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Grandberry v. RIH Acquisitions MS II, LLC

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

June 5, 2018

BETTINA GRANDBERRY APPELLANT
v.
RIH ACQUISITIONS MS II, LLC D/B/A BALLY'S CASINO APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/27/2017

          TUNICA COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. CHARLES E. WEBSTER TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: BETTINA GRANDBERRY (PRO SE)

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: RICHARD D. UNDERWOOD

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., CARLTON AND WESTBROOKS, JJ.

          WESTBROOKS, J.

         ¶1. Bettina Grandberry alleged she was injured by an unknown object and assailant in Bally's Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. Grandberry brought a negligence action under the theory of premises liability against RIH Acquisitions MS II, LLC d/b/a Bally's Casino. The Tunica County Circuit Court granted Bally's motion for summary judgment. Grandberry appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶2. On November 3, 2012, Grandberry and her sister, Charlene Lyon, went to Bally's Casino in Tunica, Mississippi. After visiting the buffet, the sisters sat down at a table to eat. Before getting a chance to begin their meals, the lights in the casino went out due to a third- party car accident outside of the casino. Grandberry claims there were two power outages within a five minute period.[1] The first outage being forty-five seconds in duration and the second lasted for a period of three to five minutes. It is during the second outage that Grandberry asserts that she was hit in the back of the head with an unknown object by an unknown person. Immediately after the lights resumed, Grandberry was transported to Baptist DeSoto Hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

         ¶3. In October 2015, Grandberry brought an action against Bally's for negligence under the theory of premises liability in response to her injuries. Grandberry appeared pro se. In November 2015, the circuit court set a deadline for discovery of 120 days after service of an answer. Bally's filed its answer on November 19, 2015, setting the deadline at March 19, 2016. Bally's deposed Grandberry on March 22, 2016, after re-noticing the original deposition set for March 1, 2016. After responding to discovery, on April 18, 2016, Bally's filed a motion for summary judgment. In January 2017, the circuit court granted Bally's motion. Grandberry timely appeals.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         ¶4. In regard to summary judgment, this Court has previously held,

In considering a trial court's grant of a motion for summary judgment, this Court conducts a de novo review and examines all the evidentiary matters before it-admissions in pleadings, answers to interrogatories, depositions, affidavits, etc. The Mississippi Supreme Court recently clarified the summary-judgment standard, explaining that the movant bears the burden of persuading the trial judge that: (1) no genuine issue of material fact exists, and (2) on the basis of the facts established, he is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. The supreme court further stated that the movant bears the burden of production if, at trial, he would bear the burden of proof on the issue raised. In other words, the movant only bears the burden of production where he would bear the burden of proof at trial.

Jones v. Dragway Enterprises, Inc., 203 So.3d 1157, 1160 (¶10) (Miss. Ct. App. 2016) (citing Dickinson v. Vanderburg, 141 So.3d 455, 457 (ΒΆ4) ...


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