Illinois Appellate Court Affirms Dismissal of Premises Liability Case Based on Injury at Popular Music Festival

crowd at festivalThere 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.

The court initially granted summary judgment in favor of the festival company, but the plaintiff appealed. She argued that the open and obvious exception did not apply as a result of the deliberate encounter and distraction exceptions to this doctrine. In other words, she argued that even if the allegedly dangerous condition was open and obvious, the defendants forced her to encounter it and that the overcrowded area and lack of poor lighting distracted from its open and obvious danger. The appellate court rejected the application of the distraction doctrine and deliberate encounter doctrine. Finally, the appellate court stated that the plaintiff failed to prove that the festival company owed her a duty of care, it was appropriate for the trial court to grant summary judgment in the defendant’s favor.

If you were harmed on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. At Therman Law Offices, our premises liability lawyers will offer you the personalized legal counsel and responsiveness that you deserve during this difficult and confusing process. We proudly serve individuals throughout Illinois and offer a free consultation to help you learn about our firm and how we can assist you. Call us now at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to get started.

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