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Owa v. Fred Meyer Stores Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

May 29, 2018



          The Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge


         This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Fred Meyer Stores' Motion for Summary Judgment. Dkt. # 108. Plaintiff opposes the motion. Dkt. # 127. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS the motion.

         Both parties flout the Court's formatting requirements. Defendant's citations are almost exclusively in footnotes. The Court strongly disfavors footnoted legal citations, and made this clear in its Standing Order, Dkt. # 7 at 4, and in a February 2018 Order, Dkt. # 124 at 1. Footnoted citations serve as an end-run around page limits and formatting requirements dictated by the Local Rules. See Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 7(e). Moreover, several courts have observed that “citations are highly relevant in a legal brief” and including them in footnotes “makes brief-reading difficult.” Wichansky v. Zowine, No. CV-13-01208-PHX-DGC, 2014 WL 289924, at *1 (D. Ariz. Jan. 24, 2014). The Court strongly discourages the parties from footnoting their legal citations in any future submissions. See Kano v. Nat'l Consumer Co-op Bank, 22 F.3d 899-900 (9th Cir. 1994).

         Plaintiff blatantly violated this District's Local Rules by filing a response that dramatically exceeded the authorized page limits without first seeking leave to do so. W.D. Wash. Local Rules LCR 7(3).

         Both parties are guilty of violating this Court's rules regarding formatting and page limits. The Court will not strike either parties' briefs at this time but cautions parties that any further violations may result in sanctions.


         At this point in the litigation, the parties are intimately familiar with the facts of this case. Plaintiff produced sushi for Defendant pursuant to a franchise agreement with Advanced Fresh Concepts. Plaintiff portrays a work environment riddled with harassment and bullying. Plaintiff is suing for emotional distress as a result of this treatment as well as compensation related to injuries sustained when she moved a pallet jack from in front of a freezer. Defendant moves the Court to dismiss Plaintiff's remaining claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent supervision, and premises negligence.


         Summary judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Where the moving party will have the burden of proof at trial, it must affirmatively demonstrate that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving party. Soremekun v. Thrifty Payless, Inc., 509 F.3d 978, 984 (9th Cir. 2007). On an issue where the nonmoving party will bear the burden of proof at trial, the moving party can prevail merely by pointing out to the district court that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 325. If the moving party meets the initial burden, the opposing party must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue of fact for trial in order to defeat the motion. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). The court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., 530 U.S. 133, 150-51 (2000).

         However, the court need not, and will not, “scour the record in search of a genuine issue of triable fact.” Keenan v. Allan, 91 F.3d 1275, 1279 (9th Cir. 1996); see also, White v. McDonnel-Douglas Corp., 904 F.2d 456, 458 (8th Cir. 1990) (the court need not “speculate on which portion of the record the nonmoving party relies, nor is it obliged to wade through and search the entire record for some specific facts that might support the nonmoving party's claim”). The opposing party must present significant and probative evidence to support its claim or defense. Intel Corp. v. Hartford Accident & Indem. Co., 952 F.2d 1551, 1558 (9th Cir. 1991). Uncorroborated allegations and “self-serving testimony” will not create a genuine issue of material fact. Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054, 1061 (9th Cir. 2002); T.W. Elec. Serv. v. Pac Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).


         The following are Plaintiff's remaining claims set for trial in June 2018: intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent supervision; and premises negligence via common law, res ipsa loquitur, and per se. Dkt. # 1-2 (Second Amended Complaint). The Court takes each claim in turn below.

         A. Intentional Infliction of ...

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