Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Denial of Motion for Reconsideration in Trial Involving Hotel Trip and Fall Claim where Jury Found Plaintiff 100% at Fault

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.

On review, the appellate court first noted that the plaintiff did not raise any issue regarding the jury verdict finding him 100% at fault. The defendants argued on appeal that because the jury found the plaintiff 100% at fault, the plaintiff’s assignments of error and grounds for appeal were moot and that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that the assignments of error had an impact on the outcome of the case. Turning to the plaintiff’s arguments, the appellate court found that the lower court committed no errors regarding the admission of expert witnesses and pointed out that the plaintiff had been dilatory when it came to disclosing his own experts. It also noted that the plaintiff had been provided ample notice regarding the timing of expert witness disclosures throughout the litigation.

Because the jury found the plaintiff 100% at fault, the appellate court did not consider the remainder of the plaintiff’s assignments of error including his challenge to expert witness testimony regarding the extent of damages he sustained, and admission of evidence regarding his prior physical health. The plaintiff was unable to show that these alleged errors caused the jury to determine that he was 100% at fault.

If you were injured on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. At Therman Law Offices, we provide Chicago residents with compassionate and attentive legal counsel during this difficult time while making sure you understand the full extent of your legal rights. To schedule your free consultation with our personal injury lawyers, call us at 773-545-8849 or contact us online.

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