When someone slips and falls in a public place in Illinois such as a mall, in order to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit, the person who fell must establish that the owner of the property was somehow responsible for the fall. Sometimes this can be a difficult proposition, as the plaintiff in Ishoo v. General Growth Properties, Inc., 2012 WL 933383, recently learned. On the day of her fall, the plaintiff in Ishoo was working as a sales representative at the make up counter at Neiman Marcus. She took a break to purchase a cup of coffee from Starbucks, and as she was walking there, she slipped and fell on a wet substance on the floor. As a result of the fall, she injured her right shoulder. She later filed this personal injury lawsuit alleging that the owners of the mall were responsible for her injuries because they either knew or should have known that a wet substance had accumulated on the floor and posed a hazard to shoppers and others walking through the mall. The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, explained what was required in order for the plaintiff to prove negligence on behalf of the defendants: To establish negligence on the part of the defendants, the plaintiff need only bring forth facts that her fall was caused by a liquid substance on the floor attributable to the defendants. Liabilityon the part of the defendants may arise if (1) one or more defendants is directly responsible for the liquid substance on the floor or (2) the defendants had actual or constructive notice of the liquid substance on the floor…(T)his appeals turns on whether there is any evidence that directly proves, or gives rise to a reasonable inference, that the presence of the liquid substance on the floor is tied to one or more of the defendants… Unfortunately for the injured plaintiff, after reviewing the facts and applying the relevant legal standards to the fact of the case, the court concluded that the plaintiff had failed to show that the defendants had actual or constructive notice of the wet substance on the floor: (U)nder the facts of this case, actual notice can only be established by a showing that the housekeeping staff “squeegeed” cleaning solution from the escalator on to the floor. As we have already concluded, no facts exist that the activities of housekeeping staff were responsible for the liquid[READ MORE…]
Is the City of Chicago liable for every accident that occurs when a pedestrian trips and falls on a public sidewalk? Of course not. But under certain circumstances, the City can be held liable. The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, considered just such a scenario in Waters v. City of Chicago, (No. 1–10–0759). In Waters, the plaintiff was injured when she tripped and fell over the metal base of a street barricade that jutted out into the sidewalk. She was stepping over the metal base when she was distracted by the sound of a jackhammer, at which point she tripped and fell, landing on her wrist. Her injury required surgery. She later filed a personal injury lawsuit against the City of Chicago, alleging, in part, that the City owed her a duty of care under the “distraction exception” to the open and obvious danger theory. In other words, she alleged that even though the existence of the barrier and the dangers presented by it were obvious, the City nevertheless owed her a duty of care because the City should have known that her attention might be distracted by the construction occurring nearby, thus resulting in her loss of concentration and subsequent injury. The Court concluded that although the issue was not clear cut, there were questions of fact for a jury to consider and thus granting summary judgment in favor of the defendant was improper: (D)espite the obviousness of the barricade and its base, plaintiff became distracted upon hearing the loud noise from the jackhammer. Defendant created the hazard but not the distraction. It is reasonable to expect that a defendant who places a barricade over a sidewalk and places a portion of their bases in an area of ingress and egress on a public sidewalk without signs warning people to avoid walking in the area could foresee that people could reasonably become injured and would likely become injured if they used the walkway. It can also be reasonably expected that people would walk on the sidewalk notwithstanding its partial barricade. For these reasons, we cannot say, as a matter of law, that defendant should not have reasonably anticipated the distraction and should not have foreseen the injury to plaintiff. It would have been easy for the defendant to have barricaded the entire walkway so that no one could use it until the construction was complete and the consequences of doing[READ MORE…]
It happens! Youâ€™re visiting a friend or a relative and you take a nasty fall and hurt yourself. This is when the question of liability arises and you, as the injured party, wonder if you can recover the costs associated with your injuries from the homeowner or renter. Although you may be hesitant to pursue a claim against a homeowner or renter, especially if that person is a friend or family member, it is important to know that the majority of the time their insurance company
In Caburnay v. Norwegian American Hospital,Â No. 1â€“10â€“1740, the plaintiff was an anesthesiologist who tripped and fell in the lobby of the hospital where he worked. On the date of the accident, he was waiting for an elevator when he tripped over a floor mat that he alleged was folded. As he fell, he hit the back of his head and was rendered a quadriplegic. He filed a lawsuit against the defendant, an Illinois hospital, alleging that its failure to maintain the area around the elevator resulted in his fall and subsequent injuries. He alleged, among other things, that the defendantÂ â€œfailed to properly, routinely and adequately inspect the floor of the [elevator area] to ascertain whether any dangerous and hazardous conditions existed,” â€œfailed to place a clean and secured floor mat,” â€œfailed to place a level and secured floor mat on the floor,â€ and â€œimproperly placed the floor mat so that it was subject to become hazardous, movement, wrinkles and folds.â€ One of the issues on appeal was whether there was sufficient proof offered by Caburnay to show that there were issues of fact regarding the defendant’s negligence. Carburnay claimed that his testimony that he felt his foot catch on a fold or buckle in the rug was sufficient to create an issue of fact. However, the defendant argued that there was no evidence offered that tended to prove that a fold in the carpet existed and that a fair reading of Carburnay’s deposition testimony indicated that he had no idea why or how he fell. The Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, disagreed with the defendant, concluding that Caburnay had offered sufficient evidence regarding the defendant’s negligence: Caburnay has alleged specific facts regarding how and why the mat was improperly placed. As discussed above, Caburnay’s deposition testimony indicates that a fold or buckle existed in the mat at the time of the fall as evidence by the fact that he felt his foot catch on it, and the testimony of Krause and Gonzalez, coupled with the expert opinions of Litwick and Kenzidor, were sufficient to create a question of fact as to whether Norwegian negligently placed the mat in question in front of the elevator, causing Caburnay to fall. Therefore, summary judgment in favor of Norwegian on this issue was improper. Accordingly, the Court reversed the lower court’s judgment and allowed the personal injury case to proceed, thus permitting Caburnay[READ MORE…]
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Pool Safely: Simple Steps Save Lives campaign recently released its 2011 summer snapshot of the number of drowning and near-drowning incidents across the country.Â Since Memorial Day, there have been 48 drownings and 75 near-drowning incidents in 35 states.Â Driven by the high number of drownings and near-drownings, the CPSC is calling for additional vigilance at pools and spas this summer and beyond. Common Pool Injuries Some common pool injuries include: Drowning Near-drowning and brain injuries Slip and falls Sunburn Broken bones Ways to Minimize Drowning Risks Drownings, near-drownings and other swimming pool accidents can be prevented by following certain safety measures.Â Â When using a residential or community pool, swimmers should make sure to: Learn basic lifesaving techniques Learn how to perform CPR on both children and adults Never leave a child unattended Teach children water safety basics Keep children away from pool drains and other entrapment hazards Keep a telephone nearby Legal Responsibilities of Pool Owners Swimming pool owners are obligated to provide a safe swimming pool area by taking certain precautions and the failure to do so may subject the swimming pool owner to premises liability for any drownings or injuries that occur on the pool ownerâ€™s property.Â Swimming pool owners should take the following safety measures in order to provide a safe swimming environment: Install a fence that is at least four feet high around the pool with self-closing and self-latching gates. Install pool and gate alarms. Ensure that pool drain covers comply with the latest safety standards. Maintain pool covers that are in good working order. Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm. If you or a loved one has been involved in a swimming pool accident, you may be able entitled to compensation from the swimming pool owner or operator through a premises liability or wrongful death lawsuit.Â Contact the Chicago swimming pool accident attorneys at Ankin Law Offices at (800) 442-6546 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your premises liability or wrongful death claim. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workersâ€™ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and firstname.lastname@example.org. ANKIN LAW OFFICE LLC Chicago Workers Compensation | Chicago Personal Injury | Chicago Motor Vehicle Accidents Chicago Wrongful Death | Chicago Social Securi ty Disability | Chicago Class Act ion Lawsuits
If an employee slips and falls on snow and ice that accumulated outside of a building at which she worked, who is liable for the injuries? Does the snow removal contractor bear some responsibility? In March, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, addressed that very question in Williams v. Sebert Landscape Company,Â No. 1â€“10â€“1794. In Williams,the personal injury plaintiff was injured when she walked out of her place of employment, the post office. As she walked across the parking lot, towards her car, she slipped and fell on a patch of ice.Â She alleged that the ice had accumulated from a melted runoff from a pile of snow left in the middle of the lot a few days earlier by the snow removal contractor. The Court explained that Sebert, the snow removal contractor, owed the plaintiff the duty of care owed in an ordinary negligence case, since it did not have the power to control over the property by excluding people from entering the property and thus did not stand in the shoes of the owner of the property: Nothing in the record indicates that Sebert intended to exert control over the parking lot in any way…(and therefore)Â Williams had to establish ordinary negligence and not the heightened standard for an owner-occupier…(Accordingly)Â (i)f Sebert had negligently plowed the parking lot at the Busse Highway property and that negligence was the proximate cause of Williams’ injury, then Sebert is liable. Accordingly, the Court concluded that the trial court improperly held the plaintiff to a higher standard of proof in respect to Sebert and remanded the matter back to the trial court for a new trial. This was a good decision for the plaintiff since she had already settled with the owner and this decision also gave her a second bite at the apple in regard to the proving Sebert’s liability. Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handlesÂ workersâ€™ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and email@example.com.
Did you know that a business is not automatically responsible for water causing harm to a patron at the entrance of a store? One of the most commonplace inquiries to our office involves a client falling on tracked-in water when entering a food store or other business. We hear from clients that there was not a slip mat or that it was soiled, and that is why they fell. Slip mats are provided as a courtesy in order to help prevent a fall.
Homeowners and rental insurance not only protects your dwelling but also the contents of your home. Whether you own or rent the contents of your home can be one of your biggest assets and protecting your assets is very important. The information contained in your insurance policy defines what is protected and varies from policy to policy; you need to know what protection you have in case of a problem.
Image via Wikipedia In Gilmore v. Powers, No. 1-09-1478, the First District Appellate Court of Illinois, Sixth Division, addressed the issue of whether a private landowner owner or the City of Evanston was liable for maintenance of a walkway that straddled the city-owned parkway in front of the defendants’ house. In this case, the plaintiff was the co-owner of a moving company hired by the defendants to move furniture into their new home. The plaintiff was injured while moving the defendant’s belongings into their home when she tripped and fell on a stone walkway that was located between the curb of the street and the sidewalk. The sidewalk was admittedly owned by the City of Evanston. In reaching its decision, the court first noted the general principle of law that, while private landowners owe a duty of care to provide a reasonably safe means of ingress and egress from their property, theyÂ generally owe no duty to ensure that a public sidewalk or parkway abutting that property is in a safe condition. The court then acknowledged that if abutting landowners assume control of a public sidewalk or parkway for their own purposes, they may be held responsible for the condition of a public sidewalk or parkway. However, the court concluded that in the case at hand, there was no evidence that the defendants took any actions that would show that they were using the parkway for their own purposes. They didn’t use it as their sole means of ingress and egress to their property, nor did they block it in any way that might prevent the public from using it. Likewise, the court determined that the defendants’ maintenance and use of the walkway didn’t make them liable for its upkeep since “(a)ppropriation does not occur merely because a landowner uses the walkway more than the public at large.” Accordingly, after analyzing a number of City ordinances and concluding that the ordinances which might have created a duty on the part of the defendants were inapplicable, the court held that ” no duty existed requiring defendants to maintain the walkway at issue in a safe condition as a matter of law.” Howard Ankin of Ankin Law Office LLC (www.ankinlaw.com) handlesÂ workersâ€™ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 346-8780 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Wikipedia In Krywin v. Chicago Transit Authority, No. 108888, the Supreme Court of Illinois considered the issue of whether the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) was liable for a passenger’s injuries that occurred when she exited the train and slipped on snow and water that had accumulated on the train platform. The injured plaintiff alleged, in part, that the CTA was liable for her serious injuries as a result of its failure to remove the snow and ice that accumulated on the platform and that the CTA also failed to warn her of the dangerous condition presented by the accumulated snow and ice. The Court rejected the plaintiff’s arguments, holding that the CTA was not liable for her injuries. Importantly, the Court reaffirmed that the natural accumulation rule, which relieves a property owner from liability for injuries caused by the natural accumulation of ice and snow, applies even if a storm is not currently in progress: We note that the general rule that property owners have no duty to remove natural accumulations of ice or snow from their property has been applied without regard to any ongoing precipitation (see Sheffer, 261 Ill.App.3d at 152, 198 Ill.Dec. 458, 632 N.E.2d 1069 (the weather was â€œbright and sunnyâ€ at the time the plaintiff fell on the ice)) or the length of time the natural accumulation has existed. Judge Freeman issued a strongly worded dissent, arguing that the natural accumulation rule, which was originally intended to shield municipalities from liability, should not be extended to common carriers that provide public transportation, such as the CTA: In view of both Illinois statutory and common law, I would hold that a common carrier’s standard of care trumps the natural accumulation rule. That is, the duty of care should extend to the kind of risk encountered by plaintiff here, a risk which is not only foreseeable but is likely to cause injury to passengers. His rationale was based, in part, on the fact that Chicago officials encourage citizens to use public transportation during snow storms in order to facilitate snow removal and the smooth flow of traffic, thus putting those law abiding citizens “who follow officials’ directions in potential harm’s way with no recourse for the damages they might incur if injured on an icy CTA platform.” Judge Freeman raises a valid point. The arguable public policy contradiction is difficult to reconcile and seemingly requires[READ MORE…]
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