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Edwards v. Target Stores, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage

January 8, 2018

JOANNE EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
v.
TARGET STORES, INC., and TARGET CORP., Defendants.

          SIMON & SIMON P.C. By: Marc I. Simon, Esq. Counsel for Plaintiff

          MAYFIELD, TURNER, O'MARA & DONNELLY, P.C. By: John V. Petrycki, Esq. Sara K. Saltsman, Esq. Counsel for Defendants

          OPINION

          RENÉE MARIE BUMB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is a personal injury suit. The one-count Amended Complaint alleges that Defendant Target Stores, Inc. / Target Corporation's negligence caused Plaintiff Joanne Edwards to “slip and fall on a substance that was on the floor” in the Target store located in Sewell, New Jersey. (Amend. Compl. ¶ 11)[1]

         Target moves for summary judgment asserting that no reasonable factfinder could find on this record that there was any substance on the floor, or other dangerous condition of which Target should have known, that caused Edwards to fall, and even if there was, no reasonable factfinder could conclude that Target should have known about it. The Court agrees on both issues, therefore Target's Motion for Summary Judgment will be granted.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         In the early afternoon of April 20, 2015 Edwards, who was 76 years old at the time, was shopping with a friend in Target when she suffered two separate falls. (Statement of Undisputed Facts (“SUF”) ¶ 1) Edwards testified that Target was the fourth store that she and her friend had visited since leaving the house after breakfast that morning. (Edwards Dep. p. 26-29)

         After walking to the back of the Target store and determining that Target did not have what Edwards was looking for, Edwards and her friend began to walk down an aisle towards the front entrance of the store with the intention of leaving. (SUF ¶¶ 2-3) Then Edwards fell and hit her left hip on the floor. (Id. ¶ 3) Edwards' deposition testimony is the only evidence in the record describing what happened when Edwards fell[2]:

A: . . . I don't know how I fell, why I fell. I think 1 stepped in something . . . it felt like glue or something[.]
Q: Do you know what caused you to go down to the ground?
A: I think I stepped in something. I don't know what it was. It was on my shoe, whatever it was. . . . I felt my foot stick to the floor.
Q: At any time before this fall that we're talking about did you see anything on the floor?
A: No, sir.
Q: How did you come to believe that there was something on the bottom of your shoe?
A: What else could it have been? I was fine. I felt great. I was on my way out the ...

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