Articles Posted in Premises Accidents

For residents of Illinois, winter weather can bring many serious dangers, including slippery walkways and stairwells. If the owner of a property fails to account for this type of dangerous condition and to make the premises safe, you could find yourself facing a serious and painful injury. As seasoned Chicago premises liability lawyers, we are standing by and ready to help you seek the justice that you deserve for an unnecessary slip and fall accident.

In a recent appellate case, the appellate court considered whether the lower court properly granted summary judgment in favor of a premises owner in an action involving a slip and fall on an icy stairway. The plaintiff alleged that the owners of the property allowed ice to accumulate on stairs and that the defendants acted negligently in failing to keep the property safe. More specifically, she claimed that the ice accumulation was due to faulty gutters o the roof that caused an unnatural amount of water to pour onto the stairwell and freeze in the cold temperatures.

According to Illinois law, liability for a fall that results from an unnatural accumulation of ice can be based on a defective condition on the property or the owner’s negligent maintenance of the property. The trial court concluded that the plaintiff had not provided sufficient evidence to show that the allegedly faulty gutters caused the unnatural accumulation of ice on the stairs. The only evidence that the plaintiff provided to support this argument was the existence of icicles hanging from the roof. She did not testify to any other evidence indicating that the gutters were installed improperly or that they were not maintained correctly. Nor did she provide evidence of building code violations or the routine existence of icicles stemming from improper construction of the gutters.

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Hotels are an incredibly convenient way to handle vacations and work trips, but they also pose countless dangers if the owners do not maintain the premises in good working condition. Under Illinois premises liability law, hotels owe guests the highest level of care when it comes to identifying and repairing dangerous conditions on the property. If you were injured as the result of a dangerous condition at a hotel or resort, the seasoned premises liability lawyers at Therman Law Offices are ready to help you explore your legal rights.

In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered whether the lower court properly denied the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial on his claims alleging that he suffered injuries while working at a trade show at the defendant’s Chicago hotel location. The plaintiff alleged that he suffered injuries because the trade show area was covered with carpet and that there were floor tiles missing underneath the carpeted surface. According to the complaint, placing carpet over the floor without inspecting the floor or addressing the missing tiles or providing a warning about the missing tiles and uneven service constituted negligence.

After a trial, the jury returned a verdict finding the plaintiff entirely at fault for his injuries. The plaintiff’s motion for a new trial was denied and he appealed, asserting several assignments of error. First, he alleged that the lower court erred in failing to bar some of the defendants’ expert witnesses for noncompliance with Illinois expert witness disclosure laws. Second, he alleged that it was an error to admit evidence of his prior health issues because they were not at issue in the case. Finally, he alleged that the court improperly allowed evidence to be admitted in violation of the collateral source rule, which bars evidence showing that the plaintiff was compensated through insurance for medical expenses related to his or her injuries.

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slippery steps

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Although you may believe that other people’s residences and properties are safe and free of dangers, there are all too many legal actions that involve sudden slip and fall injuries in the Chicago area. As dedicated Chicago premises liability lawyers, we are ready to assist you with understanding your legal rights following an unexpected and avoidable accident.In a recent appellate action, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against two defendants after falling while visiting their property. The plaintiff was a certified nursing assistant rendering health care services in-home. The plaintiff was working for the defendants and caring for one of the defendants’ grandparents. When the plaintiff would arrive, she would enter through the front entrance and exit through the front entrance. This required walking up and down a flight of stairs that led to the porch.

Evidence in the trial record indicated that the plaintiff became friends with one of the defendants. They made social visits on occasion, including some social visits at the defendant’s home. During one of these social occasions, the defendant’s dog was standing next to the plaintiff on the porch as the plaintiff prepared to leave. The plaintiff testified that she moved her foot when the dog came to stand beside her, and her foot went off the edge of the porch, causing her to fall down the stairs.

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knee injury

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One of the most common ways that individuals can find themselves suffering from a painful and debilitating injury is in a premises liability incident. There are many places and ways that premises liability accidents can happen, but slip and falls are among the most common. As experienced Illinois premises liability lawyers, we have handled countless slip and fall claims and we are ready to help you secure the settlement or judgment that you deserve.

An Illinois appellate court recently considered a case involving a personal injury accident that took place in a gym. The plaintiff was exercising at the facility under the supervision of a trainer when she slipped and fell on a plyometric step, which is an unsecured piece of equipment. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the facility, its corporate affiliate, and the personal trainer alleging negligence as well as willful and wanton conduct. The plaintiff also included a claim for vicarious liability, asserting that the personal trainer was acting as the corporate affiliate’s employee at the time of the injury.

The trial court dismissed the claims alleging willful and wanton conduct against the corporate affiliate but left the allegations against the trainer. Later in the proceedings, the trial court granted summary judgment on all of the plaintiff’s negligence claims based on a waiver-of-liability clause included in the agreement that the plaintiff signed when she joined the facility.

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There are many different ways that you can wind up injured while visiting another person’s property.  As seasoned Chicago premises liability lawyers, we have guided numerous injured guests through the process of seeking compensation from a careless landowner. In a recent appellate decision, an Illinois court considered the liability of a music festival company to a guest who was injured while attending the festivities.

The plaintiff claimed that she suffered a slip and fall injury while attending the very popular Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago during 2011. The festival company had contracted with the city park district to lease space at Grant Park for the music festival. In the lease agreement, there were terms indicating that the music festival company was required to take all steps and actions necessary to ensure that individuals attending the festival remained safe. The plaintiff’s complaint alleged that she was injured when she was attempting to exit the festival grounds and that she was injured as a result of the company’s failure to provide appropriate lighting, to manage the crowd, and to provide a safe flow of foot traffic from the festival grounds.

The music company moved for summary judgment, stating that it did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care because she slipped on mud. According to the festival company, mud did not present an unreasonable risk of harm, and there was no notice to the festival company that the mud existed. The festival company also stated that the mud was an open and obvious condition. In response, the plaintiff argued that the festival company created the unreasonable risk of harm by forcing guests to exit the festival grounds by traversing uphill through a poorly lit, tree-filled area. She also alleged that this further exacerbated the mud situation.

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Most people know that when a sexual assault occurs, the victim can press charges in a criminal case. Fewer people know that the victim can also bring a civil claim seeking compensation for his or her emotional suffering and other damages. At Therman Law Offices, our Illinois injury lawyers can assist sexual assault victims with asserting their legal rights following this unspeakable and horrific crime.

In a recent appellate decision, the court considered the applicability of premises liability in a situation involving a sexual assault at a hotel. In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that she was a guest at a hotel in the Chicago area when she was drugged and subsequently raped in her room while unconscious. She reported having dinner in the hotel restaurant and ordering an alcoholic beverage. She alleged that the hotel security guard who also performed maintenance work was the one who drugged her drink and carried out the assault.

The victim and her husband filed the premises liability action against the hotel, the hotel’s Director of Operations, the franchisor for the hotel, the hotel group, and other defendants, including the alleged offender. The plaintiffs also asserted a cause of action based on negligent hiring and retention of the alleged offender, stating that they failed to discover that he had been arrested for soliciting a prostitute. They also asserted a cause of action for negligent training and supervision.

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Trip and fall accidents can have serious and painful consequences for the victim. Although this type of accident may seem minor, the injuries that result can leave you with a lifetime of pain and disabilities. At Therman Law Office, our seasoned team of Chicago premises liability lawyers has confidently assisted numerous victims with asserting their rights following a trip and fall injury.

As a recent appellate opinion demonstrates, many of these accidents take place on a city-owned property. The plaintiff in the action brought a negligence claim against the City of Aurora, alleging that she was injured when she tripped in a depression located in a section of asphalt in a parking lot at a train station. The jury initially returned a verdict in her favor, but the court intervened due to one of the responses that the jury provided on its special verdict form. The question asked whether the depression in the asphalt had a vertical difference of 1.5 inches or less, and the jury responded yes to this question. The court concluded that as a result of this response, the dangerous condition was de minimis and entered a judgment in favor of the defendant.

The plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider its decision, but the court denied the motion, restating that the defendant had no duty to guard against de minimis hazards. The plaintiff appealed, alleging that the lower court erred in providing the special interrogatory to the jury and that the question the court used to enter a verdict in favor of the defendants was not dispositive of the ultimate fact of whether the depression was a dangerous condition on the property. The plaintiff also argued that there were aggravating factors at play that rendered the depression a dangerous condition, even if it was 1.5 inches or less in height difference from the surrounding asphalt. More specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the aggravating factors consisted of a high-volume pedestrian area at the train station that made it more difficult to notice the depression.

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Slip and fall accidents can cause serious and permanent injuries for a victim. This type of accident can occur on virtually any type of premises, including your apartment building if it is not maintained in appropriate condition. As seasoned Chicago slip and fall lawyers, the attorneys at Therman Law Offices are ready to guide you through the legal process and to help you seek the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on a staircase and stoop area outside his apartment complex, resulting in a serious injury to his left leg. The injury required multiple surgeries to address. In his complaint seeking compensation for the injuries, the plaintiff alleged that the apartment complex was owned and operated by an association of condominium owners. He also alleged that these owners had a duty to maintain the staircase and stoop area in a safe manner according to Illinois’ Condominium Property Act. The plaintiff also pointed to the bylaws and declaration of the owner group, which provided for the maintenance and repair of the so-called “Common Elements” at the premises.

The plaintiff’s allegations also stated that the owner group and the entities that it had hired to construct and maintain the location of the accident did not respond to numerous complaints regarding the slippery nature of the staircase and stoop prior to when the injury occurred.

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One of the most common types of injuries that Chicago residents experience are slip and fall accidents. As seasoned Illinois slip and fall lawyers, we have reviewed many cases involving these accidents and know exactly what it takes to ensure that you receive the full amount of compensation that you are owed. One of the most difficult aspects of any trip and fall case is determining whether the defect that caused your injury was a defect that the defendant should have either addressed or warned against.

A recent lawsuit highlights the importance of this issue. The plaintiff alleged that she suffered injuries after stepping into a pothole located in a parking lot, resulting in a fall. The plaintiff brought a lawsuit against the purported owners of the parking lot, an LLC and a Corporation. The plaintiff claimed that the defendants failed to maintain the parking lot and failed to provide a warning against the pothole. Both defendants filed a motion for summary judgment, which asks the court to conclude that there are no factual disputes and that the party bringing the motion is entitled to judgment in its favor.

In their motion, the defendants argued that the pothole was de minimis and that it did not rise to the level of a defect for the plaintiff’s claim. More specifically, the defendants stated that any defect that is under two inches tall cannot be considered an actionable defect in a premises liability case. The defendants offered testimony from the owner of both the LLC and the Corporation. In his testimony, he alleged that the pothole was roughly half an inch. The trial court took this statement of fact as uncontroverted.

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One of the most common types of premises liability cases that we handle as Chicago personal injury attorneys are cases involving faulty or dangerous staircases. In a recent Illinois Court of Appeal opinion, the plaintiff alleged that she suffered injuries when she fell down a staircase comprised of 15 wooden steps. The plaintiff alleged that her injuries occurred because the staircase did not contain a handrail on both sides of the stairs. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the property owners, alleging that they failed to meet their duty of care in ensuring that the staircase was safe and that they failed to provide adequate warnings about the staircase’s alleged danger. As far as injuries, the plaintiff suffered a fracture that required surgery and incurred a total of $240,000 in medical costs, according to her complaint.

During the discovery phase of the trial, the plaintiff testified that she could not identify or recall what caused her to lose her balance and fall down the staircase. The plaintiff testified instead that she recalled “flying through the air trying to get my grip or balance myself” but that there wasn’t anything for her to grab. The plaintiff also testified that she believed she would have been able to regain her balance had there been a handrail for her to grab. The plaintiff presented a building inspector as a witness who inspected the stairway. He provided an expert opinion indicating that the lack of adequate handrails violated Chicago’s Municipal Code 13-160-320(a) and 13-160-320(b).

The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, stating that the fact that the plaintiff did not know what caused her fall precluded her from proving that her injuries were a result of the defendant’s alleged negligence. The plaintiff refuted this, stating that her testimony regarding the impact of the inadequate handrails created a question of material fact rendering summary judgment inappropriate. The lower court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

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