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United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
January 16, 2008, Argued; July 17, 2008, Decided
[*673] MANION, Circuit Judge. Shortly after midnight on December 7, 2003, Marilyn Trask-Morton checked into a Motel 6 in Indianapolis. Later that morning, Morton, acting dazed and confused, staggered into the lobby of the motel and up to the front desk, slid sideways, and fell to the floor. Morton was taken to a hospital, treated, and released. Morton has no memory of what happened between when she went to bed at the motel and [*674] when she regained consciousness in the hospital. Nevertheless, Morton filed suit against Motel 6 Operating, L.P. alleging, among other things, that she had been sexually assaulted during that time and asserting several negligence claims [**2] against Motel 6 for allowing the assault to occur. Motel 6 filed a motion for summary judgment, which the district court granted. Morton appeals. We affirm.
On Sunday, December 6, 2003, Morton drove a rental truck from Oklahoma, where she resided, to Indiana. She stopped at a Motel 6 on Bradbury Road in Indianapolis shortly after midnight on December 7. According to Morton, the reason for her trip was to help her friend Kirk Speelman of Las Vegas, Nevada, with his family's wholesale cigarette business. Morton testified at her deposition that she had agreed to drive an empty rental truck to Indianapolis for Speelman, who would be arriving by plane to meet her there. Speelman would then take the truck east to pick up supplies for his business, while Morton would fly back to Oklahoma. In exchange for her help, Morton testified that Speelman promised to pay her a thousand dollars in addition to reimbursing her expenses.
Upon arriving at the Motel 6, Morton checked in at the lobby. The front desk clerk on duty assigned Morton to Room 330, which was on the third floor. She also gave Morton a plastic key card and showed Morton where her room was located on a motel diagram. 1 Morton testified [**3] that she then parked the truck in the parking area close to her room and went up to her room. The room had sealed windows that would not open either from the inside or the outside. In addition, the room was not accessible through any of the other rooms in the motel. Morton used her key card to open the door to her room. A later check of the motel's electronic key-lock system showed that no key was used other than Morton's to enter the room that Sunday evening and the following morning.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
534 F.3d 672 *; 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 15193 **
MARILYN L. TRASK-MORTON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. MOTEL 6 OPERATING L.P., a Delaware Limited Partnership, Defendant-Appellee.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division. No. 05 C 1633--Larry J. McKinney, Judge.
Trask-Morton v. Motel 6 Operating, L.P., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110851 (S.D. Ind., Apr. 24, 2007)
Motel, sexual assault, district court, door, assault, shower curtain, arrived, tapes, summary judgment, lobby, reasonable jury, ambulance, emails, speculation, proximate, bathroom, hotel, circumstances, assailant, attacked, happened, back-up, morning, negligence claim, front desk, allegations, deposition, sanctions, hiding, memory
Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Opposing Materials, General Overview, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Burdens of Proof, Torts, Negligence, Elements, Causation, Proximate Cause, Proof, Duty On Premises, Invitees, Business Invitees, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Sanctions, Misconduct & Unethical Behavior, Evidence, Relevance, Preservation of Relevant Evidence, Spoliation, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review