Articles Posted in Premises Accidents

Pla2na-300x200One 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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Going up against big corporations and businesses can be intimidating, especially if you are entitled to compensation for painful injuries that you sustained as a result of their negligence. At Therman Law Offices, our Chicago premises liability lawyers represent slip and fall accident victims and aren’t afraid to provide the tenacious and assertive legal representation that a powerful defendant may require.

Slip and fall cases are common in a bustling state like Illinois. A recent Illinois appellate court opinion considered the liability of a large national retailer for a customer’s slip and fall injuries. In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell on a pool of liquid that had accumulated on the retail establishment’s floor. The plaintiff asserted a claim for basic negligence and a claim based on the Illinois Premises Liability Act. The defendant denied the allegations in the complaint and asserted an affirmative defense, contending that it could not be held liable for the plaintiff’s injuries because she slipped on what it described as “a natural accumulation of ice, snow or rainwater.”

The litigation proceeded to discovery, and the record included evidence suggesting that it was snowing on the day the incident occurred, that the shopping carts stored outside were covered in ice and snow, and that the defendant’s employees brought these carts into the store, where the water and melting ice accumulated.

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As seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyers, we have assisted many Illinois residents with seeking compensation after suffering injuries due to someone else’s carelessness. One of the most common types of claims that we handle is a slip and fall case. Although these actions may seem straightforward, they can become rather complicated. In a recent Illinois Court of Appeal opinion, the plaintiff suffered injuries when she tripped and fell on a sidewalk in front of a restaurant. The plaintiff brought a personal injury action against the restaurant, alleging that she sustained injuries as a result of an uneven sidewalk in front of the restaurant. The husband joined the lawsuit, asserting a claim for loss of consortium. The plaintiffs also sued the City of Chicago.

During the discovery phase of the litigation, the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel discovery from the City on a variety of issues. The plaintiffs sought customer service records regarding the property, licensing documents from the City, a stipulation that the City had no pending plans to repair the sidewalk, a list of all of the employees who worked at the restaurant, all permitting documents regarding the property, any citations that the restaurant received in the years prior to the incident, and other documents. The City produced reports regarding complaints associated with the sidewalk but declined to produce any additional documents. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s motion to compel, and the court did not include a hearing transcript or other information regarding the arguments that the parties submitted at the motion hearing.

The defendants both moved for summary judgment soon thereafter. The City alleged that it did not owe a duty to the plaintiff because the sidewalk defect was negligible and that there was no evidence in the record that the City had knowledge or should have had knowledge of the defect. The lower court granted both the City’s and the restaurant’s motions for summary judgment, indicating that the plaintiffs failed to provide evidence indicating that the City had actual or constructive notice of the sidewalk’s alleged defects. The plaintiffs filed a motion seeking a reconsideration of the lower court’s rulings on the motions and a motion to reopen discovery on the issue of notice in the alternative. The lower court denied both motions.

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In a recent opinion from the Illinois Court of Appeals for the Fourth District, the plaintiff filed an action against the City of Danville (“the City”), alleging that she suffered injuries as a result of a trip and fall accident that occurred on a sidewalk area maintained by the City. According to her complaint, the plaintiff was shopping on one afternoon in 2012. When returning to her parked vehicle after leaving a store in the downtown district, she used a sidewalk to get to her vehicle, which was parked roughly five storefronts away. Then, the plaintiff walked at an angle as she approached the curb where her vehicle was parked. As she did so, she alleges that she stepped into roughly of an inch of water pooling on the sidewalk and to the right side of a lamppost embedded in the sidewalk. As she stepped into the water, the plaintiff claims that her left shoe struck an object that caused her to lose her balance. She then fell forward, striking her chin on the sidewalk.

The plaintiff received nine stitches in her chin to close the wound. Her complaint also alleged that she suffered severe bruising to her left foot, face, and arms. During the fall, two of her teeth were chipped, and she required dental work to address this injury. She also claimed to have suffered a partially dislodged crown that was also treated by a dentist.

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