United States District Court, D. New Jersey
Joseph H. Rodriguez, Judge
matter arises out of an incident that occurred on May 30,
2012, at Harrah's Casino in Atlantic City. Plaintiff
claims that he suffered extensive burns to his feet while
walking across the outside pool deck. He filed a three-count
complaint against several defendants, including the moving
defendant, Roofblok Limited, alleging negligence, violations
of New Jersey's Product Liability Act, N.J. Stat. Ann.
§ 2A:58C-1, and his wife's loss of consortium claim.
Specifically, he alleges that Roofblok designed,
manufactured, assembled, processed, distributed,
reconditioned, maintained, services, installed, inspected and
made available for use and/or advertise the pool and sundeck
in question, and/or more of its component parts, which are
hereinafter referred to as “the product” which
were ultimately sold or leased to the hotel defendants and/or
one or more of defendant John Doe Corporations, and which
ultimately caused the Plaintiffs' injuries and damages.
moves for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. The
Court has considered the written submissions of the parties,
without oral argument. For the reasons that follow, summary
judgment is granted in favor of Roofblok.
Standard of Review
will grant a motion for summary judgment if there is no
genuine issue of material fact and if, viewing the facts in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the moving
party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Pearson
v. Component Tech. Corp., 247 F.3d 471, 482 n.1 (3d Cir.
2001) (citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322 (1986)); accord Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (c). Thus,
this Court will enter summary judgment only when “the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
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.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 (c).
issue is “genuine” if supported by evidence such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict in the
nonmoving party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A fact is
“material” if, under the governing substantive
law, a dispute about the fact might affect the outcome of the
suit. Id. In determining whether a genuine issue of
material fact exists, the court must view the facts and all
reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in the light
most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587
the moving party has the burden of demonstrating the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Once the moving party
has met this burden, the nonmoving party must identify, by
affidavits or otherwise, specific facts showing that there is
a genuine issue for trial. Id.; Maidenbaum v.
Bally's Park Place, Inc., 870 F.Supp. 1254, 1258
(D.N.J. 1994). Thus, to withstand a properly supported motion
for summary judgment, the nonmoving party must identify
specific facts and affirmative evidence that contradict those
offered by the moving party. Andersen, 477 U.S. at
256-57. Indeed, the plain language of Rule 56(c) mandates the
entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery
and upon motion, 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, 477 U.S. at
deciding the merits of a party's motion for summary
judgment, the court's role is not to evaluate the
evidence and decide the truth of the matter, but to determine
whether there is a genuine issue for trial.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. Credibility
determinations are the province of the finder of fact.
Big Apple BMW, Inc. v. BMW of N. Am., Inc., 974 F.2d
1358, 1363 (3d Cir. 1992).
is no evidence in the record to create a genuine issue of
material fact related to whether Rookblok's pavers were a
proximate cause of Howard Thompson's injury and summary
judgment is granted in favor of Roofblok.
establish a right to relief under New Jersey's Product
Liability Act, “a plaintiff must show that the
defendant manufactured the product, that a reasonably
foreseeable user was injured, that the product was defective,
that the defect existed when it left the defendant's
control, and that the defect was the actual and proximate
cause of the plaintiff's injury.” Worrell
v. Elliott & Frantz, 799 F.Supp.2d 343, 350
(D.N.J. 2011) (citing Myrlak v. Port Auth. of N.Y. and
N.J., 723 A.2d 45, 52 (N.J. 1999)).
establish a claim for common law negligence,
[A] plaintiff must prove tortious conduct, injury and
proximate cause. “Proximate cause” has been
defined as “any cause which in the natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by an efficient intervening
cause, produces the result complained of and without which
the result would not have occurred.” The burden of
proof rests upon the plaintiff to prove a causal relationship
by a preponderance of the evidence. Thus, a plaintiff must
show that a defendant's conduct constituted a
cause-in-fact of his injuries.
Dawson v. Bunker Hill Plaza Associates, 673 A.2d
847, 853 ( N.J.Super. App. Div. 1996) ...