United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER
LaSHANN DeARCY HALL, United States District Judge.
Jacqueline Young brings this action for negligence,
intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent
infliction of emotional distress claims against Defendant
Southwest Airlines Company. Defendant moves pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 for partial summary
judgment and dismissal of Plaintiff's damages
claims. For the reasons stated herein,
Defendant's motion is hereby granted.
The Hard Landing
22, 2013, Plaintiff was a passenger on Southwest Airlines
Flight 345. (See Pl.'s 56.1 Statement
¶¶ 1-2, ECF No. 44-28.) Upon arrival at LaGuardia
Airport, the plane experienced what the parties have
described as a “hard landing.” (Id.
¶ 1.) According to Plaintiff, the plane landed
“out of control, ” “nose first, ” and
“careened down the runway.” (Opp'n 1-2, ECF
No. 44-29.) In any event, following the July 22, 2013
incident, Plaintiff claimed injuries resulting in pain to her
left shoulder, lower back and/or hip,  and neck, as well
as headaches, hearing loss, and nausea. (Pl.'s 56.1
Statement ¶¶ 2, 30; Crowley Decl. Ex. A, at
47:15-23, ECF No. 44-2; Crowley Decl. Ex. E, at 3, ECF No.
44-6.) There is no evidence in the record indicating that
Plaintiff sought immediate medical attention following the
incident. However, approximately one week later, Plaintiff
underwent x-rays, which indicated “early degenerative
disk disease” but showed no fractures. (Crowley Decl.
Ex. R, ECF No. 44-19.)
instituted this action in Queens County Supreme Court on
August 2, 2013. (Notice of Removal, ECF No. 1.) In her Complaint,
Plaintiff alleges that as a result of Defendant's actions
she was “severely injured, bruised, and wounded,
suffered, still suffers, and will continue to suffer for some
time great physical pain and great bodily injuries and became
sick, sore, lame and disabled and so remained for a
considerable length of time.” (Compl. ¶ 23, ECF
Plaintiff's Prior Medical History
has been classified as disabled for over sixteen years.
(See Pl.'s 56.1 Statement ¶ 15.) Indeed,
Plaintiff has been involved in a series of accidents and has
suffered from numerous medical conditions that predate the
July 2013 incident. In 2000, Plaintiff fell from a catwalk,
injuring both of her knees and her left shoulder.
(Id.) Since at least 2001, Plaintiff has complained
of neck pain, persistent back pain, and headaches due to
chronic medical conditions, including hypertension and
anemia. (Id. ¶¶ 16-18.) In 2001, Plaintiff
was diagnosed with uterine fibroids, which can potentially
cause hip pain. (Id. ¶¶ 25-26.) In May
2003, Plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident.
(Id. ¶ 23.) As a result of that accident,
Plaintiff again complained of neck pain as well as pain to
the right side of her back. (Id.) In April 2004,
Plaintiff sought medical attention for neck pain.
(Id. ¶ 24.) In 2010, Plaintiff was involved in
a trip and fall accident in which she injured her neck,
thoracic spine, and lower back. (Id. ¶ 28.)
four months before the July 2013 incident, on March 15, 2013,
Plaintiff slipped and fell in a Walmart store. (Id.
¶ 4.) As a result of that accident, Plaintiff claimed to
have sustained injuries that resulted in pain to her
shoulder, back, and hip. (Id. ¶ 5.) Subsequent
to the fall, Plaintiff also complained of a headache.
(Id. ¶ 20.) In April 2013, Plaintiff reported
left hip pain and stiffness that permeated down her pelvic
region and thigh. (See Id. ¶ 27.) On June 4,
2013, Plaintiff underwent her first of at least two MRIs in
connection with the injuries she sustained from the fall at
Walmart. (See Id. ¶¶ 13, 33.) That MRI
showed “[m]ild degenerative spondylosis without
significant spinal or neuroforaminal compromise.”
(Crowley Decl. Ex. G, at 2, ECF No. 44-8.) A second MRI on
August 1, 2013, identified “[n]o definite etiology of
left hip pain, ” but it did reveal a “[l]arge
fibroid within the uterus.” (See Pl.'s 56.1
Statement ¶ 33; Crowley Decl. Ex. S, at 2, ECF No.
judgment must be granted when 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);
see Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
247-48 (1986). A genuine dispute of material fact exists
“if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. At summary judgment, the
movant bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986); Feingold v. New
York, 366 F.3d 138, 148 (2d Cir. 2004). Where the
non-movant bears the burden of proof at trial, the
movant's initial burden at summary judgment can be met by
pointing to a lack of evidence supporting the
non-movant's claim. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at
the movant meets that burden, the non-movant may defeat
summary judgment only by producing evidence of specific facts
that raise a genuine issue for trial. See Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(c); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; Davis
v. New York, 316 F.3d 93, 100 (2d Cir. 2002). The court
is to view all such facts in the light most favorable to the
non-movant, drawing all justifiable inferences in her favor.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. To survive summary
judgment, a non-movant must present concrete evidence and
rely on more than conclusory or speculative claims. Quinn
v. Syracuse Model Neighborhood Corp., 613 F.2d 438, 445
(2d Cir. 1980). If the admissible evidence is insufficient to
permit a rational juror to find in favor of the non-movant,
the court may grant summary judgment. Amorgianos v.
Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., 303 F.3d 256, 267 (2d