McPherson v. Kroger Limited Partnership I, No. 7:2011cv00498 - Document 31 (W.D. Va. 2012)

Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by District Judge Glen E. Conrad on 8/3/2012. (mlh)
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CU S OFFI U : Ql CŠr ERK' CE :X A > N IL ,A T véi V . k I THE UNI N TED STATES DI STRI COURT CT FOR THE W ESTERN DI STRI OF VI NI CT RGI A ROAN OK E D I SI VI ON FI 5-3 1 JULA DU EY; FRK I ra BK . DEP ELI BETH M CPH ER SO N , ZA Ci lA c i N o. 11 00498 vi ton 7: CV Pl i if a nt f , M EM O M N D U M O PI O N NI K RO G ER LI I M TED PA RTN ERSHI 1 P , By:Hon.Gln E.Corr d e la Chi fU nie St t Di t i tJ e t d a es s rc udge Def ndan . e t l t s pr m i esla lt a i n,Elz be h M c r on s e t r c rf pe s l n hi e s i biiy cto ia t phe s e ks o e ove or r ona ij re s san dwh ns ef l isd ag o eyso eo e a do eae byt ed fn a t nu is u tie e h el n ie r c r tr wn d n p rt d h e e d n , Kr rLi tdPa t rhi I(t r r'.Thecaei prs ntybeor t cour onKr rs oge mie rne s p E oge' K. ) s s e e l f e he t oge ' moi f rs ton o umma yj r udgme .Fort ras t tf l t cour wilgr tKr rsmoto nt he e ons ha olow,he t l an oge ' in. St em ent of t Fact at s he s The f l ng f t a epr e e i t lghtm os f vor bl t t pl ntf. Se olowi acs r es nt d n he i t a a e o he ai if e Andes nv.Li t Lobby-nc.477U. 242,255( 986)( i t tale de mus be ro bery l , S. 1 notng ha l vi nce t c nsnzdi t elg t s f v rb et t ep ryo po i gs mmayj d me t. o t e n h ih mo t a o a l o h a t p sn u l u g n) O n M a c 1 201 M cphe s n e er d t de e nt s s or i Roc M ount V igi a r h 5, 0, r o nt e he f nda ' t e n ky , r ni t s f gr res The a ci nta i s oc ur ed whie M c o hop or oce i . c de t s ue c r l pher on was i t m ea s n he t de r m e . She par d he s pa t nt ke r hoppi ca ta wal d t t s a al m e tbunke i t ng r nd ke o he t nd- one a r n he mi eoft a se,whe et foze t ke br a t we el a e ddl he i l r he r n ur y e ss r oc t d.W hieM c r on wa l phe s s e m i ng t f oze t ke br s s he r g f be a e l ed unde ne t t bunke . W he xa ni he r n ur y ea t , r i ht oot c m odg r a h he r n s pule he f fe s fl t t foora ij e he lf kne he ld r oot r e, he elo he l nd n urd r et e. M c r on che d t s e w ha m i htha c us d he t f land s w a e e t i al phe s cke o e t g ve a e r o al a n l vrc rce aceç ngngdown'fo t mea burker ( c ronDe a 30. Shes eque l e pt l ç i ha 'r m he t l . M phes p. t ) ubs nty s o t Brn o Hems teso e sc - n g r a da v s dhm t a s eh d( o k d (e) p ke o e t n l ,h t r ' oma a e , n d ie i h t h a E o e h r h f t'o t r e a e.(d. t37. t oo' n he ec ptcl 1 a )AlhoughHemsdi no s eM c s fl,hei l dt s l d t e pheron al ncude hi i or a i i a i i ntr por t the c pl t d f l i t a i . l r pons t a nf m ton n n nc de e t ha om e e olow ng he cc dent n es eo q s i n r ga di whet t r w asa hi o t f oorw her M c r on f l He m s c r l d ue t o e r ng her he e nyt ng n he l e phe s el, l ic e ç e l' ndwr eE ecrc oute onboto ofburke . ( msDe Ex.1. Hemsnoe t t t s'a yl ot d tial lt el tm l r' Hel ' p. ) l td ha t r e a l wa $1. (nc s of ofburke . (d. he ec ptce s $ 5 i he ) f l r' l ) ' Dur ng hi de ii H e m s e a ned t tal oft bun r ha el ti a r c pt c es i s pos ton, l xpl i ha l he ke s ve ec r c l e e a l on t endsoft ca e ,a t tt y ar r ce s sx t e g i he unde a lp. The he he s s nd ha he e e s ed i o i ht nc s r i r e a l s a e a fxed t t c s s w ih s r w s W he a r e ac e i a o i t l m o mt d,i ec pt c e r f i o he a e t c e . n ec pt l s ppr pr a e y t e t i e s ntaly fus w ih t r ce s d por i oft ca e. H e m s t s ii t t i hi t n ye r s s e i l l h t he e s e ton he s l e tfed ha , n s e a s w or ng f K r r he di notbele t the ha e e ount r d a r ce ac et twaspule ki or oge , d i ve ha d ver nc ee e pt l ha ld f om ispr rpos ton. Li w i e, el st tfed t the c d notr al anyo e rad s ng r t ope ii ke s H m es ii ha oul ec l ne ve vii hi ofa pr e sw ih a e ec r c r c a e unde a bunke . Hel sac m ny obl m t n l t i al e ept cl r r m know l ge t t ed d ha e mi ngt ee ti lr e aceswasnotChi on ( s ls ofi peci ie , ( msDe xa ni he lcrca ec pt l l gh hil it ns ton tms' Hel ' p. a 22) whe heC kedaoundt sor pr bl ahund e tmesada 'I a 7) t , n é wal r he t e oba y rd i y'(d. t . M c r on t s i i d t ts di no s e t e ec r c r ce ac e be or s f l. phe s e tfe ha he d t e he l ti al e pt l f e he e l M c r on a s ac phe s l o know l dge t ts doe notknow w ha ca e t r ce a l t co e l e e d ha he s t us d he e pt c e o m oos orwhe t r c pt l c m e t be i t tc ton. Li w i e, n he r pons t Kr r s n he e e ac e a o n ha ondii ke s i r es es o oge ' r ques sf ad i s ons M cphe s n a it d t ts ha no i or a i o knowl dge ast e t or m s i , r o dm te ha he s nf m ton r e o how l ng t r c pt l ha bee l e pr ort herf l. M c r on f t r a it t ts ha o he e e ac e d n oos i o al phe s ur he dm ted ha he s no i or aton orknow l nf m i edge t any K r hat ogerem pl oyeeshad act knowl ual edge ofa l oose or da i el c r c lr c pt l be or he a i n . nglng e t i a e e ac e f e r cc de t ProceduralH itorv s O n Se e ber29,2011 M c r on fl d t sneg i nc ac i a i tK r ri t pt m , phe s i e hi lge e ton ga ns oge n he Ci c tCour f t Coun y ofFr nkln. K r rr m ove t a ton t t s c ton t ba i of r ui t or he t a i oge e d he c i o hi our he s s di s t ofc tze hi Folow i t c os ofdi cove y,M cphe s m o d f s m a y ver iy ii ns p. l ng he l e s r r on ve or um r j dg n .Th c u t edah aigo t emo ino J l 2 , 01 u me t e o r h l e rn n h to n uy 5 2 2.Th mo inh sb e f l e to a e n ul y bref d a i r pe f rr vi w . i e nd s i o e e St andard ofR e ew vi Un e Rul 56o teFe ea Rue ofCiiPr c d r , n a r o s mma yj g n i d r e f h d r l ls vl o e u e a wad f u r ud me t s a opr a e onl çi t m ova s s t tt r i no ge ne di put a t a m a e i lf c a ppr i t y <f he nt how ha he e s nui s e s o ny t r a a t nd temo a ti e tte t j d me ta amatro lw. F d R. v. 5 () l rviwiga h v n s n ild o u g n s te f a ' e . Ci P. 6 a . n e e n ' mo inf rs mmayj g n ,hec u t s c nsr eter c r i t lg t s fv rbet to o u r ud me t t o r mu t o tu h e o d n he i h mo t a o a l o t non- ovi pa t A nder on,477 U . a 255. To w ihs a a m oton f sz m a y he m ng ry. s S. t t t nd i or tm r j d me t t n n mo i pa t mu to fre d n ed mo tai gt ee itn eo ag n ie u g n ,he o - vng ry s fe vie c e nsrtn h x se c f e un i s ofm a e i lf c f r ti l Se Thom ps v.Po om ac El c. s ue t ra a t o ra . e on t e Pow e Co. 31 F. 645,649 r , 2 3d ( hCi. 4t r 2002)(ç l or ors ultvealgai dono s fc nordoesame es ntla t concus y pec ai le tons t ufie, r ci il o e ie ei s pp r of(h n n mo n p ry'jc s .)(n en lq oain makso te ) f vd nc n u o t te o - vig a t s a e' itr a u tto r mi d . ' t D i si scus on l Vigi a,çgj r esa ia et si and-alc esa ewels tl ' W i Di e n r ni tthe ul pplc bl o lp- fl as r l eted.' nn- xi Str s I v.Pake ,396S. 2d649,650( 1 .Unde t er es asor owne i notal o e .nc. r r E. Va. 990) r hes ul , t e rs t i ur rof a i t s s f t on t pr m i es butm us us or na y ca e t r nde t pr m i e ns e n nviee' a e y he e s , t e di r r o e r he e s s ras bl s f f t i te' vii.Fulzv. l ieAm .I , S. 2d272, ( . e ona y ae or he nvie s st t Dehaz - nc.677 E. 274 Va 2009) Or na ycaer quie t owne t kee t pr s i ar s bl sf c ton't . di r r e rs he r o p he emies n ea ona y ae ondii , o rmove,wihi ar s bl tme f egnobecsa s tnc sfom t foorwhent owne e t n ea ona e i , ori j t nd ubsa e r he l he r knowsors d know oft i pr e e'a t wa n u houl her es nc , nd o r nknowi c t e sofuns f c to ng usom r a e ondiins ofw hi h t ow ne know sor s d know . W i n- i e St e ,396 S. 2d a 650. c he r houl n D xi or s E. t To es a i h a pr m a f ci ca e ofneg i nce i a pr m i e labiiy ac i E he pl ntf t bls i a e s lge n e s s i lt ton, i t ai if m us i r t nt oduc e de oft r po i e pe s s a t lo c t u t ve know l dg ofa e vi nce he es nsbl r on' c ua r ons r c i e e d fciec n iinontep e s s' i v Ra e I c, 3 S. 2 8 8 8 9( .1 9 ) W h n ee tv o dto h rmie . m . h .n .4 4 E.d 8 , 8 Va 9 3 . e 'Gr t r i no e de e ofac ualknow l dge asi t c e he e t pl i ifm us pr f rs fc e he e s vi nc t e , s he as r , he a ntf t of e uf i i nt evi nc t ma outaprmafceca eofne i nc bas donc tuci knowl de e o ke i ai s glge e e onsr tve edge.I To Z es a ih c t u tve know l dge ofa de ec i c ton on t pr i es t pl i ifm us t bls ons r c i e f tve ondii he em s , he a ntf t s how t tt de ec w asno i e bl a t ti ha e s e f a s fc e l ngt oftm e t ha he f t t c a e, nd ha t d xi t d or ufi i nt e h i o cha ge t s or o ne w ih notc I at890. 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Be aus t pl ntf s e de di no s w t hen t f xtle w a br n, t Supr m e c e he ai if ' vi nce d t ho d w he i tr s oke ' he ' e Cou tofVigi ahed t tt y G d no ma outaprma f ci ca eofneglgenc a t tt r r ni l ha he t di t ke i a e s i e nd ha he tilc t r c l sr k t i evi e. L a at890.I r achi t sdecii t Supr m e ra our core ty tuc her denc ' d ' n e ng hi s on, he e - Courtem phas zed t i i Si posed a dut ...t di coverand r edy t s br i hat f t tm y o s em hi oken f xt e w hen i ur i mihtha be nbr nmi esbefr Ehebo s ij y,(heCour)woul efci y t g ve e oke nul o e t y') n ur t t d fe tvel 4 r q r ( r sa rn lt is r isc tmesa an tij r b s hfxu e t a aen t e uie t e tu a t o n u e t uso r g i s nu y y uc i tr s h t r o he i r nty da er i unbr n. I nhe e l ng ous f oke ' d. 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