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Williams v. United States

United States District Court, W.D. Tennessee, Western Division

April 1, 2015

GENEVIEVE WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER FOLLOWING NON-JURY TRIAL

JON P. McCALLA, District Judge.

Plaintiff Genevieve Williams ("Plaintiff" or "Williams") brings this action against the United States ("Defendant" or "the Government") pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act ("FTCA"), 28 U.S.C. ยง 1346(b), for injuries sustained during a fall at the Navy Exchange in Millington, Tennessee ("Navy Exchange") on September 29, 2012.

The Court held a bench trial in this case on March 16, 2015. (ECF No. 32.) Plaintiff was represented by Jennifer L. Miller. The Government was represented by David Brackstone. Plaintiff called the following witnesses: Addie Mitchum and Genevieve Williams. (Ex. List, ECF No. 33.) The Government called Antonio Braswell. (Id.)

For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Williams failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the Government proximately caused her fall.[1]

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

A. Stipulated Facts

Below are the stipulated facts from the Joint Pretrial Order:

1. Plaintiff was present at the Navy Exchange in Millington, TN on September 29, 2012;
2. At or about 14:11:30, while Plaintiff was in the store, an unidentified male entered the premises carrying one or more broken bottles of beer; and
3. At or about 14:18:08[, ] Plaintiff moved to exit the store and fell.

(Joint Pretrial Order at 4, ECF No. 23.)

B. Testimony and Evidence Introduced During Trial[2]

1. Addie Mitchum

Plaintiff's first witness, Addie Mitchum, was the Loss Prevention and Safety Manager for the Navy Exchange on September 29, 2012. Although she was not at the Navy Exchange on the day of the fall, Mitchum did review that day's security footage. Plaintiff's direct examination of Mitchum concerned two lines of inquiry: (1) the Navy Exchange's training and policies regarding responding to evidence that the floor of the store might be wet; and (2) describing what was ...


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