United States District Court, D. New Jersey
ROSENBAUM & ASSOCIATES, John F. Hanahan, Esq. Counsel for
Plaintiff Johne Burychka
WEBER & OBERLIES, P.C. Michael S. Mikulski, II, Counsel
for Defendant Beachcomber Campground, Inc.
RENÉE MARIE BUMB, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Johne Burychka (“Plaintiff”) brings this personal
injury action against Defendant Beachcomber Campground, Inc.
based on injuries sustained when Plaintiff slipped and fell
on an allegedly wet surface in the men's restroom near
the pool at Defendant's campground. This matter now comes
before the Court upon Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment [Dkt. No. 32]. For the reasons set forth herein,
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment shall be
DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE, however, this
Court shall permit Defendant to refile its motion as
indicated in this Opinion.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
morning of July 31, 2016, Plaintiff visited Defendant's
Beachcomber Campground in Cape May, New Jersey, intending to
spend a few days with his brother and his brother's wife,
who were members of the campground. That morning, Plaintiff
and his brother spent about an hour lounging by the pool. At
approximately 12:30 p.m., Plaintiff went to use the bathroom
facilities adjacent to the pool. Upon entering the men's
restroom, Plaintiff alleges that he immediately slipped and
fell on a wet floor. As a result of his fall, Plaintiff
alleges that he sustained a hip fracture that required
contends that he did not notice any “standing
water” on the floor when he entered the bathroom, but
that after his fall, he observed that the tile floor was
visibly wet “as if the floor was recently
mopped.” After his fall, Plaintiff claims that he was
assisted by a security guard and a lifeguard, both of whom
allegedly filled out written reports about the incident.
Although Plaintiff initially declined an ambulance, after
Plaintiff's pain did not subside, an ambulance was
eventually called to assist Plaintiff.
22, 2017, Plaintiff commenced this action against Defendant,
arguing that Defendant is responsible for the injuries
suffered when he slipped on the bathroom floor. Specifically,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant breached its duty of care by
failing to maintain the bathroom floor in a safe condition.
Now, this matter comes before the Court upon Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment.
judgment shall be granted if “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A fact is “material” only if
it might impact the “outcome of the suit under the
governing law.” Gonzalez v. Sec'y of Dept of
Homeland Sec., 678 F.3d 254, 261 (3d Cir. 2012). A
dispute is “genuine” if the evidence would allow
a reasonable jury to find for the nonmoving party.
determining the existence of a genuine dispute of material
fact, a court's role is not to weigh the evidence; all
reasonable inferences and doubts should be resolved in favor
of the nonmoving party. Melrose, Inc. v. City of
Pittsburgh, 613 F.3d 380, 387 (3d Cir. 2010). However, a
mere “scintilla of evidence, ” without more, will
not give rise to a genuine dispute for trial. Saldana v.
Kmart Corp., 260 F.3d 228, 232 (3d Cir. 2001). Moreover,
a court need not adopt the version of facts asserted by the
nonmoving party if those facts are “utterly discredited
by the record [so] that no reasonable jury” could
believe them. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380
(2007). In the face of such evidence, summary judgment is
still appropriate “where the record taken as a whole
could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the
nonmoving party.” Walsh v. Krantz, 386
Fed.Appx. 334, 338 (3d Cir. 2010).
movant has the initial burden of showing through the
pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories,
admissions on file, and any affidavits “that the
non-movant has failed to establish one or more essential
elements of its case.” Connection Training Servs.
v. City of Phila., 358 Fed.Appx. 315, 318 (3d Cir.
2009). “If the moving party meets its burden, the
burden then shifts to the non-movant to establish that
summary judgment is inappropriate.” Id. In the
face of a properly supported motion for summary judgment, the
nonmovant's burden is rigorous: he “must point to
concrete evidence in the record”; mere allegations,
conclusions, conjecture, and speculation will not defeat
summary judgment. Orsatti v. New Jersey State
Police, 71 F.3d 480, 484 (3d Cir. 1995); accord.
Jackson v. Danberg, 594 F.3d 210, 227 (3d Cir. 2010)
(citing Acumed LLC. v. Advanced Surgical Servs.,
Inc., 561 F.3d 199, 228 (3d Cir.
2009)(“[S]peculation and conjecture may not defeat
summary judgment.”). Moreover, “the court need
only determine if the nonmoving party can produce admissible
evidence regarding a disputed issue of material fact at
trial”; the evidence does not need to be in admissible
form at the time of summary judgment. FOP v. City of
Camden, 842 F.3d 231, 238 (3d Cir. 2016).