Illinois Supreme Court Dismisses Trip and Fall Case due to Plaintiff’s Illegal Parking

If you are injured in a Chicago slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the person or entity that was in charge of maintaining the area where the accident took place. This is true even if it was a public area under the management of a municipality. Suing a city or other entity can be a challenging and confusing process; however, due to the many different laws that apply. At Therman Law Offices, we are prepared to assist you with ensuring that you receive the compensation that you deserve.

In a recent case, a woman was reportedly injured when she stepped out of her parked vehicle and walked toward the front of the car, where she claimed she stepped into a pothole and twisted her left ankle. The pothole was roughly five feet long, according to a City investigator. The evidence was undisputed that the woman had parked in a no-parking zone that was painted yellow. It contained a fire hydrant. The evidence also established that part of her vehicle and the area where the pothole was located was not within the yellow no-parking zone.

In her complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the City owed her compensation because it was negligent in failing to maintain the area where the pothole was located and that it was responsible for her injuries as a direct result. The City moved for summary judgment claiming that it did not owe her a duty to maintain the area that was painted yellow to prohibit parking. An Illinois state law prohibited parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant. The City also alleged that her vehicle was nearly 16 feet long and that because she parked partially in the no-parking zone, it did not owe her a duty.

The plaintiff countered this by emphasizing that the pothole was located outside of the no-parking zone, where she was legally permitted to park. She also alleged that pedestrians were the intended users of the area where the pothole was located and that the front of her vehicle was parked within a permitted parking zone. The trial court denied the City’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that the pothole was located in a place where cars were permitted to park, but after the City filed a motion for reconsideration, it granted the motion.

The plaintiff appealed, but the reviewing court affirmed the dismissal of her claim on the basis that she was not an intended user of the area where she fell. It relied primarily on the fact that the plaintiff admitted that she parked illegally, within 15 feet of a pothole.

If you were injured on public property, it is essential that you speak to an experienced Chicago slip and fall accident attorney to determine whether you are owed compensation resulting from a potential premises liability claim. Our seasoned team of legal professionals provides a free consultation to help you learn about the legal process and how we can assist you. Call us today at 773-545-8849 or contact us online to get started.