United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
VICTORIA L. HAMPTON, Plaintiff,
SCOTT'S FINISHING TOUCH, INC., Defendant.
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
matter is before the Court on Defendant Scott's Finishing
Touch, Inc.'s (“Scott's”) Motion
for Summary Judgment. [Filing No. 34.] Plaintiff
Victoria Hampton, proceeding pro se, brought this negligence
action alleging that Scott's mistakenly used a product
called Wheel Magic, which contained lye, to clean the inside
of her vehicle. [Filing No. 10.] Ms. Hampton alleges
that her exposure to Wheel Magic caused her permanent
respiratory injury. [Filing No. 10 at 4.]
Scott's seeks summary judgment on Ms. Hampton's
Amended Complaint, arguing that Ms. Hampton failed to file
her lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations.
[Filing No. 34.] For the following reasons, the
Court GRANTS Scott's Motion.
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, that 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. 56(e).
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 suffice to
defeat summary judgment. 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 factfinder
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).
following factual background is set forth pursuant to the
standards detailed above. The facts stated are not
necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment
standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed
evidence are presented in the light most favorable to
“the party against whom the motion under consideration
is made.” Premcor USA, Inc. v. American Home
Assurance Co., 400 F.3d 523, 526-27 (7th Cir. 2005).
Ms. Hampton's Reaction & Doctor's Visit
Hampton's lawsuit arises out of an October 2014
appointment with Scott's to have her car detailed.
[Filing No. 35-3 at 6.] Following the appointment,
on October 21, 2014, Ms. Hampton visited MedCheck Castleton,
complaining that “last week she had her car
detailed [and] experienced allergic response on the ride
home.” [Filing No. 35-3 at 6.] Also on October
21, 2014, Linda Woods, RT, noted that Ms. Hampton had an
“[a]llergic reaction to car being detailed, ”
which “[h]appened one week ago.” [Filing No.
35-3 at 7.]
October 19, 2016, Ms. Hampton, then represented by counsel,
filed her Complaint against Scott's.[Filing No.
1.] On October 28, 2016, Ms. Hampton filed her
currently-operative Amended Complaint, alleging that
Scott's used Wheel Magic, a cleaner made for exterior use
only, on the inside of her car. [Filing No. 10.] Ms.