The opinion of the court was delivered by: SEYBERT
Presently pending before the Court is defendants' motion for summary judgment in this diversity jurisdiction "slip and fall" personal injury negligence action. The defendants have established that there are no genuine issues of material fact in dispute and are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and therefore, defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted.
On Saturday October 20, 1993, the plaintiff, Anne Quarles, was employed by the Teachers Education Institute and was present at the Radisson Islandia Hotel ("Radisson") to teach a course in self esteem to school teachers in the Long Island area. The plaintiff arrived at the Radisson on Friday afternoon and gave the first three hours of instruction that evening. The following morning, the plaintiff went downstairs into the hotel restaurant for breakfast, after which she went into the meeting room to make sure her class materials were in their proper place. About twenty to thirty minutes later, at approximately 8:00 A.M., the plaintiff, wearing flat heeled shoes, proceeded toward the elevator bank intending to return to her room to freshen up before class. En route, while walking on the marble floor in the vicinity of the elevator, she slipped and fell to the ground.
Mr. and Mrs. Sierra apparently observed the fall from a nearby lobby couch and came to the plaintiff's aid. Plaintiff testified at a deposition that the Sierras told her, "you slipped there in the coffee." The plaintiff observed a nine inch by eight inch puddle with a heel mark right through it. The plaintiff also testified that there were people in the lobby area holding coffee cups during the time in question and recalls seeing a coffee cart in the vicinity. After resting a few moments on the floor, the plaintiff was helped up and proceeded to her room.
After returning to the lobby and prior to her 8:30 A.M. class, Ms. Quarles went to the reception desk to fill out an accident report. The plaintiff was informed that hotel desk personnel do not fill out reports and that an assistant manager would contact her. The following day, she spoke with an assistant manager who did not prepare a report of the incident but informed the plaintiff that he had himself previously fallen on the slippery marble floor while placing goods into a closet. On December 3, 1993, during the plaintiff's subsequent visit to the Radisson, an official written report was taken by the manager, Susanne Allen.
Ms. Quarles completed the weekend seminar and was first medically treated on the following Monday, October 22, 1993. She subsequently underwent hip replacement surgery and arthroscopic surgery on her knee.
On February 21, 1996, the plaintiff commenced this instant action by filing a complaint, and is demanding a trial by jury.
I. STANDARDS FOR GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c), courts may not grant a motion for summary judgment unless "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). The burden of proof is on the moving party to show that there is no genuine issue of material fact, Gallo v. Prudential Residential Servs., L.P., 22 F.3d 1219, 1223 (2d Cir. 1994)(citing Heyman v. Commerce & Indus. Ins. Co., 524 F.2d 1317, 1320 (2d Cir. 1975)), and "all ambiguities must be resolved and all inferences drawn in favor of the party against whom summary judgment is sought." Id. (citing Eastway Constr. Corp. v. City of New York, 762 F.2d 243, 249 (2d Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 918, 108 S. Ct. 269, 98 L. Ed. 2d 226 (1987)). "Factual disputes that are irrelevant or unnecessary will not be counted." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986) (citing 10A C. Wright, A. Miller, & M. Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure § 2725, at 93-95 (1983)).
A party opposing a motion for summary judgment "'may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Id. at 248, 106 S. Ct. at 2510 (quoting First Nat'l Bank v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89, 88 S. Ct. 1575, 1592, 20 L. Ed. 2d 569 (1968). Under the law of the Second Circuit, "when no rational jury could find in favor of the nonmoving party because the evidence is so slight, there is no genuine issue of material fact and a ...