its ultimate burden of persuasion on the motion, the [defendant] must persuade the court that there is no genuine issue of material fact.

Nissan Fire & Marine Ins. Co., Ltd. v. Fritz Cos., Inc., 210 F.3d 1099, 1102 (9th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted). If the moving party satisfies its initial burden, "the non-moving party must set forth, by affidavit or as otherwise provided in [Federal] Rule [of Civil Procedure] 56, specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The "non-moving plaintiff cannot rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading but must instead produce evidence that sets forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Estate of Tucker ex rel. Tucker v. Interscope Records, Inc., 515 F.3d 1019, 1030 (9th Cir. 2008) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted).

Evidence must be viewed "in the light most favorable to the non-moving party," and "all reasonable inferences" that can be drawn from the evidence must be drawn "in favor of [the non-moving] party." Nunez v. Duncan, 591 F.3d 1217, 1222-23 (9th Cir. 2010).

Further, Local Rule 260(b) requires: Any party opposing a motion for summary judgment or summary adjudication [must] reproduce the itemized facts in the [moving party's] Statement of Undisputed Facts and admit those facts that are undisputed and deny those that are disputed, including with each denial a citation to the particular portions of any pleading, affidavit, deposition, interrogatory answer, admission, or other document relied upon in support of that denial.

If the non-movant does not "specifically . . . [controvert duly supported] facts identified in the [movant's] statement of undisputed facts," the non-movant "is deemed to have admitted the validity of the facts contained in the [movant's] statement." Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521, 527 (2006).

II. UNCONTROVERTED FACTS

On April 8, 2008, Plaintiff "was shopping in the Target Store on Consumnes River Boulevard in Sacramento, California." (Def.'s Statement of Undisputed Material Facts ("SUMF") ¶ 1.) "Plaintiff alleges that as she was walking through the store she slipped and fell on a large amount of liquid substance on the floor." Id. ¶ 2. "Plaintiff does not have any information as to how the liquid got on the floor or how long the substance was on the floor before she fell[;]" however, Yvonne Fabian, the Target Leader on Duty, "had been through the area within ten minutes before [P]laintiff's incident and did not observe the substance on the floor." Id. ¶¶ 5-7. Sometime prior to when Fabian walked through the area where the accident occurred, Fabian "had received a call to respond to an incident in the backroom[,]" and "on her route to respond . . . , [she] walked directly through the area where [P]laintiff fell, since it was on her way to the backroom." Id. ¶¶ 7-9. Further, Fabian states that "[a]ll Target team members are instructed to continuously be on the lookout for spills or other debris on the floor." Id. ¶ 10.

III. EVIDENTIARY OBJECTIONS

Defendant has filed numerous evidentiary objections to portions of Plaintiff's opposition brief. However, many of the objections concern evidence that is not material to decision on the motion; ...


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