Introduction to Legal Research, Unit 3

FACTS: On June 13th 2003, Patterson was walking through the common area of the University Park Mall ( the Mall) when she slipped and fell on a liquefied cheese substance, which was like cheese whiz. Due to the high volume of traffic, Patterson did not see the cheese substance prior to the fall, as she and her daughter passed through the mall that day. Patterson states she did not see anyone trying to avoid the cheese before she slipped nor did she notice anyone dropping it just prior to her fall. She states she did not notice anyone with cheese on their shoes or anyone who was tracking it with their feet. John Simons has been employed by the Mall as a security sergeant for four years. Simons duties include walking through the Mall to inspect the common areas for substances that could cause customers to slip and fall. Simons was working on June 13th, 2003, and between 4:19 and 4:21 p.m., Simons inspected the area where Patterson later fell and did not see any substance, including cheese that would pose a danger as a potential slip or fall. Had Simons noticed such a substance he would have notified housekeeping to clean it. Simons was informed after 4:25 p.m. that a customer had fallen in the area he had just inspected and he returned immediately to assist Patterson. Patterson filed a complaint on November 10th, 2003, alleging that the Mall owner had negligently failed to maintain a safe walkway, resulting in injuries to her left knee, ankle and wrist, and leading to physical limitations and substantial mental and physical pain and suffering. FN1 Appellants App. p. 4. On September 2, 2005, University filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that it was excused from liability because it had demonstrated that there was insufficient time for it to have had notice that a foreign substance had endangered its invitees. Pattersons response to the motion was untimely and was stricken by the trial court on October 17, 2005. FN2 Following a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of University on January 18, 2006. Patterson now appeals. FN1. Patterson initially filed her complaint against the wrong entity, and on March 12, 2004, she filed a stipulation to substitute University as the defendant. FN2. Patterson does not appeal the trial courts order granting Universitys motion to strike her response to the summary judgment motion. ISSUE: Appellant-plaintiff Florene Patterson appeals from the trial courts order granting summary judgment in favor of appellee-defendant University Park Associates (University). Specifically, Patterson argues that the affidavit designated by University to support its motion for summary judgment is inadmissible. RULE: Owens Corning Fiberglass Corp. v. Cobb, 754 N.E.2d 905, 909 (Ind. 2001); see also Ind. Trial Rule 56(C). On a motion for summary judgment, all doubts as to the existence of material issues of fact must be resolved against the moving part Owens Corning, 754 N.E.2d at 909. all facts and reasonable inferences from those facts are construed in favor of the nonmoving party. Id. If there is any doubt as to what conclusion a jury could reach, then summary judgment is improper. Id McClyde v. Archdiocese of Indianapolis, 752 N.E.2d 229, 232 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001). t to prevail

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