United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
JANE MAGNUS-STINSON CHIEF JUDGE.
case arises out of an accident suffered by Plaintiff Carolyn
Lamar. She alleges that she slipped and fell on a puddle of
wet floor wax in the medical clinic in which she worked. Ms.
Lamar has sued Johnson Controls, Inc.
(“JCI”), the contractor responsible for
the clinic's facilities maintenance, and Crown Building
Maintenance Company, d/b/a Able Building Maintenance
(“Crown”), the company subcontracted by
JCI to provide the facility's janitorial services. JCI
has moved for summary judgment, arguing that it cannot be
held liable for the actions committed by its subcontractor,
Crown. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants
JCI's Motion for Summary Judgment, [Filing No.
Inc. operates a number of health care facilities throughout
the country, [Filing No. 89-4 at 16-17], including
the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Terre Haute,
Indiana (the “Clinic”), [Filing No.
89-5 at 28; Filing No. 89-5 at 43]. Humana
contracted with JCI to provide facilities and project
management services to many of Humana's facilities,
including the Clinic. [Filing No. 89-4 at 22;
Filing No. 102-2.] JCI subcontracted with Crown to
provide janitorial services for the Clinic, and Crown was
responsible for providing the Clinic's floor care.
[Filing No. 89-4 at 22-27.] On Saturday, August 2,
2014, Crown's employees stripped and waxed the
Clinic's tile floors. [Filing No. 89-2 at 3.]
Lamar was employed as a nurse practitioner for Humana, and
she worked in the Terre Haute Clinic. [Filing No. 89-5 at
28-30; Filing No. 89-5 at 43.] On the afternoon
of Saturday, August 2, 2014, Ms. Lamar went to the Clinic
while it was closed to patients in order to complete work on
patient charts. [Filing No. 89-5 at 72-73.] Ms.
Lamar alleges that while walking down the hallway to her
office, she slipped and fell in a puddle of wet floor wax.
[Filing No. 89-5 at 79-85.] Ms. Lamar suffered
numerous injuries as a result of the fall, including two torn
rotator cuffs and a hamstring injury. [Filing No. 102-4
Lamar filed a complaint in the Vigo County Superior Court
against JCI and Crown, alleging that she suffered injuries as
a result of the negligence of those defendants. [Filing
No. 1-1 at 4.] On April 25, 2016, Crown successfully
removed that action to this Court on the basis of diversity
jurisdiction. [Filing No. 1.] On October 26, 2016,
JCI filed a cross-claim against Crown and filed a third-party
complaint against Zurich American Insurance Company
(“Zurich”). [Filing No. 42.] On
December 16, 2016, Zurich filed a counterclaim against JCI.
[Filing No. 50.] Presently pending before the Court
is JCI's Motion for Summary Judgment as to Ms.
Lamar's Complaint, [Filing No. 88], which is
fully briefed and ripe for the Court's
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). As the
current version of Rule 56 makes clear, whether a party
asserts that a fact is undisputed or genuinely disputed, the
party must support the asserted fact by citing to particular
parts of the record, including depositions, documents, or
affidavits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party can also
support a fact by showing that the materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute or
that the adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to
support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). Affidavits or
declarations must be made on personal knowledge, set out
facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the
affiant is competent to testify on matters stated.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4). Failure to properly support a fact in
opposition to a movant's factual assertion can result in
the movant's fact being considered undisputed, and
potentially in the grant of summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Hampton v. Ford Motor
Co., 561 F.3d 709, 713 (7th Cir. 2009). In other words,
while there may be facts that are in dispute, summary
judgment is appropriate if those facts are not outcome
determinative. Harper v. Vigilant Ins. Co., 433 F.3d
521, 525 (7th Cir. 2005). Fact disputes that are irrelevant
to the legal question will not be considered. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
summary judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence
it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its
version of the events. Johnson v. Cambridge Indus.,
325 F.3d 892, 901 (7th Cir. 2003). The moving party is
entitled to summary judgment if no reasonable fact-finder
could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Nelson
v. Miller, 570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court
views the record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that
party's favor. Darst v. Interstate Brands Corp.,
512 F.3d 903, 907 (7th Cir. 2008). It cannot weigh evidence
or make credibility determinations on summary judgment
because those tasks are left to the fact-finder.
O'Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc., 657 F.3d 625,
630 (7th Cir. 2011). The Court need only consider the cited
materials, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh Circuit
Court of Appeals has “repeatedly assured the district
courts that they are not required to scour every inch of the
record for evidence that is potentially relevant to the
summary judgment motion before them, ”
Johnson, 325 F.3d at 898. Any doubt as to the
existence of a genuine issue for trial is resolved against
the moving party. Ponsetti v. GE Pension Plan, 614
F.3d 684, 691 (7th Cir. 2010).