United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT PARSONS CORPORATION'S
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT RE: STATUTE OF
RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Parsons
Corporation's Motion for Summary Judgment re: Statute of
Limitations. Dkt. #25. Plaintiff has opposed the Motion. Dkt.
#30. Defendant and Plaintiff have requested oral argument but
the Court does not find oral argument necessary to resolve
Defendant's Motion. Having considered the parties'
briefing and the relevant record and for the reasons set
forth below, the Court grants Defendant's Motion.
August 29, 2014, Plaintiff Carol Bergson was walking on a
sidewalk adjacent to the Wedgewood Post Office in Seattle,
Washington. Dkt. #1 at ¶ 24. At the intersection of the
sidewalk and the parking lot, Plaintiff lost her footing and
fell, suffering “fractured bones, soft tissue injuries,
[and] other bodily injuries.” Id. at
¶¶ 24, 40. Plaintiff maintains that her injuries
were the result of the Defendants' negligence. Dkt. #1.
7, 2016, Plaintiff submitted a Freedom of Information Act
(“FOIA”) request to the United States Postal
Service. Dkt. #31-1. The request sought information related
to the design, construction, marking, and maintenance of the
parking lot and sidewalks adjacent to the Wedgewood Post
Office, and notice, consultation, advice, or complaints
related to the parking lot or sidewalks. Id.
Plaintiff received the Postal Service's response 54 days
later, on August 30, 2016. Dkt. #31-2. The information
provided in the response allowed Plaintiff to identify the
involvement of Defendant Parsons Corporation. Dkt. #30 at 2;
Dkt. #31 at ¶ 3.
20, 2016, Plaintiff filed suit in state court against Walton
Investment Co., Inc. (the property owner), Unknown Persons
1-5, and Unknown Entities 1-5. Dkt. #26 at 5; Dkt. #1 at
¶ 14. Unknown Entities 1-5 were identified as
“commercial entities . . . who, on information and
belief, designed, constructed, marked, managed and/or
maintained the walkway and/or parking lot.” Dkt. #26 at
6, ¶ 4. Plaintiff filed this federal court action on
September 21, 2017, adding the United States of America,
Defendant, and several other parties. Id.
Standard of Review
judgment is appropriate where “the movant shows that
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); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986). Material facts are those which
might affect the outcome of the suit under governing law.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In ruling on summary
judgment, a court does not weigh evidence to determine the
truth of the matter, but “only determine[s] whether
there is a genuine issue for trial.” Crane v.
Conoco, Inc., 41 F.3d 547, 549 (9th Cir. 1994) (citing
Fed. Deposit Ins. Corp. v. O'Melveny &
Meyers, 969 F.2d 744, 747 (9th Cir. 1992)).
motion for summary judgment, the court views the evidence and
draws inferences in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255;
Sullivan v. U.S. Dep't of the Navy, 365 F.3d
827, 832 (9th Cir. 2004). However, “[t]he mere
existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the
[non-moving party's] position will be insufficient; there
must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for
the [non-moving party].” Anderson, 477 U.S. at
251. The non-moving party must make a “sufficient
showing on [each] essential element of her case with respect
to which she has the burden of proof” to survive
summary judgment. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986).
Plaintiff's Claims Are Time Barred Under Washington
as here, the Court presides over supplemental state law
claims, “the court applies state substantive law to the
state law claims.” Mason & Dixon Intermodal,
Inc. v. Lapmaster Int'l LLC, 632 F.3d 1056, 1060
(9th Cir. 2011) (citations omitted). The Court must apply the
state's statute of limitations and integrally related
rules, follow decisions of the highest state court, and in
the absence of precedent, predict how the issue would be
resolved by the state's highest court. Albano v. Shea
Homes Ltd. Partnership, 634 F.3d 524, 530 (9th Cir.
2011) (citations omitted).
parties agree that Plaintiff's claims against Defendant
are governed by Washington law and that Washington's
general statute of limitations related to personal injuries
applies, requiring that actions be commenced within three
years of accrual. RCW 4.16.080(2) (“The following
actions shall be commenced within three years: . . . (2) An
action . . . for any other injury to the person or rights of
another not hereinafter enumerated.”); RCW 4.16.005
(action can be commenced within three years ...