United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
personal injury action brought by Vera Pondexter is before
Court on the motion for summary judgment filed by Wal-Mart
Stores East, LP, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Doc. #40.
February 25, 2016, Vera Pondexter filed suit in the Circuit
Court of Panola County, Mississippi, against Wal-Mart Stores
East, LP, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (collectively,
“Wal-Mart”). Doc. #2. Pondexter asserts a claim
for negligence arising out of her slip and fall at a Wal-Mart
store in Batesville, Mississippi, and seeks damages for
medical expenses, lost earnings, physical injury, emotional
trauma, and pain and suffering. Id. at ¶¶
5-9, 14-23, 25-28. Wal-Mart filed a notice of removal in this
Court on March 31, 2016, alleging diversity jurisdiction.
Doc. #1 at ¶ 12-13. Wal-Mart answered the state court
complaint on April 5, 2016. Doc. #4.
16, 2016, United States Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander
issued a case management order setting, among other things,
the expert designation deadline as October 3, 2016, for
Pondexter and as November 3, 2016, for Wal-Mart; and the
deadline for dispositive and Daubert motions as January 17,
2017. Doc. #14. On September 29, 2016, Judge Alexander, on
Wal-Mart's unopposed motion, extended the expert
designation deadline to November 2, 2016, for Pondexter and
to December 2, 2016, for Wal-Mart. Doc. #23. Pondexter filed
“Plaintiff's Expert Designation Pursuant to Rule
26(A)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure” on
October 31, 2016. Doc. #24. On December 2, 2016, Wal-Mart
filed its “Notice of Service of Designation of Expert
Witnesses.” Doc. #25.
December 5, 2016, Pondexter filed a “Notice of
Voluntary Dismissal without Prejudice Pursuant to Miss.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1).” Doc. #26. The same day,
Pondexter filed a “Motion for Voluntary Dismissal
without Prejudice Pursuant to Miss. Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1).
Doc. #27. On December 7, 2016, Wal-Mart filed both an initial
response in opposition to Pondexter's motion for
voluntary dismissal and an amended response. Doc. #28; Doc.
#29. Pondexter replied on December 12, 2016. Doc. #30.
Wal-Mart filed a second amended response on January 4, 2017.
January 17, 2017, Wal-Mart filed the instant motion for
summary judgment. Doc. #40. Pondexter responded in opposition
to the summary judgment motion on January 30, 2017, and
Wal-Mart replied on February 6, 2017. Doc. #42; Doc. #43. On
April 17, 2017, this Court issued an order denying
Pondexter's motion for voluntary dismissal. Doc. #46.
judgment is proper only when the record demonstrates that no
genuine issue of material fact exists and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Luv
N' Care Ltd. v. Groupo Rimar, 844 F.3d 442,
447 (5th Cir. 2016). “A factual issue is genuine if the
evidence is sufficient for a reasonable jury to return a
verdict for the non-moving party and material if its
resolution could affect the outcome of the action.”
Burton v. Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.,
798 F.3d 222, 226 (5th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks
omitted). On a motion for summary judgment, a court must
“consider the evidence in the light most favorable to
the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in its
favor.” Edwards v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 841
F.3d 360, 363 (5th Cir. 2016).
seeking summary judgment, “[t]he moving party bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of the
record which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine
issue of material fact.” Nola Spice
Designs, L.L.C. v. Haydel Enters., Inc., 783 F.3d
527, 536 (5th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation marks and
alterations omitted). If the moving party satisfies this
burden, “the non-moving party must go beyond the
pleadings and by her own affidavits, or by the depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, designate
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Id. (internal quotation marks
omitted). “Where the nonmoving party bears the burden
of proof at trial, the moving party satisfies this initial
burden by demonstrating an absence of evidence to support the
nonmoving party's case.” Celtic Marine Corp. v.
James C. Justice Cos., Inc., 760 F.3d 477, 481 (5th Cir.