United States District Court, D. Maryland
W. TITUS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
October 14, 2015, the Plaintiff, Tina Umheni
(“Umheni”), filed a Complaint in the Circuit
Court for Prince George's County, Maryland against Target
Corporation (“Target”) for claims arising out of
Umheni's fall in one of Target's stores “when
she stepped in a clear substance on the floor.” ECF No.
2 at 2-6. Target removed the case to this Court on December
16, 2015. ECF No. 1.
January 20, 2017, Target filed a case status report stating
that it intended to file a Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF
No. 33 at 1. Target then filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
on February 24, 2017. ECF No. 34. To date, Umheni has not
filed a Response, and the deadline to do so has long ago
passed. Accordingly, Defendant's Motion is
judgment is proper under Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 56(a) if there is
no genuine dispute of material fact, and the moving party is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Francis v. Booz,
Allen & Hamilton, Inc., 452 F.3d 299, 302 (4th Cir.
2006). A material fact is one that “might affect the
outcome of the suit under the governing law.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).
A dispute of material fact is genuine if the evidence would
allow the trier of fact to return a verdict for the nonmoving
party. Id. When considering a motion summary
judgment, the court has “an affirmative obligation . .
. to prevent ‘factually unsupported claims or
defenses' from proceeding to trial.” Felty v.
Grave-Humphreys Co., 818 F.2d 1126, 1128 (4th Cir. 1987)
(citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323-24). Thus, the
Court may only rely on facts supported in the record, not
assertions made in the pleading. Id. Moreover, the
Court must view all facts and make all reasonable inferences
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.
Matsuhita Elec. Indus. Co. Ltd. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986).
the failure of a party to respond to a summary judgment
motion may leave uncontroverted those facts established by
the motion, the moving party must still show that the
uncontroverted facts entitle the party to ‘a judgment
as a matter of law'. . . Thus, the court, in considering
a motion for summary judgment, must review the motion, even
if unopposed, and determine from what it has before it
whether the moving party is entitled to summary judgment as a
matter of law.” Maryland v. Universal Elections,
Inc., 862 F.Supp.2d 457, 462 (D. Md. 2012) (citing and
quoting Custer v. Pan Am. Life Ins. Co., 12 F.3d
410, 416 (4th Cir.1993)).
order to prove a claim of negligence against a defendant in a
slip and fall case, a plaintiff must show that the defendant
owed the plaintiff a duty of care and that the defendant
breached that duty. A store owner has a duty to exercise
reasonable care “‘to protect the invitee from
injury caused by an unreasonable risk' that the invitee
would be unlikely to perceive in the exercise of ordinary
care for his or her own safety.” Tennant v.
Shoppers Food Warehouse Md. Corp., 115 Md.App. 381, 388
(1997) (quoting Casper v. Charles F. Smith & Son,
Inc., 316 Md. 573, 582 (1989)). “The burden is
upon the customer to show that the proprietor. . . had actual
or constructive knowledge that the dangerous condition
existed.” Rehn v. Westfield Am., 153 Md.App.
586, 593 (2003) (citing Moulden v. Greenbelt Consumer
Servs., Inc., 239 Md. 229, 232 (1965) (internal
quotations omitted)). Here, there is nothing in the record to
suggest that Target had actual or constructive notice of-much
less caused-the allegedly hazardous condition that caused
Umheni's fall. Even when the Court views all reasonable
inferences in a light most favorable to Umheni, see
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. at 587, there are no
material facts that are genuinely in dispute, entitling
Target to judgment as a matter of law. See Celotex
Corp., 477 U.S. at 322. Accordingly, the uncontroverted
facts in the record require the Court to find for Target on
Count II, Umheni alleges that Target was negligent in hiring,
training, and supervising the employees who maintained the
premises. ECF No. 2 at 6. Umheni's Complaint, however,
only contain bare assertions and legal conclusions. She does
not present material facts that genuinely dispute the facts
outlined in Target's Motion. Therefore, for this reason
and those described in Target's Motion, the Court will
also find for Target as to Count II. See ECF No. 35
at 10-14; see also Felty, 818 F.2d at 1128
(requiring the court only rely on facts supported in the
record when deciding a motion for summary judgment, not mere
assertions made in the complaint).
the Court will grant summary judgment for the Defendant as to
both counts. A separate order follows.
 This is not the first time that
Plaintiff's Counsel has failed to respond to a motion. A
Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [ECF No.
24] was granted when no ...