United States District Court, D. Idaho
VERONICA J. CRISOSTOMO aka VERONICA J. TAYLOR, Plaintiff,
TARGET CORPORATION, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Lynn Winmill Chief U.S. District Court Judge.
Court has before it Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment (Dkt. 28). Crisostomo represents herself pro
se in this matter. Therefore, the Court notified
Crisostomo of the summary judgment motion, along with an
explanation of her right to respond to the motion. However,
the time for responding to the motion has passed, and
Crisostomo has not responded. Accordingly, the Court will
address the motion for summary judgment based solely on
Target's brief and supporting documents.
filed her complaint in Idaho state court, but the case was
removed to this Court based on diversity jurisdiction. The
complaint asserts a sole count of negligence. That claim
alleges that Crisostomo crashed while riding one of
Target's store scooters at a Target store in Ammon,
Idaho. Crisostomo claims she crashed because the scooter was
defective. In January 2018, Crisostomo's attorney asked
to withdraw as counsel for Crisostomo, and the Court granted
the motion. Although the Court gave Crisostomo additional
time to retain new counsel, she failed to do so. Target then
filed its motion for summary judgment, and Crisostomo failed
judgment is appropriate where a party can show that, as to
any claim or defense, “there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). One of the
principal purposes of the summary judgment “is to
isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims . . .
.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
323-24 (1986). It is “not a disfavored procedural
shortcut, ” but is instead the “principal tool[ ]
by which factually insufficient claims or defenses [can] be
isolated and prevented from going to trial with the attendant
unwarranted consumption of public and private
resources.” Id. at 327. “[T]he mere
existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties
will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for
summary judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). There must be a
genuine dispute as to any material fact - a fact
“that may affect the outcome of the case.”
Id. at 248.
evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party, and the Court must not make credibility
findings. Id. at 255. Direct testimony of the
non-movant must be believed, however implausible. Leslie
v. Grupo ICA, 198 F.3d 1152, 1159 (9th Cir. 1999). On
the other hand, the Court is not required to adopt
unreasonable inferences from circumstantial evidence.
McLaughlin v. Liu, 849 F.2d 1205, 1208 (9th Cir.
moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the
absence of a genuine dispute as to material fact.
Devereaux v. Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 1076 (9th Cir.
2001)(en banc). To carry this burden, the moving party need
not introduce any affirmative evidence (such as affidavits or
deposition excerpts) but may simply point out the absence of
evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.
Fairbank v. Wunderman Cato Johnson, 212 F.3d 528,
532 (9th Cir.2000).
shifts the burden to the non-moving party to produce evidence
sufficient to support a jury verdict in her favor.
Deveraux, 263 F.3d at 1076. The non-moving party
must go beyond the pleadings and show “by her [ ]
affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to
interrogatories, or admissions on file” that a genuine
dispute of material fact exists. Celotex, 477 U.S.
contends the scooter was not defective, and it has produced
evidence to that effect. The declarations of the Target store
manager and other employees establish that the scooter was
tested shortly after the alleged incident, and no defects
were found. See Francis Decl., Dkt. 28-2;
Schreibeis Decl., Dkt. 28-3; Warren Decl.,
Dkt. 28-4. The scooter was test driven by several employees,
and there were no malfunctions. Id. The scooter was
returned to service within a few days of the incident in
April 2016, and it has been problem-free since. Crisostomo
has provided no contrary evidence from either an expert or
these circumstances, Target has met its initial burden of
demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute as to material
fact. Devereaux v. Abbey,263 F.3d 1070, 1076 (9th
Cir. 2001)(en banc). As explained above, to carry this
burden, Target need not introduce any affirmative evidence
(such as affidavits or deposition excerpts) but may simply
point out the absence of evidence to support the nonmoving
party's case. Fairbank v. Wunderman Cato
Johnson,212 F.3d 528, 532 (9th Cir.2000). The burden
therefore shifts to Crisostomo, but she has not produced any
evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact on