Hill v. Ross Dress for Less, Inc., No. 1:2012cv23368 - Document 92 (S.D. Fla. 2013)

Court Description: ORDER granting 51 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying 53 Motion Adverse Jury instruction. Signed by Judge Patricia A. Seitz on 11/26/2013. (cqs)
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Hill v. Ross Dress for Less, Inc. Doc. 92 UN I TED STATE S D I STR I T CO UR T C SO U TH ERN D I STR I T O F FL O RI A C D CA SE N O .1 23368- V - TZ/ M ON TON 2CI SEI SI SH ELLY HI LL, Pl i if antf, V S. R O SS DRESS FOR LESS, C. m , De enda . f nt / ORDER DENYI M OTI FOR ADVERSE I NG ON NTEREST AND GM NTI M OTI NG ON FO R SUM M A RY JU D G M EN T THI M ATTER i bef et Co ton t m o i ns De e ntsM oton f Summ a y S s or he ur wo to : f nda ' i or r J d me t( 51 1 n Plitf sM oi nf rAd reJ r I sr cina aRe uto u g n DE- 1 a d anif to o ves u y n tu to s s l f Dee a tss l to o Evde c ( 5 j2 Pli t pso ec u n gl e ec lit l g s fnd n ' poi in f i n e DE- 3 . ani n o nt e i nc omp an al e a f g e t a s sipe a df lo alo ep e eof lsi i Dee d n ' so ea d wa ij r d h t he l d n el n o s ic p a t n fn a ts tr n s nu e . p c Dee d nt v sf rs mmayj d me b c u ePlitf c n o e tb ihta Dee a t n w fn a mo e o u r u g nt e a s anif a n t sa ls h t fnd n k e ors d hav knownaboutt l epl si be or Pl ntf ' f l I o houl e he oos a tc f e ai ifs al. n pposton t t ii o he s mmayj d me tmo in Plitf as s e a a e s ifrnc j r isr cinbae o u r u g n to , anif lo e ks n dv r e n ee e u y n tu to s d n Dee a ' d tuci ofsor s velanc vi of age Pli ithowe r i note ildt fnd nts esr ton t e ur il e de oot . antfl ve, s ntte o anadve s i e e e be aus Pl i ifha nots r e nf r nc c e antf s hown t tDe e ha f ndan de to t sor t sr yed he t e s ve la e vi o i bad f ih ort ti w oul ha s n w he orho t pl s i e ur il nc de n at ha t d ve how n w he a t c nded up o n t foor W ihoutt ad r e i er nc a t ki a lt r c d evi nce i t lghtm os he l . t he ve s nf e e nd a ng 1 he e or de n he i t ' anifhasfld ars e ( 621a Dee nthasfldarpl ( 68 . 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Howe r t sor ma ge tsiidt tama ge,notLe s tr . 1 t 1 - 1 ) ve ,he t e na r etfe ha na r wi, woul ha ac ompa e t guad.( t De 43:8- 3. d ve c nid he r Pia p. 1 44: ) The so ema ge t si dt tt r i no a c ran numbe oftmest ta e oye i t r na r e tse ha he e s t e ti r i ha n mpl e s s uppos dt got oug t i ara.( t De 49: 1 1 )Howe ,hema rwoul ha e o hz h her e Pia p. 1 - 8. vert nage d ve e ce Deert wakt oug he de t nta l s onc a hour (d.a 49: - 0: 1) The xpe td l o l hr h r parme t eat e n . 1 t 25 5 1 . ma rha ne ri tuce e oye st wakt ought raeae y20t 25mi t .(d nage s ve nsr td mpl e o l hr hei r ver o nues 1 a 50:3- ) t 1 18 . Pl i ifssse ,She r Hil a rve att sor a fw m i e a trPli iff land antf it r ry l, ri d he t e e nut s fe antf el n tdt a teso ewa ame sa dt ev r ti gwa o t fo re x e e' ( h ryHi oe h t h tr s s n s l eyh n s n he lo veywh r . 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An a r ei e e i dr wn fom apa t sf l et pr e'e e de e onl whent dve s nf r nce s a r ry' aiur o es l vi nc v y he a s n eo t a e ie c i p e iae o b d fi b e c f h t vd n e s r dc td n a at s i v Amta , 1 F.d9 9, ( 1h h.Ba hr . r k 1 9 3 2 931 1 t Ci. 9 7 ( ndn n b df i wh nl s o e i e c , tpeta rc r e t s e o atan, r 1 9 ) t ig o a at e o s f v d n e a a h t e o d d he pe d f ri s h waswholyune ane .t hiet scrui doe no r uieas ngofmaiei or rt l xpli d) ' l hi ic t s t eq r howi W lc n de o fnd badf t m e eneglg nc i l i orde toyi r o dsi nots fc e t dr w a i aih, r i e e n osng sr ng ec r s ufi i nt o a n a rei eenc ' M annv Tas rI tr i all . 588F. 1 ,1 0 ( 1hCi. dves nfr e. ' . e ne naton , nc, 3d 291 31 1 t r 2009) I .n Wale v Ca nialCor , 0W L 2927962( D. a. 0)( tng Calxt v.WatonBowman tr . r v p.20l S. Fl 201 cii io s Ac Cop.2 0 W L 3 2 3 0, t*1 ( D. a No 1 2 0 :,hec u t edta: me r , 0 9 8 3 9 a 6 S. 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Sum marvJudgmentSt . , Su r u g n i a p o raewh nçh pe dn s. . ho t a t eei n g n ie mmayj d me t s p r p it e t e la ig . s w h t h r s o e un t is ea t a ymaeil a t ndt a t emo n p ryi e tte t aj g n a amatro su s o n tra f c a h t h vig a t s nild o ud me t s te f lw. An ronv Lfe f fob y, n .4 7U. 2 2 2 7( 9 6 ; a ' de s . h ry b I c, 7 S. 4 , 4 1 8 ) HCA He 1 Sev .o .I . ' at r s fGa, nc h v EmplyesHe l l s Co, 4 F.d98 9 ( 1h Ci. 0 ) On et emo i pat . o r at n . .2 0 3 2, 91 1 t r 2 01 . c h vng ry h de o taest a e ofage neis ofma e i lf c ,henon- ovi pa t m us ic m nsr t he bs nce nui sue t ra a t t m ng ry t ûome f wa d wih lpe fcf c ss or r t s cii a t howi t tt ei a g nui is f ti .' M atu hia El c ng ha her s e ne s ue or ral'' ss t e. I du . v Ze i Ra i Cop.4 5U. 5 4 5 7( 9 6 ( u tn Fe . Ci P. 6e) The n s Co. . nt do r , 7 S. 7 , 8 1 8 ) q oig d R. v. 5 (). h Cour m us vi t r cor a alf c ua i e e e t r r m i t lghtm os f vor bl t t t t ew he e d nd 1 a t l nf r nc s he efo n he i t a a e o he 3 antf he vy r la on Woo pl i ips a e ince dwar v.WalM ar St e Eas,L#, F.Supp. d - t or s t 801 2d 1 ( . Ga. 1 ,ns r oft motonf a rei ee i miplce bec us i wa 363 M D. 201 ) i uppo t he i or dves nfrnce s s a d a e t s de de unde Geor al w, tFl i lw .Ge gi 1 w doe notr r afndi ofba f ih ci d r gi a no orda a or a a s equie i ng d at i o de t i n r r o mpos s nc i f s iton.I a 1 e a tons or pola i d. t 372. non- ovi pa t a de dewhehe tshee d epr e t as tcintdia ee ntt m ng ry nd ci t r it vi enc es n s ufi e s gr me o rq ies bmiso t aj r o wheh rii s o e sd dta o ep rymu t rval samatr e ur u sin o u y r te t s o n -ie h t n a t s p e i a te oflw.' Ale v.T onFoods I . 1 F. 6 646( t Ci.1 ( igAnderon,477 a '' ln ys , nc, 21 3d 42, 11h r 997) quotn s U. a 25152). S. t - ) I o p sn amoi nf rs mma yj dg n ,h n n mo n p ryma n t eys ey n p o ig to o u r u me tt e o - vig a t y o r l oll on t pl adi , mus s by a tda t ,de ii ,a we st i e r t i ,a he e ngs but t how fi vis postons ns r o nt roga ores nd admisonst ts efcf c se s de s i ha pe ii a t xit monsr tnga ge ui i s f rti l SeeFe R. v. ta i n ne s ue o ra . d. Ci P. 5 () () s eas Ceoe Cop. . tet4 7U. 31 , 2 (98 ) A meet cn i a' f 6 c, e ; e lo l tx r v Car t, 7 S. 7 3 4 1 6 . r % itl 'o s l e de e s vi nc uppori t opposng pa t sposto wilnots fc i t a t r m us bea tng he i ry' ii n l ufi e; ns e d,he e t s fi in s wi gt t h uy c ul ra o a l tn f rta p ry An e s n 4 7U. a 25 u tce t ho n ha t ej r o d e s n by s d o h t a t. d r o , 7 S. t 2; s ealo Wal rv Dary, 1F. 1 1 ( lhCi.1990) e s ke . b 91 2d 573, 577 1 t r . #. A nal s ysi Dee d n mo e f rs mmayj d me tb c u ePli tf c n o e tbiht t fn a t v s o u r u g n e a s anif a n t sa ls ha De e ntkne ors dha known oft haz r ousc ton, he l epi eofplsi f nda w houl ve he a d ondii t oos ec a tc, be aus t r i no e de e e t bls ng whe o how t pl tc e d up o t foor Unde c e he e s vi nc sa ihi n r he asi nde n he l . r Fl i lw : orda a ( )l apes si a flsonatanst yf eg s t ei abusnes esa ihme , 1 f ron lps nd al r ior orin ubsanc n i s tbls nt teij rdpes n mu t r v t a t b sn s e tbl h n h da t a o c n tu tv h nu e ro s p o e h the u ie s sa i me t a cu l r o sr cie s knowl eoft dange ousc ton a s dhavet n aci n t r dyi. edg he r ondii nd houl ake to o eme t Consr c i knowldgem a bepr n by cr umsantale de s tu tve e y ove ic t i vi nce howi t : ng hat ()Th d n eo sc n iine itdf rs c aln t oft t a,ntee ecs a e a g r u o dto xse o u h e g h i h t i h x r ie me ofo di r c r ,t b i s e t bls m e s d ha ktown oft condii r na y a e he usne s sa ih nt houl ve l he ton; or ( Thec tonocc e wihr gulrt a wa t eor f es a e. b) ondii un-d t e a iy nd s herf e or ee bl 7 Fl Stt j768. 1 .A pl ntf ha t bur n ofpr s ntnge a. a. 0755( ) ai if s he de e e i ompeentevi nceofa t lor t de cua c t u tvenotc by t pr m ie owneroft dange ouscondii Wi Di eSt e ,I .v. onsr c i ie he e s s he r ton. nn- xi or s nc Ma zi 707So.2d927,929( a. hDCA 1 a ca e ctdt r i Thus i or rt hol z e, F1 5t 998) nd s s ie he en. ,n de o d t pr m ie' o rla e,apl n ifm us s he e s s wne ibl aitf t how t tt da e ousco ton e se ont ha he ng r ndii xitd he toorf a s fcintlng h oftm et c r t owne wih consr tveknowl dgeoft l or ufi e e t i o ha ge he r t tuc i e he c ton. Wi Di eSt e ,I .v.Wilams 264 So. 862, ( a.3dDCA 1 . orda ondii nn xi or s nc li , 2d 864 Fl 972) Fl i c t ha f undt t1 20 mi ut i a s fcinta ours ve o ha 5n es s ufi e mountoftm et c r t pr mie' i o ha ge he e s s owne wih c tuc i kno e oft c ton.1 ; itev Publx Su r k t,I , 4 r t onsr tve wl dge he ondii d. L tl . i pe mar es nc.23 So. 1 2,1 4 ( a 4t DCA 1 .Ho ve ,i Fl i ,i or rt esabls consr tve 2d 3 3 F1. h 970) we r n orda n de o t ih tuci n tc t r u h cru tn il v d n e mo et nj t h p sa eo tmei n c say Fo o ie h o g ic msa ta e i e c , r ha us t e a s g f i s e e s r . r e m pl i Wilams t m a ge t sii d t hehad be n t o h t as ewhe et pl n if xa e, n li , he na r e tfe hat e hr ug he il r he aitf ha f le ffe t t nt mi e be or t ac i entandPli ifa awine st sii d t t d aln iten o we y nuts f e he c d antf nd t s e tfe ha t s t nceon t fooron whih Pl i ifsi he ubsa he l c antf lpped wassiky,dusy a dit Wilams,26 tc t nd ry, li 4 So. a 863- a i Lite,hepli ift sii d t s wa aone,e ptf awoma wih 2d t 64, nd n tl t antf e tfe hat he s l xce or n t whom s s he poke,i t a sewher s f l f ffe n t t nt mi e and di no he r n he il e he e l or ite o we y nut s d t a a hi dr p,br a ors l. ite,23 So. at1 nyt ng o e k pil f tl 4 2d 33. Ac di t De e nt Pl i ifha no pr en e a e de t tDe enda ha cor ng o f nda , antf s t es t d ny vi nce ha f nt d et racua o c tuc i knowl dgeoft piceofpl tcon t toor Furhe , ai ifha ihe t l r onsr tve e he e asi he l . t r Pl ntf s notpr s edanyevi ei c i whe orhow t pl tce d up on t foo .Pl i if e ent denc ndiatng n he asi nde he l r antf r s ndst ta ma e i i s off te ssa t whe De e e po ha t ral s ue ac xit s o n f ndan ' e oye l s i pe e t ts mpl es a t ns ctd he a eawhe ePl ntf f l a t i i notcla how l ng t plsi wa on t foor r r ai if el nd hus t s er o he a tc s he l . 8 Ther c d e denc doesnoti caehow t pl si go on t tooro how l i ha e or vi e ndi t he a tc t he l r ong t d be n t r Pl ntf a it dl doesnotknow, . p a 60: 1 and t ofDe e nts e he e. ai if dm te y P1 De t 5- 0, wo f nda ' e oy st sii d t tt yha wakedt ought a e t n t tfe mi esbef r Pli ifs mpl ee e tfe ha he d l hr he r a e o i ten nut o e antf f la hadno s e t pl si o t foo .Pl i ifa g t ta ge ne is ofm ae i lf t al nd t e n he a tc n he l r antf r ues ha nui s ue tra ac e ssast whe De e ntse pl esl s wake t ough a i pece t a e be a e o : xit o n f nda ' m oye a t l d hr nd ns td he r a c us f (l i itnti e r t ya wer andde ii t tmony;2)i onsse tsi ) nconsse ntrogaor ns s poston esi ( nc itnt e tmonyof sor e oye s; ( t g rlyS s 'a rnc oft soe.A rvi o t t e mpl e and 3) he eneal l y' ppeaa e he tr mes e ew f he i t r o t y a we sa depostont si n e r ga or ns r nd ii e tmony,howe r s ve , howst tt r i no a ha he e s t n i onssenc De e ntsit nogaor a wer s aet tBincaDelrins ctd t i de nc it y. f nda ' n e t y ns s t t ha a e k pe e he nci nt i l a i a o ma e y30 m i e o ls be o et i i ntocc r d a di notobs r a oc ton ppr xi t l nut s r e s f r he nc de ure nd d e ve ny h z r o sc n iin o t efo r' S e1E- 2 3a !1 (mph ssa d d .Dee tsi e t a a ad u o dto s n h lo . e 7 6 - t l e a i d e ) lr e tf d h t ' i s ha i pe t d t a e tn mi e be or t i de .Se De e De at21: 1 Be a e he d ns c e he r a e nut s f e he nci nt e l r p. 9- 4. c us t i e r t y a we sa e t l s ,' ti noti ons sentwih De e ' de ii n t si ony. he nt rogaor ns r tt s s e s'i s or nc it t l rs posto e tm Thus c r y t Pli ifsa s ri ,Pl ntf i notentte t t i e e et tDe e wa l t , ontar o antf ' s e tons ai if s il d o he nf r nc ha l r s as i t a ea30 m i esbef r t i i ent n he r nut o e he nc d . Pl i iff t rtist dic edi De e ' t tmony be a e Delrt ttedt ts wal antf urhe re o s r t l rs esi c us e esii ha he ks t r ug he de rm e e r 1 m i es whiet sor mana rt sil d t ts woul onl h o h r pa t nt ve y 0 nut , l he t e ge e tte ha he d y e xpec Dee t wak t ough t de rme a l s onc a hour Pl i ifas e t t tt si a t lr o l hr he pa t nt t ea t e n . antf s rs ha hi s c lc i t e de ewhih c eaesa t ris ofm aera f c .Ho ve ,he ma ontit n he vi ne c r t no he s ue t il a t we r t nage ' rs a Dee ' t si ony a enoti onssen .Si y be aus Delre edshe m a ge ' nd lr s e tm r nc it t mpl c e e xce r na rs e p cain i p ro mi gp rso h r o d e n t raeamaeilis o fc a t h w o tn x e tto s n ef r n a t f e j b o s o c e t t ra sue f a t s o o fe s pe f m swak-hr he ror l t oughsofhe de rme .Be aus t une ese evi ncei t Dee r pa t nt c e he ont t d de s hat lr 9 waked t ough t a e whe e Pli iff lt mi esbe or Pl i iff l,Pl i ifhasf ie l hr he r a r antf el en nut f e a ntf el antf ald t m e the bur n ofe tbls n t tt pl tcwason t toorf a l e o e r de sa ihi g ha he asi he l or ong noug pe i of h rod tmet c r e De e ntw ih c t c i notc ofispr s nc on t foor Cons quenty, i o ha g f nda t onsnltve i e t e e e he l . e l t r i no e denc t tDefnda kn ors d ha known oft ha r he e s vi e ha e nt ew houl ve he za dousc to t ondii n,he plsi on t toor a t ss l ha r m e e t c ton. a tc he l , nd hi hou d ve e di d he ondii Pli ifas ma nti t ts i e il d t an i e e t tDe enda ' e pl e a ntf lo i ans ha he s ntte o nf r nce ha f nts m oye Le swasnoti t a e 1 1 mi e be or Pl ntf i i nt Pl ntf i corec t tt wi n he r a 0- 5 nut s f e ai ifs nc de . ai if s r t ha he e de e c e t sage neis ofm ae ilf tr r ngwhe Lewi wasl s i t ar a vi nc r a e nui s ue tra ac ega di n s a t n he e , be a e hi t s i c us s e tmony t theac ompa eda gua d c r i mone c lc swih t mana rs ha c ni r aryng y ontit t he ge ' ve ,hi s ue s e nt um y t si onyt tLe swoul notdo t t Howe r t sis doe notpr ve s mar e tm ha wi d ha . j d me ti fv ro Dee d n b c u e a s t u a o e t eei n is eo maeilfc a t u g n n a o f fn a t e a s , s e o t b v , h r s o su f tra a t s o wh nDee wa ls i tea e .Co e u nl, fn n i e tte t s mma yj d me t e lr s a t n h r a nsq e t Dee da ts nild o u r u g n y be us Pl ntf ca ca e ai if nnotesa ih t tD e e ntkne ors l ha known o t ha a do tbls ha f nda w hou d ve f he z r us c ton,t pi eofpl si on t toor a t ha adu yt r m e t c ton. ondii he ec a tc he l , nd hus d t o e dy he ondii Fi l Pli if he sse ,a he da era la itd t t y di notknow how t naly, a ntf, r it r nd r ught l dm te hat he d he naur oft ta t ort condii oft Home s ci pro t Pl i if sf l.Pl i ips t e he r fk he ton he e ton i r o antf a l antf ssersand da ersç es 't tmonya t pi t esde ci atmes ' o ype ti d t it ' ught ' t s'esi m nd he cur pi tng ç s' nl rane o ot a e oft sor Furhe , s ont ie sde c i a bengon t toor i a a s her r as he t e. t r ba ed he tm s rbed s i he l , t ppe r t ts h ie swoul notbe i t Hom es c i ne rt r gs Thus t ki al oft ha uc tm d n he e ton a he u . , a ng 1 he i er nc i t lghtm os f vor et Pl i if i i i ufi e a amate of1 t i e t t nf e es n he i t a abl o antf, t s ns fcint s t r aw o nf r ha De e nthad c tuc i notceofadange ousc ton i isHo ear a.Acc di y,ti f nda onsr tve i r ondii n t m e or ngl i s O RDERED t t ha : 1 0 1.Pl i ifsM o i f Ad r eJ r l tudi asa Re ul ofDef nda ' Spola i antf' ton or ve s u y nsr on s t e nts iton o Evd n e( 5 1i DENI f i e c DE- 3 s ED. 2 Dee d n' M o inf rSu r J d me tL 5 J sGRANTED. . fn a ts to o mmay u g n DE- 1 i 3.A1 pen ng motonsnotot r s r e upo a eDENI a moot 1 di i he wi e uld n r ED s . 4.Th Co l wile tras p rt j d me t e u' l ne e aae u g n . t ) M DONE a dORDERED i MimiFlrd ,hsQ Y dyof v mb r201 . n n a , o ia ti a No e e, 3 . Q .-. PATRI A A.SEI CI TZ UN I TED STATES DI STRI J CT UDGE c c: Al Couns ofRe r l el co d