IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY CAMDEN VICINAGE
October 20, 2010
LOLITA GILLBERG AND GUNNER GILLBERG, PLAINTIFFS,
BORGATA HOTEL AND CASINO, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RENÉE Marie Bumb United States District Judge
[Docket No. 30]
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter comes before the Court upon the Motion for Summary Judgment by defendant Borgata Hotel and Casino ("Defendant") [Dkt. Ent. 30] For the reasons set forth below, this motion is denied.
Plaintiff Lolita Gillberg ("Plaintiff") alleges that she slipped and fell on a patch of ice located on the porte-cochere area immediately outside the Borgata Casino. As a result of her fall, Plaintiff alleges that she sustained serious injuries and has not been able to work since the incident. Defendant moves for summary judgment, contending that it had no notice of the alleged dangerous condition. Specifically, Defendant alleges that Plaintiff's proofs are deficient in that: she was walking fast just before she fell; she did not see the ice before she fell; she did not see anyone else slip at that area on that day; and she has no idea how long the alleged icy condition existed prior to her fall. In response, Plaintiff has submitted evidence that: the area was not salted and, further, no salt was available in the building that day; no warning or danger signs were put up in the area; Defendant had prior knowledge that the area was susceptible to ice patches because someone had fallen in the same location prior to her fall (although the date is unknown); and the bike officer's duties with respect to the area comprised solely of random checks of the area a few times a day.
Summary judgment is appropriate when the materials of record "show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."*fn1 Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In deciding whether there is a disputed issue of material fact, the court must view the evidence in favor of the non-moving party by extending any reasonable favorable inference to that party; in other words, "the nonmoving party's evidence 'is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in [that party's] favor.'" Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 552 (1999) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). The threshold inquiry is whether there are "any genuine factual issues that properly can be resolved only by a finder of fact because they may reasonably be resolved in favor of either party."*fn2 Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. at 250; Brewer v. Quaker State Oil Ref. Corp., 72 F.3d 326, 329-30 (3d Cir. 1995) (citation omitted).
Clearly, a genuine issue of dispute remains in this case as to Defendant's knowledge of the icy conditions and whether Defendant acted reasonably to protect against the risk of fall. Such factual dispute shall be resolved by a jury, not the Court.
Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, the Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED.