Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Dismissal of Slip and Fall Claim for Lack of Constructive Notice to Brewery about Wet Floor

A slip and fall accident can have devastating consequences for the victim. When we visit stores, restaurants, and other public establishments, we are trusting that the owner has upheld his or her duty to ensure that the premises is safe for us. When a property owner falls short on this duty, however, the outcome is a dangerous and potentially deadly situation. If you were injured in a Chicago slip and fall accident, the diligent and experienced lawyers at Therman Law Offices are standing by to assist you with exploring your right to compensation.

In a recent case, the Illinois Appellate Court was asked to consider whether a lower court properly granted summary judgment in a premises liability case involving a slip and fall accident. The plaintiff had spent a day drinking beer and repairing vehicles at his auto repair shop before he visited a craft brewery in Evanston. The plaintiff later entered the restroom at the brewery where he slipped on the wet floor and fell resulting in serious injuries to his back. He filed a negligence claim against the brewery along with a loss of consortium claim on behalf of his wife.

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant on the basis that the plaintiff could not show that the defendant had constructive notice that the floor in and around the restroom was wet. Constructive notice means that a reasonable person through routine inspection would have known about the danger and had time to remedy it. This is in contrast to actual notice, which means that the defendant knew that the dangerous condition existed or was occurring.

The plaintiff could also not prove how the alleged wet substance came to be on the floor before he slipped and fell. The plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider. In the motion, he argued that water dripping or splashing on the floor of a restroom was a recurring incidence of which the defendant had actual knowledge.

On review, the appellate court found no error with the lower court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendant. The appellate court agreed with the defendant that the plaintiff only raised the recurring danger argument during the motion to reconsider and had not presented this theory during trial. The appellate court also noted the lack of evidence in the motion establishing that the defendant knew or should have known that the wet substance was located on the floor, creating a potential hazard for guests.

If you were injured due to someone else’s failure to make their property safe, contact our seasoned team of premises liability attorneys as soon as possible to start learning more about your potential rights. A civil claim can be confusing or overwhelming, especially if you are also trying to deal with serious injuries or missed work. We will handle all aspects of your claim and ensure that you receive the responsive and diligent legal counsel that you deserve. Call us today at 773-545-8849 or 847-263-0900 or contact us online to set up your free and confidential consultation.

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