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Rodriguez v. United States

United States District Court, C.D. California, Western Division

March 6, 2017

MARIA RODRIGUEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

          Andrew J. Wistrich United States Magistrate Judge

         The court has considered the testimony and the exhibits admitted during the non-jury trial.

         The starting point for analysis is the following facts, which were admitted by both parties in the pretrial conference order:

a. The USPS operates a facility located at 1920 Pacific Avenue, Long Beach, California 90802.
b. There are two customer entrances to the Pacific Avenue post office: (1) one entrance leading directly to where the post office boxes are located and (2) one entrance leading directly to the customer service area.
c. Plaintiff has maintained a post office box at the Pacific Avenue post office since October 6, 2011.
d. Before January 17, 2013, plaintiff would go to the Pacific Avenue post office about one or two times a week to pick up her mail.
e. Before January 17, 2013, plaintiff never experienced any problem with the mat at the entrance to the post office boxes and never reported any issues with the mat to any postal employee.
f. Plaintiff is unaware of anyone else tripping over the mat at the post office.
g. On January 17, 2013, plaintiff entered the Pacific Avenue post office through the door that led directly to the post office boxes.
h. At the time, plaintiff was wearing a medical walking boot (“boot”) on her right leg and walking with a cane in her right hand.
i. Plaintiff required these medical devices because she had injured her right ankle in September 2012 after slipping and falling in a hotel bathroom in Mexico.
j. Plaintiff entered the USPS building with her son, Jesus, who suffers from schizophrenia.
k. In order to enter the building, plaintiff had to pass through a glass door.
l. There was a floor mat placed on the ground at the threshold, located inside of the post office.
m. Plaintiff did not observe the floor mat upon entering the building.
n. After passing through the entrance and over the mat without incident, plaintiff and her son retrieved her mail from her post office box.
o. In order to exit the facility, plaintiff then headed toward the same door from which she entered.
p. Plaintiff was talking and looking at her son as she walked from her post ...

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