United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE United States District Judge
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Georgia Pacific
Consumer Products (Camas), LLC's (“GP”)
motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 34). The Court has
considered the pleadings filed in support of the motion and
the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion for
the reasons stated herein.
31, 2015, Plaintiff Raymond Hafliger (“Hafliger”)
filed a complaint against GP and other defendants in Clark
County Superior Court for the State of Washington. Dkt. 1-2.
Hafliger asserts claims for negligence, breach of common law
safe workplace doctrine, premises liability, and a violation
of Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act, RCW Chapter
49.17 (“WISHA”). Id.
November 6, 2015, GP removed the case to this Court. Dkt. 1.
January 11, 2017, GP filed a motion for summary judgment.
Dkt. 34. Hafliger did not respond.
case arises out of an accident involving Hafliger at the GP
paper mill in Camas, Washington. Hafliger, a driver employed
by Walsh Trucking, alleges that on August 3, 2012, at
approximately 7:45 PM, he was injured when he exited his
vehicle to use the bathroom. Hafliger had delivered sawdust
to the Camas Mill for over seven years in his employment with
Walsh Trucking, and had used this Porta Potty, which had
always been in the same location, more than a dozen times.
evening in question, Hafliger finished dumping sawdust at
tipper # 10 and pulled down the sloped asphalt leading up to
the tipper. He alleges that he parked his truck on the
ramp-as opposed to the flat area below-in order to avoid
impeding or blocking other trucks using the ramp. The weather
was clear, and it was still light outside. He states that he
knew when he exited his vehicle, he would be stepping onto
the ramp instead of flat ground. Yet, when he exited
backwards out of his truck, he took several steps backward
and placed his foot on the transitional edge of the sloped
asphalt, which caused him to roll his left ankle, injuring
Summary Judgment Standard
judgment is proper only if the pleadings, the discovery and
disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment
as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a
sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the
case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof.
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record,
taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to
find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)
(nonmoving party must present specific, significant probative
evidence, not simply “some metaphysical doubt”).
See also Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). Conversely, a
genuine dispute over a material fact exists if there is
sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute,
requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing versions
of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. Pac.
Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir.
determination of the existence of a material fact is often a
close question. The Court must consider the substantive
evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at
trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil
cases. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 254; T.W. Elec.
Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630. The Court must resolve any
factual issues of controversy in favor of the nonmoving party
only when the facts specifically attested by that party
contradict facts specifically attested by the moving party.
The nonmoving party may not merely state that it will
discredit the moving party's evidence at trial, in the
hopes that evidence can be developed at trial to support the
claim. T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630
(relying on Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255). Conclusory,
nonspecific statements in affidavits are not sufficient, and
missing facts will not be presumed. Lujan v. Nat'l
Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89 (1990).