United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
Dennis Saylor, IV, United States District Judge
a negligence case seeking recovery for personal injury.
Plaintiff Teresa Errico alleges that she tripped and fell on
a negligently maintained rug in a store operated by defendant
J.C. Penney Corp., Inc. J.C. Penney has moved for summary
judgment in its favor. For the reasons described below, that
motion will be granted.
following facts are either undisputed or set forth in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff.
Errico is a resident of Massachusetts. (Compl. ¶ 1
(stating plaintiff lives in Woburn); Def. SMF Ex. E (stating
plaintiff's home address is in Billerica); Def. SMF Ex. I
(stating that plaintiff's address is in Burlington)).
J.C. Penney is a Texas corporation with a principal place of
business in Texas. (Compl. ¶ 2). J.C. Penney operates a
store in Natick, Massachusetts, as part of the Natick
Collection. (See Id. ¶ 4; Def. SMF ¶ 4).
8, 2015, Errico and her daughter, Teresa Baumann, came
through an exterior entrance to the J.C. Penney store in
Natick. (Compl. ¶¶ 4-5; Def. SMF ¶ 4, Ex. E at
Answer 12, 14). Baumann entered the store “steps”
ahead of her mother. (Def. SMF ¶ 6, Ex. F at 23-24, Ex.
G). Errico tripped and fell as she was entering the store,
injuring herself. She alleges that she tripped on the rug by
the door, which was allegedly “curled up” or
“lifted up.” (Compl. ¶ 5; Def. SMF ¶ 4,
Ex. E at Answer 15).
testified that she was not looking at the rug when she walked
in, and did not notice whether it was lifted or not before
the incident. (Def. SMF ¶ 9, Ex. F at 31-32). After her
mother fell, Baumann saw that the rug had been lifted. (Def.
SMF ¶ 10, Ex. F at 30, 34-37). Baumann at one point
testified that “the girl from J.C. Penney” came
and flattened it, but later said “I think they came
over to look at the rug. I don't know if they fixed it. .
. . I'm trying to think. I would say-probably I
shouldn't say that I seen somebody actually doing that. I
don't know.” (Def. SMF ¶ 10, Ex. F at 33, 44).
testified that she never noticed the rug either before or
after the fall. (Def. SMF ¶ 13, Ex. H at 80-81). When
asked if she had any evidence as to what caused her fall, she
A. The rug because it caught my foot.
Q. And did it catch the front of your foot or the heel of
A. The whole foot.
(Def. SMF Ex. H at 80-81).
of the area were taken following the fall and later attached
to an incident report prepared by J.C. Penney staff. Those
photographs show part of a flat mat, slightly out of
alignment, leading from ...